Tapping or Creaking Noise when coasting at low speed

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by wizziwig, Jun 8, 2019.

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Do you hear the same noise?

  1. Yes, I hear the same noise

    59 vote(s)
  2. No, I don't hear the noise

    26 vote(s)
  1. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    Got about 1000 miles on the car so far and started noticing a rapid tapping, creaking, or rattling noise coming from the drivetrain. I only hear it at very slow speeds (around 10 mph) such as navigating around a parking lot. After doing some experiments, I have come up with the best steps to reproduce it:

    1) Turn off regen by pulling the right paddle until you see regen at level 0. This allows the vehicle to coast without any automatic regen braking applied so that it will stay at constant speed when you let go of the accelerator.
    2) If your version has the option to turn off VESS, please turn it off so the artificial engine sounds don't interfere with the test.
    3) Accelerate to about 15 mph and then let go off the accelerator and brake pedals, allowing the car to coast.
    4) As the car slows down to about 5-10 mph, I begin to hear this noise.
    5) If I turn the gear selector dial to Neutral, the noise instantly disappears. This confirms it's not coming from the wheels or brakes. My best guess is that it's coming from motor or reduction gear.

    I have attached a recording of the noise. You can hear me accelerating to about 15 mph several times and then letting go off the pedals to let it coast. The tapping noise begins at a certain speed and then slows down in frequency as the car decelerates down to 5 mph.

    Can some other owners try this test so that I can confirm if this is normal on this model or some kind of defect? Please don't vote unless you've done the testing using the procedure I outlined or have already heard the noise during your regular driving. Thanks.

    Attached Files:

    natesc0tt and BrionS like this.
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  3. Lektrons

    Lektrons Member

    I'll have a listen again but I have not noticed this noise.
  4. TandM

    TandM Active Member

    We are nearing 3500 miles and have this same noise (though I can honestly say I have never had my regen set to zero so I don't think that is a factor). It seems normal to me (and my electric engineer husband isn't alarmed either)
  5. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    Thanks for confirming. Setting regen to zero was just a method to make the noise most obvious. It can definitely be heard at other times once you know what to listen for. Seems to me like it starts any time the drivetrain is not under any load - either from acceleration or from regen breaking and is just free coasting down below a certain speed. I hear it many times when just parking the car but usually not when driving around.

    This is my third EV and I've not heard this noise before so just wanted to confirm that it's typical for this Hyundai/Kia drivetrain.

    Have you tried if your noise also disappears if you turn the gear selector to neutral while it's emitting the noise?
  6. That definitely is not a normal sound for a new vehicle.I would let dealer's service department have a whack at it.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  8. TandM

    TandM Active Member

    Yes, the neutral thing works the same way on my EV as well. I suspect the noise has something to do with the motor picking back up the power from regen.
  9. Yes. I have a Kona and I posted about hearing this the other day in exactly the situation you describe. To me it is quite clearly the meshing of gears.
  10. I suspect you are correct because the only thing changing in N is that there is no motor current.
  11. Can you locate where is seems to come from? I think it sounds like something's vibrating in the glovebox or trunk.

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
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  13. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    You think it's still using regen even when set to level-0? I do wonder if the noise isn't caused by the way Niro/Kona operate their "creep" mode. When you let go of both pedals as I described, the car will eventually enter this automatic coasting "creep" mode where it continues moving at a constant slow speed. That speed is right around the time where the noise begins. Maybe the creep is done with some sort of short pulses of power that cause this ticking sound - especially if there is any kind of slack in the gears that relaxes between the pulses.

    So has anyone with the Kona or Niro brought this up with their dealer? My dealer has been very dismissive of any software bugs and issues that I have brought up thus far so I'm doubtful they will do anything. They also don't seem very knowledgeable about EVs and I'm afraid of them messing around in there and making things worse.
  14. hnajafi

    hnajafi New Member

    I have same noise from my Kona 2019 10k on it. it’s from transmission and they called (Reducer), dealer replaced twice still can hear but not too loud now. Very disappointed from Hyundai with there car quality issue.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  15. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    Sounds like reduction gear as I suspected since it stops when going into Neutral gear.

    Over those 10K, was the noise consistent or did it get worse over time before your next repair? I can live with my current level of noise if it stays this way forever. But these type of noises sometimes come from something making uneven contact or friction which will eventually cause increased wear on some component and keep getting worse.
    BrionS likes this.
  16. hnajafi

    hnajafi New Member

    The noise got worse overtime. I still can hear it now with third replacement, it comes and goes but it’s much less noise then the second transmission reducer replacement. I was told that many of Kona’s owners are experiencing transmission clicking noise issues, hopefully someday Hyundai will listen and find fix the issue if they really care about quality of there vehicles.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
    BrionS likes this.
  17. PAC

    PAC New Member

    This thread is interesting, and discouraging for a potential Niro buyer. Over on the the Kona forum people are reporting a high-pitched noise -- not a clicking like is described here. The noise on the Konas is so high-pitched that not everyone can hear it. See https://insideevsforum.com/community/index.php?threads/high-pitched-motor-noise.5510/page-6#post-66427. It makes me wonder if Hyundai/Kia hasn't yet figured out how to manufacture an EV. I hope I am wrong, because these vehicles sound very attractive in most other ways.
  18. You would think they have some experience with the Hyundai Ioniq!?

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
  19. Bill Benstead

    Bill Benstead New Member

    Andre Laurence likes this.
  20. That is exactly what I was going to post. It would seem that the input shaft requires alignment to solve the issue, but please beware that not all dealships are equal when it comes to EV repair. Some have stated the issue is worse after the dealer tried to align the input shaft. My Niro EV started making this noise, but to a much lesser extent, at about 6000km. I now have 8400km and this noise stopped about 1000km ago. It does however make the high pitched "brake pad" noise that is also mentioned in the same forum thread as quoted above. Today I went to the dealer and they asked me to record the noise to send it to Kia Canada.
  21. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    Based on my research, the odds of a successful repair are 50% at best. The other 50% could end up with worse noise than before the repair or an eventual return of the problem. It's just a poorly designed EV drivetrain (possibly because it has to fit inside 3 different EVs (Niro, Soul, and Kona) and connect with other parts originally designed for a traditional engine) that is difficult to keep properly aligned over the long term. You either have the noise already or your're going to get the noise eventually. This is why I've been reluctant to get it repaired until it gets really bad. Beyond the tapping/drumming noise, you also have the high-pitched "brake pad like" noise that seems to affect some Konas and Niros. Luckily I don't have that noise yet.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  22. The tapping sound was only present very shortly and was not loud, but the high pitched sound is not going away and like you said, I am reluctant to have it fixed as it may get worse. I read similar stories.
  23. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    Good example of the noise captured by another owner. It's extremely loud in this video because he captured it from under the hood. The file I attached in the first post was captured from inside the cabin. I'm taking my car in for service tomorrow.

    JohnHealey, BrionS, jayc1358 and 3 others like this.

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