High-Pitched Motor Noise

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by SeanH, Apr 29, 2019.

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  1. Kona Bear

    Kona Bear New Member

    well, i always had the hiss even before but the growling did go away and it was only after they replaced the Motor. i maybe have another 500 miles or so on it since i have had it back. i want to let everything settle for a while before I bring it back with the noise again, not having my car for a month sucked. but the low gear does make sense since i only hear it until i hit about 25-30 MPH. the big difference is i only hear the sounds with the windows open, the growling sound i only heard with the windows closed. i thought that was a little strange, but who knows.
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  3. Kona Bear

    Kona Bear New Member

    i forgot to mention in my previous reply, that i didn't have either of these sounds until about 1,500 miles
  4. JerContact

    JerContact New Member

    Well, I got Hyundai to review my case. This is from corporate, and they said they will not buy the car back. The guy suggested this is the intended design of the car. Basically I have no recourse...last Hyundai I will ever buy.
    Brennan Raposo likes this.
  5. victor_2019

    victor_2019 Active Member

    it's amazing how much people over-react to this "issue".

    yesterday I was driving with my windows open and the radio on and most of the time I couldn't even hear the hiss. I had to turn the radio off to make sure it was still there at one point.

    It's unfortunate that Hyundai's control algorithm results in harmonics in the audible range, but this is not a defect.
    Here's a video that illustrates the effect between the switching frequency and noise

    This is like buying a diesel engine and complaining that you hear the characteristic diesel rattle.

    for technical people, here's an interesting paper: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a9e8/dc1be27838b2858433ecdd2fb6805bc41b15.pdf
    Jared Potter likes this.
  6. WMA

    WMA New Member

    That is not the noise coming from the Kona. It's actually a metal scraping on metal sound. If the engineer in Ontario says it's not a normal sound it's probably a defect.
    robxb likes this.
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  8. Brennan Raposo

    Brennan Raposo Well-Known Member

    This is a great question.
    I don't have one per se as my file is still open. But I'm completely cool if you use my name at your dealership if they want to call mine?
    In the meantime, I'll see if there's a case number that can be referenced.
    MGrognon likes this.
  9. Brennan Raposo

    Brennan Raposo Well-Known Member

    I certainly hope they shed some more light on the issue and perhaps recall whatever item it is that's causing the issue. Hopefully they've identified my issue correctly. If not - I'll wait! Hopefully I'll have a quiet car by the end of the fall lol!
  10. MGrognon

    MGrognon New Member

    Maybe it has to do with some people (i.e. me) being really sensitive to these type of frequencies versus others not having the same issues with them? Listening to the video you shared had me grinding my teeth, ESPECIALLY when the guy towards the end sets it to highest frequency ... "It's a little high pitch, but something you can live with" ... I would be brought to a mental facility and/or poke at my eardrums after a day of listening to this, and I'm not exaggerating. Out of curiosity, do you NOT hear any sound towards the end of the video (2 minutes or so)?

    Also as pointed above ; that is not the noise that the Kona makes. Leafs will do a high pitch NOTE (as in you could pinpoint it's for instance a Bb or an E), but the Kona is a constant hiss that, to me, sounds like if you were to rub sandpaper on something spinning very quickly. I hear it with windows closed, AC on and music on, needless to say I hear it with the windows down. I do not hear it past 55- 60 km/h or so.

    I get that you might think that this is over reacting, but it's not. I really try hard to forget about it and not care, but it's just impossible to ignore I think if you have it / hear it.
    robxb likes this.
  11. JerContact

    JerContact New Member

    Well said. That is not the sound we are complaining about @victor_2019 . Also, this Kona EV is not what other electric cars sound like (I have driven many and owned one before this purchase). I'm an audio profressional, so I do understand that sound (especially in the high frequency) is more grating on me. But, again, this is a very unusual and border-line horrible sound.
    Brennan Raposo likes this.
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  13. victor_2019

    victor_2019 Active Member

    yes, I hear the sound changing frequency. I can still hear it at the end.

    also this is not what my kona sounds like. I was just giving an example of PWM sound in electric motors for all the people saying this sound is not normal.

    the kona sound I hear is a higher frequency than the last one in that video, and the spectrum is spread out a bit, it's more of a white noise hiss (lots of different high frequencies not just one single frequency)
  14. Brennan Raposo

    Brennan Raposo Well-Known Member

    I'll start by saying that I completely respect your opinion, which clearly comes from a place of higher knowledge.
    However, once again you seem to be missing the point.

    To use your example... A diesel car sounds like a diesel car. No one in their right mind would walk into a dealership and complain about their diesel car making "diesel car" noises. However, when a Tesla, Leaf, Volt (in EV mode), Bolt, Focus EV, i3, Ioniq and Soul EV are all COMPLETELY SILENT, and your Kona is not...there is a problem. When 9/10 EV's are literally noise-free, your example is severely flawed.

    Again, I am not claiming that this is a safety issue or something is broken per se. All I am saying is that it SHOULD NOT be making noises and that this concern needs to be identified. Especially when apparently identical electronics/drive train are being used in Kia's and even other Hyundai's and those vehicles are completely silent.

    At my work place there are ALL of those vehicles I've listed above. There is a new and old Kia Soul EV, Ioniq EV and a Kia Niro EV and PHEV. I have driven in every one of them and all are completely silent. These same vehicles use apparently the same technology as is in our Kona's. Why do our Kona's hiss and the others do not?

    I think it's wrong to assume people are "over reacting", as you claim. $62,000 was not a small amount of money for me to drop on a vehicle. I don't think it's wrong of me to demand that my vehicle operate as quiet as another vehicle manufactured by the same company which purportedly uses the identical technology.

    If a "fix" comes out which rectifies the Hiss, you are more than welcome to pass up the service!
    ehatch, robxb, Vanryan and 2 others like this.
  15. Brennan Raposo

    Brennan Raposo Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear that!
    I'm in the process of having a part replaced. They've deemed this part to be the "issue" however I don't know if I agree.

    The one thing I will say is that the specialist Engineer that they sent in specifically to look at my vehicle 100% agreed with me that the vehicle should not be making this sound. We went for a 20 + minute drive under a few different driving dynamics and he acknowledged the sound and agreed that something was not right.

    Your situation sounds a lot like the first time I brought it in. The adviser took it for a 2 minute drive in the parking lot then told me the sounds I was hearing was VESS. I told him no - it's not and went for another drive with him. I pointed out the sound and he said "yea, it's supposed to make that sound. It has to do with the brake clips they choose to use" Which is clearly not the case.

    Please keep checking in - my next course of action will be legal if they don't resolve the issue with the next part ordered in from Korea.

    I think it's safe to say that I'd have enough support for a class-action suit if it came to that...
    When I hear reports of Kia Nero EV's, Soul EV's and Hyundai Ioniq EV's making an identical sound - I will drop everything and continue on with my life!
  16. MGrognon

    MGrognon New Member

    To be fair, there are other EVs that are not completely silent too ; I've noticed various sounds on some of them (only the Model 3 to my ear is 100% silent so far). The sounds vary from a high pitched note (Nissan Leafs) to a lower pitched hiss closer to a "hum" than a hiss if that makes any sense (Chevy Bolt) but the Kona is in a class of its own in terms of VOLUME (i.e. it is much louder than the other ones whether you are inside or outside the car) and of having a much more "annoying" frequency. I haven't seen an i3 or e-Niro (or heard one at low speeds rather) mind you but I have been inside a Bolt and Leaf ; I could hear the high pitched tone in the Leaf, I couldn't hear anything inside the Bolt.

    I'm not sure if this has been posted before, but there is a guy here in Quebec who did a video comparing the Kona VS Chevy Bolt VS Leaf posted on Youtube for the "hissing sound". It's in French unfortunately and the sound quality is poor, but I'm adding this to the thread for reference here. If you tune out the wind and VESS, you can hear the Kona's hiss in the 25-40 seconds window or so, especially around 30-35 seconds. The guy in the video does say he hears a noise on all 3 vehicules, but that it is much more pronounced on the Kona.

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  17. victor_2019

    victor_2019 Active Member

    It will depend on what this service implies. If my car will be in the dealership for weeks to change parts vs a firmware update, or if there are any other consequences of this update.

    I certainly won't be the first in line to get it.

    and as far as the other cars go, maybe they are quiet to you but not to others, just like the kona is noisy to you but not others?

    this is a very subjective thing, it depends to what high frequencies you are sensitive to.

    google for " [electric vehicle] motor whine" and you'll find lots of threads.

    here's one for tesla, where people do hear the motor whine under certain circumstances. or some people hear it all the time while others never do.


  18. Brennan Raposo

    Brennan Raposo Well-Known Member

    I honestly think what some people consider a "motor whine" is simply the "normal" jet-sound when you accelerate rapidly. So far, at least in my personal experience I have never once had anyone unable to hear the hiss sound coming from my car. This ranging in age from people my age - late 20's early 30's to people in their mid to late 60's. I will admit - I've never asked an elderly person if they can hear the noise as I don't have much access to elderly people lol.

    That being said. I can say with confidence that the vehicles at least at my work are silent aside from any VESS that they may have installed. I believe the reason people say the Model 3 is completely silent is because it doesn't have a VESS system. All of the other vehicles that I have access too have a VESS and are otherwise silent. When I leave our work parking lot, I've had people yell after me that I've forgotten my parking brake on. Others say I need new bearings or brake pads. All are shocked when I tell them my car is only 5 months old.

    That being said, a Hyundai engineer has confirmed that it shouldn't be making that sound and that's all the confirmation I need!

    @MGrognon I'll have to watch the video. I understand French so if there's anything awe inspiring in it - I'll translate for the group.
    BC-Doc, Esprit1st and MGrognon like this.
  19. MGrognon

    MGrognon New Member

    Adding another YouTube link of a guy (French again) that taped a cell phone on top of the protective plate in the "motor area" under the hood. He then drives around and does various things (ride under 30 kmh in residential area, floor the Kona from 0-90 kmh in sport mode, brake with only Regen paddle, etc)...

    Let's say that you can't miss the hissing sound on this one! Has me grinding my teeth listening with headset on.
  20. JerContact

    JerContact New Member

    That's the sound!! Around 2:30 in, what great proof! Thanks for the video. I'm actually putting in dynomat all over my car to see if that can help deaden the outside sound so i don't start going crazy...
  21. Brennan Raposo

    Brennan Raposo Well-Known Member

    You might only need to Dynomat the plastic "engine" cover if it's coming from the battery management unit/Inverter :)
  22. I feel really stupid but I'm still not hearing "the sound". I'm 54 and my ears are still pretty good - I hear better than average for my age - but I'm not hearing anything annoying. Again, I'm not dismissing what you're hearing but be aware that it would not be a universal complaint.
  23. XtsKonaTrooper

    XtsKonaTrooper Active Member

    Im pretty sure , im not hearing that hissing noise in my car but i will listen more for it.
    For ppl that hear it, i would temporarily remove the plastic cover to see if its wind swirling around it.

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