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Buick Forum: Noises coming from the front?
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  1. #1
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    Noises coming from the front?

    We just bought a new '17 Envision with the 2.0 Turbo engine. Still getting used to the features, but with under 2000 miles we've noticed a sound I can only describe as a blower motor with a bearing going out. It is doubtful that it is actually the blower motor, but it's the only sound I've heard that's similar. It comes and goes; is NOT dependent on engine speed and always has the same tone (or pitch), which is rather low and fluttery. I would also describe it as a lower-pitched version of the suction device used at the dentist office. Absent of motor noise, it could remind you of the sound at the end of a vacuum hose. It typically starts unexpectedly and lasts only 3-5 seconds. It's loud enough to be heard from the backseat. My 80-year old mother-in-law heard it, as did my son. As the driver, I can almost "feel" it.

    We have taken it back to the dealer but the service department there is nowhere near as competent as the sales department was in selling us the car. They drove it for 70 miles and tried to give it back with a shrug, "never heard a thing". We insisted they keep it and drive it so one of their service tech's drove it back and forth to work, putting another 200 miles on the car. Nothing.

    We drive it approximately 70 miles round-trip to work and hear it every day. It sometimes seems tied to acceleration; other times it seems to come on when following a car or in windy conditions. Never lasts long, never sounds different (it's either making the noise or it isn't). It only happens at speed over 30 mph, never when sitting still. I've tried changing things; turning off cruise control, varying the speed of the blower fan, turning the wheel slightly left or right when it happens (or trying to make it happen), etc.

    I'm at a loss, so I came here to see if anyone else has experienced this. On a side note, we were loaned another Envision while ours was being evaluated. Our loaner was a non-turbo car and never made a sound similar to ours.

  2. #2
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    dale_z28...I have a '16 2.0, haven't had any such noise. Have 9,400 miles on it. Have you tried turning off the On/Off power for the A/C-Heat control to see if that makes the noise not come on? You mentioned changing the blower fan. Drive with the that system off...maybe that's it? Could it be power steering related, since you say you almost feel it.

    If not, try another dealer.

  3. #3
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    Thanks for the reply. No, it's not the fan or anything in the cabin. It seems farther forward and lower, almost like a weird spark-knock, but isn't happening due to acceleration. It does it with or without cruise-control. Doesn't seem to be related to octane, as we have run different octanes and the sound hasn't changed. We may have to go elsewhere to find a competent service department. Thanks again

  4. #4
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    ANY possibility it is tire related, depending on speed and/or road surface?

  5. #5
    NormT's Avatar
    NormT is offline Turbo-4 power! My Buick(s): Turbo Envision
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    Try manually down shifting a gear. If you put the selector in "L" or manual it'll automatically downshift a gear. It could be the torque converter or trans pump.

  6. #6
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    Quote Originally Posted by dale_z28 View Post
    We just bought a new '17 Envision with the 2.0 Turbo engine. Still getting used to the features, but with under 2000 miles we've noticed a sound I can only describe as a blower motor with a bearing going out. It is doubtful that it is actually the blower motor, but it's the only sound I've heard that's similar. It comes and goes; is NOT dependent on engine speed and always has the same tone (or pitch), which is rather low and fluttery. I would also describe it as a lower-pitched version of the suction device used at the dentist office. Absent of motor noise, it could remind you of the sound at the end of a vacuum hose. It typically starts unexpectedly and lasts only 3-5 seconds. It's loud enough to be heard from the backseat. My 80-year old mother-in-law heard it, as did my son. As the driver, I can almost "feel" it.

    We have taken it back to the dealer but the service department there is nowhere near as competent as the sales department was in selling us the car. They drove it for 70 miles and tried to give it back with a shrug, "never heard a thing". We insisted they keep it and drive it so one of their service tech's drove it back and forth to work, putting another 200 miles on the car. Nothing.

    We drive it approximately 70 miles round-trip to work and hear it every day. It sometimes seems tied to acceleration; other times it seems to come on when following a car or in windy conditions. Never lasts long, never sounds different (it's either making the noise or it isn't). It only happens at speed over 30 mph, never when sitting still. I've tried changing things; turning off cruise control, varying the speed of the blower fan, turning the wheel slightly left or right when it happens (or trying to make it happen), etc.

    I'm at a loss, so I came here to see if anyone else has experienced this. On a side note, we were loaned another Envision while ours was being evaluated. Our loaner was a non-turbo car and never made a sound similar to ours.


    Hello dale_z28,

    We regret to hear of your Envision’s noise concerns. This is certainly not the experience that we want our customers to have. Unfortunately, we’re unable to speculate on the technical aspects of your concern as we’re not trained technicians. However, we would be more than happy to reach out to your dealership to gather some additional information on your concern. Or we would be more than happy to connect you with an additional dealership but we cannot guarantee a different outcome. If this is of interest to you, please provide us with your contact information, current mileage, VIN and your preferred GM dealership in a private message. To learn more about our Privacy Policy, please visit: http://www.gm.com/privacy-statement.html. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best,
    Jerel J.
    Buick Customer Care
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  7. #7
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    Quote Originally Posted by TxTom View Post
    ANY possibility it is tire related, depending on speed and/or road surface?
    Hi Tom, Sorry I haven't been around lately to reply. No, the noise blends somewhat - and sounds similar - with road noise but is noticeably louder. We've finally talked out original salesman into taking a ride with US, vs a ride along he took with the service manager ( and I use that term very loosely) and a tech. The salesman heard what he described as a cycling sound, such as a fuel pump might make, and since he was riding in the backseat, he may have heard the pump.

    After riding with us and identifying the sound WE hear, he then described it to the service mgr and when HE called us, he's pretty confident that it's the radio (I'm not kidding).

    this from the service dept that managed to scratch 2 of 4 wheels doing our first free oil change. Go figure.

  8. #8
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    The noise seems most prevalent/most likely to occur at or above 1800 RPM and above 50 MPH, so at this point I'm leery a downshift might hurt something

  9. #9
    NormT's Avatar
    NormT is offline Turbo-4 power! My Buick(s): Turbo Envision
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    The manual mode shifting was design just for that. Give it try...preferably close to home.

  10. #10
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    Manually shifting the car is fun, but doesn't seem to impact our noise issue at all. Our dealership has finally heard the noise and admits it is coming from the engine compartment. We have had one wheel replaced due to the tire technicians rough-handling of the impact guns while rotating our tires. Another new wheel is on order for the second damaged wheel. At this rate, I'll have all new wheels in 10k miles (after the second oil change/tire rotation). If it didn't sound like the main bearings were going bad, I'd love this car. But that sound is a little hard to ignore. Unless you work at a GM service center. If things don't improve soon, I'm going to start seeking legal means to rectify this situation.

  11. #11
    NormT's Avatar
    NormT is offline Turbo-4 power! My Buick(s): Turbo Envision
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    I had you manually shift to hold the rpm or mph with a different gear, like one higher or lower. It doesn't sound like it is the engine.

    Does it sound like someone let air out of balloon and stopping, correlated to the throttle input?
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  12. #12
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    My Envision Premium II has a random noise that happens sometimes when the vehicle is traveling up an incline in the road. This seems to happen when when giving the engine slight gas but not enough to cause a shift in torque (? shift to higher RPM). The noise sounds like a shimmer or shake. I thought this might be pinging, knocking caused due to my use of 87 octane gas but I am now using 91+ octane gas and the noise continues to show up on occasions. I am wondering if this is possibly the same thing you have been experiencing. I am also wondering what the status of your problem is at this time. I am going through similar issues with dealer service department diagnosing what could be going on with my vehicle.

  13. #13
    NormT's Avatar
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    Quote Originally Posted by dale_z28 View Post
    We just bought a new '17 Envision with the 2.0 Turbo engine. Still getting used to the features, but with under 2000 miles we've noticed a sound I can only describe as a blower motor with a bearing going out. It is doubtful that it is actually the blower motor, but it's the only sound I've heard that's similar. It comes and goes; is NOT dependent on engine speed and always has the same tone (or pitch), which is rather low and fluttery. I would also describe it as a lower-pitched version of the suction device used at the dentist office. Absent of motor noise, it could remind you of the sound at the end of a vacuum hose. It typically starts unexpectedly and lasts only 3-5 seconds. It's loud enough to be heard from the backseat. My 80-year old mother-in-law heard it, as did my son. As the driver, I can almost "feel" it.

    We have taken it back to the dealer but the service department there is nowhere near as competent as the sales department was in selling us the car. They drove it for 70 miles and tried to give it back with a shrug, "never heard a thing". We insisted they keep it and drive it so one of their service tech's drove it back and forth to work, putting another 200 miles on the car. Nothing.

    We drive it approximately 70 miles round-trip to work and hear it every day. It sometimes seems tied to acceleration; other times it seems to come on when following a car or in windy conditions. Never lasts long, never sounds different (it's either making the noise or it isn't). It only happens at speed over 30 mph, never when sitting still. I've tried changing things; turning off cruise control, varying the speed of the blower fan, turning the wheel slightly left or right when it happens (or trying to make it happen), etc.

    I'm at a loss, so I came here to see if anyone else has experienced this. On a side note, we were loaned another Envision while ours was being evaluated. Our loaner was a non-turbo car and never made a sound similar to ours.
    We can hear the turbocharger whistle under acceleration when the windows are down. Especially if there are cement barriers or large curbs to reflect the sound. It usually happens at 25-45 mph and under light load.

  14. #14
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

    OK, here's the scoop. After numerous trips to the service dept and them never hearing the "noise", we happened to have a flat tire (hit a chunk of concrete on the highway) and as soon as I put the spare on, the "noise" was almost continuous. SO FINALLY the service dept got their wish ( a constant sound to trace). All this after nearly 10,000 miles of denial by the local dealer and a GM rep that came down to check it out. Note: Early-on they had performed a software upgrade per a service bulletin buick service bulletin.jpgto the rear differential clutch module, which reduced the number of times it produced the sound.

    During the troubleshooting of the issue this last time (with the spare on), the software was updated again, this time by a GM field engineer. I believe they did more of a "hard reboot", wiping and reinstalling the software. This eliminated the noise completely. They also found the same issue with another Envision on their lot with 400 miles on it and fixed it the same way. Since our car had 10k on it and they could not show us that there was - or was not - wear on the rear diff due to the issue, they replaced the entire rear assy.

  15. #15
    NormT's Avatar
    NormT is offline Turbo-4 power! My Buick(s): Turbo Envision
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    Re: Noises coming from the front?

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    Good news on the dealership or GM service rep making the call. Keep us updated at 15K or 20K miles.

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