Whining Sound With no Noticeable Change in Handling
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    1. #1
      Awaiting Approval
      Join Date
      Mar 2020

      Whining Sound With no Noticeable Change in Handling

      Hi all,

      I searched a couple threads to find a similar issue but nothing posted before quite matches what I'm hearing. Reddit and youtube didn't turn up results either.

      I'm driving a 2017 XC60 T6 AWD, 31k miles and the recent 30k mile manufacturer's maintenance visit didn't turn up any issues. The only service the car has had was to replace the brake pads on all four wheels about a year ago. I got the car used about three months ago and have been driving it almost daily since. It passed my mechanic's inspection with no issues and the test-drive didn't turn up the problem below. I've recently noticed a persistent whine that sounds like when a mosquito or a gnat buzzes into your ear coming from the area of the front passenger side of the car. It is hard to pin down if the sound is coming from the engine block or the wheel well. My wife claims she can hear it coming from the driver side but I've only noticed it from the passenger side. It only occurs loudly when I've accelerated up to around 60-65 mph however I can sometimes hear it at echoing off of fences/guard rails/surfaces at slower speeds if I drive with the window down. If I increase my speed, the whining gets higher in pitch and vice versa.

      There is no change in how the car handles, the turning is smooth and there is no vibration. I have tried unscrewing/tightening the various fluid caps under the hood and I have also tried playing with the climate fan speeds and temperatures, opening and closing the air vents, muting or turning off the radio; all to no avail.

      Volvo service couldn't hear it however my mechanic was able to reproduce the sound and said they would set up a future appointment to take another look.

      On other forums I've gotten suggestions that it could be the power steering pump (my fluid level was fine), the alternator, wheel bearings, or cracked hoses in the engine's cooling system; my mechanic checked out the steering pump but not the others.

      Here is a recording of the sound that a friend was able to get and clean up for me:


      Any thoughts?

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    3. #2
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Oct 2018
      Not coming from oil trap (pcv system)?

      AC and blower motor off?

    4. #3
      Junior Member generic_volvo_driver's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 2017
      British Columbia
      Does this sound occur when it's just been turned off?

      My 2013 XC90, 2012 XC60 and family member's 2015 XC60 all make a noise like this (I could confirm with my spectrum analyzer) when certain electrical modules are active.
      The frequency by ear is identical.
      I've always thought it was sine switching power supply's inductor whining.

      The 2015 XC60 sometimes makes a whining noise that sounds like power steering, but I haven't nailed it down. It's intermittent and not the same frequency as your sound.
      2013 Volvo XC90 AWD Platinum (Caspian Blue Metallic, climate package, walnut inlays + wheel, BLIS, active bi-xenon headlights) 150k km
      2012 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Platinum (Technology package, climate package) 30k km
      1988 Nissan 300ZX Turbo (2+2, T-top, Aztec Red, collector plates) 80k km
      Family members:
      2015 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Platinum (Technology package) 96k km

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    6. #4
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Jan 2011
      Can you get next to a wall or fence, put the car in neutral and rev the engine to determine if the sound is related to engine speed or vehicle speed?

      With regards to your messing with climate settings - have you turned the compressor off and on to see if the sound is affected?
      2007 S40 T5

    7. #5
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Oct 2014
      Alternator. Wife's XC60 whines from mile 0. Shameful made in India SKF bearings...

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