Drive-E engine knock[?] during acceleration
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    1. #1
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      Unhappy Drive-E engine knock[?] during acceleration

      I've been hearing 2 to 3 metallic knocks during hard acceleration since ~15k miles on my 2015.5 XC60 (Drive-E T5). After reading another thread in this forum (link below), I believe those were engine knocks. It makes sense because after switching to premium gas from regular, I hear the knocks less often and they were much less noticeable.

      Here is a thread on the S60/V60 forum where owners are complaining about the same thing, and as of today it has 300+ replies. If anyone else is experiencing the same thing, please chime in! I'd love to see this fixed.

      http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthr...n-accelerating

      EDIT: People in the thread have posted some videos. It should sound like this:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFg2...ature=youtu.be
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2XM...ature=youtu.be
      Last edited by jiehan; 03-05-2017 at 02:18 PM.

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    3. #2
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      Have you been using Top Tier gas? Volvo recommends it, at least for my model year.

      http://www.toptiergas.com/

      You may also want to try using alcohol free gas. Download the Pure Gas app on your phone for locations near you. Good luck!
      2016 XC60 T5 OSD (May 2016), 6 countries, 2500km

    4. #3
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      Hi SCwires,

      Yes, I always look for Top Tier! I've only been using Shell / BP / Exxon / ARCO / Chevron / 76. Are you suspecting it is caused by carbon buildup?

      Thanks for your suggestion about alcohol free. I will look into it!

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    6. #4
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      Just trying to rule out the easy fixes.
      2016 XC60 T5 OSD (May 2016), 6 countries, 2500km

    7. #5
      Member Bmo Pete's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by jiehan View Post
      Hi SCwires,

      Yes, I always look for Top Tier! I've only been using Shell / BP / Exxon / ARCO / Chevron / 76. Are you suspecting it is caused by carbon buildup?

      Thanks for your suggestion about alcohol free. I will look into it!
      What octane gas? I would use at least 91 octane. You also may have pumped in some bad/water contaminated gas. Perhaps try a bottle of Chevron Techron or Sta-bil 360 fuel system cleaner at your next fill-up. Pour in the cleaner first then fill-up with 91+ octane gas.
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    8. #6
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      Bmo,

      Thanks for your suggestions! I've been using 87 until the last tank (the minimum required by the owner's manual). I filled up with Shell 93 last week, and the knocking noise problem was reduced (but I still hear it once in a while--less noticeable).

      In the thread that I linked to, another owner pointed out that he/she started using premium gas and the problem went away. But gradually, even on 93, after six month he/she is back to the same situation as when he was using 87. They call the premium gas solution ... band-aid over the real problem!

      I did buy some Chevron Techron concentrate from Amazon! I will use them after having my dealer take a look at this (for a third time). And I will use 91+ from now on. Although it does bother me a little that if the manual says 87 should work, I don't really want to be forced to use a more expensive octane rating gas so that I don't get engine knocks...
      Last edited by jiehan; 03-06-2017 at 03:35 PM.

    9. #7
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      Sorry that you have this problem. It could be that there is a problem with the knock sensor. But this engine is a high compression turbocharged design. When the manual says that 87 octane is OK, it means that 87 will not cause catastrophic failure of your engine. When you use 87, and the engine is under load, the knock sensor will detect knocks and signal the engine computer to take heroic measures to keep your engine in one piece. The knock sensor is supposed to hear the knocks before they are audible to humans, but perhaps your hearing is excellent and/or the sensor is not optimal. That means the engine computer will cause substantially reduced performance and probably reduced fuel economy. Really, the engine is NOT designed for 87 octane.

      I have a T5 Drive-E engine and will always use premium 91 octane (all that is available here). No knocks heard yet.
      Dave, 2017 XC60 T5 AWD; previous: '04 XC70, '00 V70XC, '90 940T, '58 PV444

    10. #8
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      dlr97,

      Great explanation, and it makes a lot of sense! I will be sure to use 91+ from now on!

      I will also report back if the dealer finds anything tomorrow (I scheduled a service with them to look at my spark plugs; as well as to find out why my Auto Start/Stop is not working).

      EDIT: What's also interesting is that, I definite did not hear knocks before 10k miles! I wonder what have changed since then.

      EDIT 3/7/2017: Just got back from the dealer! They could not figure out why it was knocking, and they are waiting for tech hotline to get back to them, and then I will bring the car in for another service.
      Last edited by jiehan; 03-07-2017 at 01:43 PM.
      Current: 2017 XC90 T6 Momentum (Momentum Plus, Vision, Convenience)
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    11. #9
      Quote Originally Posted by jiehan View Post
      dlr97,

      Great explanation, and it makes a lot of sense! I will be sure to use 91+ from now on!

      I will also report back if the dealer finds anything tomorrow (I scheduled a service with them to look at my spark plugs; as well as to find out why my Auto Start/Stop is not working).

      EDIT: What's also interesting is that, I definite did not hear knocks before 10k miles! I wonder what have changed since then.
      Don't mean to take a wide detour in your thread, but I've got to say that the Start/Stop seems to be a very quirky feature. Have you ever read all of the scenarios where it won't work? Lots of them. Biggest on my MY15.0 is battery drain. If I've been working on something (LED installs, mostly), the S/S won't work properly until the battery is fully charged again. And as long as I don't do much work with the doors open then it continues to function. Work on anything with the doors open for any length of time and it will be several looooong miles before the S/S starts to work again. Just my take on it.

    12. #10
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      As to fuel, I do not know what you all are thinking? The difference between using premium(high test) and regular gas is about $.40 per gallon in my area. If you drive 12,000 miles/year and are getting 22 mpg combined as my wife is, using premium is costing you less than $250/year. That is $4+ per week. People, you are driving one if the finest autos made and have paid MANY thousands of dollars for it. Use premium gas as recommended by their engineers who know much more than we and eliminate that variable from the equation. If you can not bring yourself to do that, you are in the wrong vehicle.
      "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke
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    13. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by reward2 View Post
      As to fuel, I do not know what you all are thinking? The difference between using premium(high test) and regular gas is about $.40 per gallon in my area. If you drive 12,000 miles/year and are getting 22 mpg combined as my wife is, using premium is costing you less than $250/year. That is $4+ per week. People, you are driving one if the finest autos made and have paid MANY thousands of dollars for it. Use premium gas as recommended by their engineers who know much more than we and eliminate that variable from the equation. If you can not bring yourself to do that, you are in the wrong vehicle.
      If regular gas is the cause, I definitely regret using it. However this is my first car... I knew nothing about GDI and turbo when I bought it, so I just did the minimum that was required in the owners manual (87). It specifically said using regular will not affect engine reliability.

      And...premium is $.80 higher than regular here (Durham, NC)!
      Last edited by jiehan; 03-07-2017 at 01:46 PM.

    14. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by KennyE View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by jiehan View Post
      dlr97,

      Great explanation, and it makes a lot of sense! I will be sure to use 91+ from now on!

      I will also report back if the dealer finds anything tomorrow (I scheduled a service with them to look at my spark plugs; as well as to find out why my Auto Start/Stop is not working).

      EDIT: What's also interesting is that, I definite did not hear knocks before 10k miles! I wonder what have changed since then.
      Don't mean to take a wide detour in your thread, but I've got to say that the Start/Stop seems to be a very quirky feature. Have you ever read all of the scenarios where it won't work? Lots of them. Biggest on my MY15.0 is battery drain. If I've been working on something (LED installs, mostly), the S/S won't work properly until the battery is fully charged again. And as long as I don't do much work with the doors open then it continues to function. Work on anything with the doors open for any length of time and it will be several looooong miles before the S/S starts to work again. Just my take on it.
      I think it's battery too! In MY CAR screen there is a settings page under Drive-E that shows why Auto Start/Stop is not available. It's always "electrical system" for me! I don't have any modifications and I drive my car almost every day. Very odd!

      EDIT 3/7/2017: Just got back from the dealer! They could not figure out why it was knocking, and they are waiting for tech hotline to get back to them, and then I will bring the car in for another service.

      Regarding Auto Start/Stop, they wrote this note: "test drove to verify complaint, start stop not working at this time (electrical message) // fault trace with VIDA, no codes for issue // performed total software can upgrade SW#31288069 // check battery battery checks good 12.44 volts // rechecked start/stop still not working // performed battery reset // test drove start/stop working to specs at this time"

      So, it looks like a "battery reset" solved it. Not sure if the root cause is resolved, but we will see.
      Last edited by jiehan; 03-07-2017 at 01:37 PM.

    15. #13
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      Came back from dealership for this issue (and other). Tech hotline instructed dealer to pull spark plugs and send pictures. Got my spark plugs replaced.

      The following were written on the receipt:
      removed spark plugs and checked as per tech hot li
      ne reference #508354
      # 3 sparkplug insulator is cracked and missing
      all others check ok
      replaced all sparkplugs
      sent picture of old plugs to tech hotline
      vida connect showed no fault codes stored or activ
      e
      Drove about 40 minutes and tried to accelerate on inclines, no knocks yet. Dealer instructed to go back to 87 and see what happens (so that we know if new spark plugs truly fixed it).

      Dealer also said this replaced plug were a different part number, as instructed by tech hotline. Hopefully this fixes the root cause!
      Current: 2017 XC90 T6 Momentum (Momentum Plus, Vision, Convenience)
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    16. #14
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      Same knocking

      I've had a new xc60 for 2 weeks now and have the exact same issue. Sounds like a diesel going uphill on the way home. I've been running premium fuel without success. I've been searching for others with the same engine who may have had the same sounds. I'll be going to the dealer this week...fingers crossed that they can address this. I hope your still running smooth.

    17. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by RJoli View Post
      I've had a new xc60 for 2 weeks now and have the exact same issue. Sounds like a diesel going uphill on the way home. I've been running premium fuel without success. I've been searching for others with the same engine who may have had the same sounds. I'll be going to the dealer this week...fingers crossed that they can address this. I hope your still running smooth.
      Well, just last night (1 day after spark plug replacement) I think I heard something again during acceleration. Very faintly, and I am not 100% sure that it's the same knocking sound, but I will keep listening for it.

      EDIT - enabled ECO mode and drove for 20 miles today. Heard two instances of the knocks again: each has three very clear knocking sound. I was trying to move over to the passing lane, heard the knocks, and this thing won't accelerate! The other time I was turning left at a green light (no arrow so I have to yield), so I wanted to minimize my time at the intersection; accelerated and heard the knocks. Didn't experience loss of power this second time.
      Last edited by jiehan; 03-29-2017 at 11:05 PM.
      Current: 2017 XC90 T6 Momentum (Momentum Plus, Vision, Convenience)
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    18. #16
      My 2015.5 T5e has a slight hesitation when accelerating moderately fast. Don't notice knocking though. Every once in awhile it has a significant hesitation (like a big stumble with power loss) accompanied by a huge bang against the cargo floor. It's a FWD and the banging sounds like the exhaust slamming the cargo floor.

      Has done this for 48k miles.

      Had it at the dealer yesterday and they found nothing. I suggested the spark plugs but they didn't think that was the problem.

      Still have the minor hesitation. The major stumble/banging is less common so haven't notice that yet.

    19. #17
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      My wife has a 2013 T6 and we love it. It is a proven power plant and when she trades, the current engine will probably in her vehicle. Do any of you know how common this hesitation/loss of power is with this new engine? Thanks.
      "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke
      2007 S60R Magic Blue Metallic/Gobi MT 70,000+ miles (IPD intercooler, Hawk ceramics)
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    20. #18
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      Guys, just something I dealt with on one of my 2.0T Audi's..may not be at all related: At one of my regular oil change services, the tech overfilled the oil; not long after I started hearing more prevalent clacking or knocking. Days later upon applying WOT, the low oil pressure (major) warning came on then went out. I thought maybe it was a glitch (not unusual for Audi's), but then it happened again a few days later, and that time the engine went into limp mode. I had the car towed to the dealer, where they told me I must have overfilled the engine (which I didn't touch). They then charged me for another oil change, and said the car was fine. Turns-out the oil overfill caused an oil pick-up issue which resulted in oil starvation....thus clackety clack in general, and starvation upon hard accelleration. Yes, too much oil starved the engine of oil. Oh, and yes the engine was never the same (clacking somewhat there-after), lasting only about another 10K. I took it too another dealer who pronounced the engine dead, with metal shavings in the oil pan.

      I know you can't check the oil level physically with a dip stick on the Drive-e's, but just something to consider? Maybe the dealer can verify the oil level reading in the car? Unusual clacking or knocking could be oil related also.
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    21. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Bmo Pete View Post
      Guys, just something I dealt with on one of my 2.0T Audi's..may not be at all related: At one of my regular oil change services, the tech overfilled the oil; not long after I started hearing more prevalent clacking or knocking. Days later upon applying WOT, the low oil pressure (major) warning came on then went out. I thought maybe it was a glitch (not unusual for Audi's), but then it happened again a few days later, and that time the engine went into limp mode. I had the car towed to the dealer, where they told me I must have overfilled the engine (which I didn't touch). They then charged me for another oil change, and said the car was fine. Turns-out the oil overfill caused an oil pick-up issue which resulted in oil starvation....thus clackety clack in general, and starvation upon hard accelleration. Yes, too much oil starved the engine of oil. Oh, and yes the engine was never the same (clacking somewhat there-after), lasting only about another 10K. I took it too another dealer who pronounced the engine dead, with metal shavings in the oil pan.

      I know you can't check the oil level physically with a dip stick on the Drive-e's, but just something to consider? Maybe the dealer can verify the oil level reading in the car? Unusual clacking or knocking could be oil related also.
      I no longer have my XC60, but during the last repair they replaced the oil trap, and found the oil level to be slightly low (by just .2 quarts). I still have the knocking after topping off oil (as well as before the oil trap replacement, when oil was low, of course).
      Current: 2017 XC90 T6 Momentum (Momentum Plus, Vision, Convenience)
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