Annoying sound--ideas?

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Autocross' started by jimclark, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. jimclark

    jimclark Active Member

    Apologies in advance for the length of the post; I've tried to be concise but thorough, and this is what I've produced. For about the last six weeks or so, I've had an annoying sound coming from my FiST as I drive, and I'm not sure what to make of it. Any useful suggestions or ideas about what it is and what to do about it would be greatly appreciated. I love my car, but it's hard to convince others of the splendid nature of my beautiful little Race Red FiST when it makes an odd, potentially worrisome, and at the moment inexplicable sound.

    Context: the car has not quite 6000 miles on it. The only significant modification done is the installation of a drop-in K&N air filter back in March/April or so. The sound did NOT arise until several weeks later. I drive the car primarily in city traffic, around and about town locally, but it has made a few highway trips as well. In addition, I've taken up autocross with the local club this year, and I've done four local events and the Starting Line school. The oil has been changed a couple times, the first at about 700 miles or so. No check engine lights, ever, and I also use, when running about town, a device plugged in to the OBD-II port, called an Automatic Link, which communicates to me about gas mileage, how efficient my driving habits are, etc. It also monitors the engine and thus far has always indicated that no problems have been detected, which I interpret as no fault codes arising, though I don't know how completely the device monitors all the information accessible through that port. In driving about, I've not noticed any decrement in performance or other issues.

    I now describe the sound as a moderately high-pitched blowing sound, almost a whine, that sounds somewhat like blowing across the top of a partially filled wine bottle. It arises when the throttle is pressed and the engine is under modest to moderate load, at RPMs somewhere between 2K and 3.5K. As the modest strain on the engine is relieved, the sound ceases, and it recurs when the right combination of engine workload and RPM arises. It is somewhat variable in intensity, being easily heard at times, and at other times not as noticeable. It is, however, now nearly always present. It seems to my ear to come from the rear of the engine bay. It is not usually heard when revving the car in neutral.

    I took the vehicle to the dealer from which I bought the car just over a month ago to have them check it out. The appointment was in the afternoon, and I drove around a fair bit, running errands and the like, before arriving at the service department, already knowing that the sound was less prominent than it had been earlier in the day. After sitting a while, off, a tech and I got in the car for a short drive, and although I could barely discern the sound, the tech could not make it out, and so nothing further was done. Although this might suggest that the sound lessens as the engine warms, I've not been able to confirm by other observations that there is such a pattern to its presence.

    The character of the noise is not pleasant, and I don't think it is one that auto engineers and designers would want to have emanating from the car--for me, it disrupts the pleasure of listening to the engine as I drive.

    Of concern is that it seems only a minority of owners are noticing this sound, so calling it "normal" without further explanation as to what it is and why only some of us experience it is less than fulfilling. In addition, one member of the forum who confirms that the sound was present in his vehicle experienced a transmission breakdown on a recent road trip, and is reportedly getting a new gearbox installed. Further details not yet available.

    Here's a short video demonstrating the sound:

    If you've read this far, thank you. If you've got helpful suggestions/ideas, a double thanks is due. Ford personnel are trying to address the problem, and I've got another service appointment Monday morning. I love my car--I just want this sound eliminated, so I can go back to driving with a silly grin on my face all the time.
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  3. jasyatz

    jasyatz Member

    crazy noise. I watched the video before reading the thread. My initial impressions were " man that car has a lot of gear noise, almost like a straight cut gear box or he's got a supercharger on it" but was listening for a rattle or buzz or something else. Didn't hear anything else so I read the thread to see what you were describing. Sounds like you need to head back to the dealer, and make sure they hear that. That can't be " characteristic of product design" or more simply " normal". When I was back at Acura some 2 decades ago, noises like that usually grenade into full gear rebuilds/replacements.
  4. jasyatz

    jasyatz Member

    I'm going to leave my initial comment but let me also give you another fault diagnosis I ran into. Similar noise but was caused by RFI feedback coming from a mobile device charger bleeding back into the speakers creating a "whine that varied with engine rpm" I unplugged his phone charger and noise gone.. Plugged it back in, and instant "vroom vroom" noise again... hopefully it's this one.. Also make sure your air filter housing is snapped back all the way on. Not that I hear any of that type of noise in the video, but definitely worth a look. Sometimes you miss a tab when locking back into place and causes a suction leak at the housing and releasing more induction noise.

    Note: after listening to the video 3 more times, check this first. It's has a growl on initial throttle tip in that sounds like you have either at SRI or CAI on the car..Check for an induction leak and make sure the filter is orientated properly in the recess so the lid seals.
  5. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Representative

    I'm glad to hear your dealer's looking into this. If you'd like me to loop in your customer service manager for additional assistance, please let me know.

    jimclark likes this.
  6. jimclark

    jimclark Active Member

    First, a word to Meagan: Brittany (apparently another Ford Service rep. who haunts these pages) saw this on another thread and has already elevated this to the attention of the RCSM, a wonderful woman named Anne who called me on Friday to ensure I had an appointment set up, etc. I am very, very pleased and happy with Ford's response to this.

    Now, back to jasyatz: It's definitely not the RFI feedback issue. Nothing plugged in. As for air filter housing, I had previously battened all hatches and gotten out the #20 Torx driver and ensured we're snugged down. Good idea, though--we both thought of it! Can't find an induction/intake leak, though I've looked. The car's only mod. has been the installation of a K&N filter, as noted, and so filter housing leak is possible, but it's certainly not due to any other modifications.

    Finally, a word regarding what the shop foreman at the dealer said this AM: Though the sound was far from its most prominent this AM (the gods apparently like to have a chuckle whenever I take a vehicle in for something like this), he was able to hear it, and he described it back to me just as I'd heard it, too. He is taking the information and will be contacting various and sundry folks over the next day or so and then getting back to me with a plan. He also seems to think it's likely associated with boost/induction/etc., but didn't pooh-pooh the story about the gearbox rebuild another forum member is about to get due to transmission failure being associated with this. He doesn't seem to think it's particularly serious, but he's taking it for prompt action/investigation, and for that I'm also very pleased and happy.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  7. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Representative

    Awesome! Brittany had taken over for me for a bit, but now I'm back. I'm so happy to hear she was able to help you out & get everything taken care of. :)

  8. jimclark

    jimclark Active Member

    Welcome back!
  9. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Representative


  10. mbraun

    mbraun New Member

    Hi. I just bought a used fiesta st and I have the exact (blow over a bottle) sound. It comes when there is partial throttle, goes away when off throttle. It is annoying (especially in 1st gear) Anyway, was there any resolution to this problem?
  11. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Representative

    Hi mbraun,

    I'll be happy to check out some options. Have you had a chance to visit your dealer? Please let me know, along with your mileage, and I'll take a look.

  12. mbraun

    mbraun New Member

    I am taking the car into the dealer tomorrow for a oil leak (seems its spraying the passenger side engine bay and leaking down onto the intercooler pipe before dripping on my garage floor. This sound (as many have attested to) is difficult to diagnose and I'm afraid that without some other people's experiences, they will not know where to proceed. There are enough threads about this (most chock it up to induction noise) but many don't have this sound. I was hoping someone had come to a realizeation by now! thanks. (oh, I'm from canada, the car has 11 000 km.)
  13. FordService

    FordService Official Ford Representative

    Thanks for the update! I'm looping in our Ford Canada reps. :)

  14. FORZDA 2

    FORZDA 2 Member

    The problem sounds like the "sound symposer" box has an air leak under boost, or something similar. The tube leading into the interior may be cracked, loose, or otherwise faulty. Check it out...
  15. FordServiceCA

    FordServiceCA Official Ford Representative

    Hey mbraun,

    Thanks for posting about your concern. I'm happy to look this over and see how I can assist. Please PM your name, VIN, dealer, and best daytime phone number, and I'll get started.

    Thanks for looping me in, Meagan! :)

  16. Steve@Tasca

    Steve@Tasca Fiesta ST Network Sponsor

    OP, did you ever try swapping a stock filter back in?

  17. FiestaST Milton

    FiestaST Milton New Member

    Hi Everyone, From Milton Ontario Canada Here.

    I have the same noise in my car and It is driving me Insane! Purchased my Fiesta ST in June of 2015.
    I have already been to the dealer and of course they cannot hear it. I was told to bring it back in once the sound becomes louder.
    The dealer told me that if a technician was to look at my vehicle and found nothing they would have to charge me and they didnt want to charge me.

    I am trying to get another appointment but it takes time with my dealer they are always booked up two weeks in advance.
  18. Steve@Tasca

    Steve@Tasca Fiesta ST Network Sponsor

    Do they have another ST on the lot? If they do ask to test drive it with the service adviser.
  19. TapTapPull

    TapTapPull Active Member

  20. TapTapPull

    TapTapPull Active Member

    Watched the video - that is absolutely the same sound as me!

    Here's my video from the thread linked above:

    Please keep us posted with what comes of it.

    EDIT: I see this thread was made over a year ago - what was the result?
  21. Smokin

    Smokin Active Member

    It's a little induction noise. nothing to worry about. My car has over 300 AX and RX runs and still does it leaving the parking garage at work. And under light throttle. Don't worry about it for chrise sakes.....

    This is mostly the reason I left this forum last year. A whole lot of worry about a whole lot of nothing........

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