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Dronning noise


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Hi guys. Still not got to the bottom of this low whirring/dronning noise which is only present upto 30-32 mph. I've had the tyres checked which are months old and the wheel bearings but my local garage could not find a fault.

Is this just the sound these cars make at this speed? Wondering if its the electric motor?  Any ideas please? Thanks in advance. 

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Lien, I’ve noticed exactly the same on my Prius. It’s never affected the performance & I had though it was a wheel bearing but it’s never really got worse. The cars coming up to its 4th year service & has done 33000 miles. I will mention it next month when I take the car in. In the meantime if there’s any other info please let us know.

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Thanks for the info. Mine has done 73000 and the bearings were only done in Feb this year. I am suspecting the previous owner has tried to save a few quid and done the job himself. Let me know what you find out? 

Thanks 👍 

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Hi, these cars have electric motors that can spin at high rpm and so some noises similar to a turbo charger or airplane engine are very likely a normal occurrence. Best is to make a video with the speed and the sound and share it , more people can hear it and come back with answers and ideas. Wheel bearings should be able to get over 100k miles easily unless the car been driven through deep waters on regular basis. 

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Thanks for the info, I feel less concerned now. I will post a video when the roads are dry at night when there is less traffic on the road so people can hear it better.. 👍

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Yours Prius is a Gen 2, dig up "Pete B" on this fourm (he posts almost daily, he has owned Prius since the Gen1 and is very knowledgeable about Prius things. 

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I am 99% sure this noise is just the electric motor as the petrol engine doesn't kick in till after 30mph? I have observed the energy display as the noise is happening and it's always showing the Battery sending power to the front wheels. I love this car...

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I have a friends Gen 2 front wheel bearings, we had changed them after confirming they were noisy. It took a bit of elimination and time for them to be loud enough to be sure. If the bearing are confirmed, be prepared for the brute force needed to separate the bearing from the carrier! 

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3 hours ago, johalareewi said:

There are a lot of interesting noises from hybrids. Electric motor whine, generator whine, inverter whine, a/c system whine.  🙂

In Gen 3 Prius and above AC whine can make you wonder what happens to the car but it’s all ok, just how the car works. 

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Thanks. I got used to all the weird noises now and even though its a 13 year old car we love it. There is not one rattle... Just got to find a modern android head unit with satnav and bluetooth to replace the broken CD player? 

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Best sat nav in any car is your smartphone, google maps even offer offline navigation that works great plus they have speed limits and on Android your actual speed, if you phone is connected to the mobile data you will have also live traffic updates , trust me there is nothing better than that. I use them every day and it’s perfect , simple radio can do the job for music. 👍

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Hi Lien, glad you’ve got that sorted. I reckon my noises are similar to yours in fact I’ve done a couple of journeys lately & nothings got worse. Had it been a wheel bearing I reckon I’d know by now especially as from past experience they tend to make a humming noise when they need changing. Looking on the bright side this is my second Prius & okay you do get some strange noises but you are spot on about there being no rattles. I’ve never had any vibrations either & believe me I remember years ago when you bought a new car & had to take it back to ask them to sort the rattles & vibrations. Nine times out of ten they never did & it was something you had to drive with. I can’t fault either of my Priuses. The one I bought new in 2016 is going well & even though I’ve owned some nice cars in the past the Prius in my opinion takes some beating!

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We have a mint Honda insight which is 2 years younger and mechanically brilliant.  But we both choose to drive Prius! It is a much more refined car. The only problem is finding a genuine prius that has not been a taxi and well looked after. I am considering selling the Honda and buying another Prius. 😂

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Lien, I’ve always been in the fortunate position to part chop & buy new cars & that includes my two Priuses. After saying that when I bought my latest Prius in 2016, I got an excellent part exchange offer for my 2010 Gen3 T-Spirit. It had only done 60 odd thousand miles & like all my cars was kept immaculate. The salesman said it wouldn’t be on the forecourt long in fact 15 minutes & the car was snapped up by surprise, surprise, a taxi driver! To be frank there’s always a risk with buying second hand cars & I guess the Prius is no exception. I think if it’s a genuine low mileage car you are looking at you could be fairly rest assured it’s not been used as a taxi. The last Prius owning taxi driver I spoke to showed me his car done 155,000 miles & it was still running nicely! If you do find a second hand Prius it would certainly be worth looking at the history of owners & paying the AA or RAC to do a full report on the vehicle. It could be money well spent.

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Funny enough we bought the Honda off the same guy only because the Honda was all round mint apart from a few supermarket dings it is mechanically spot on... I did a thorough check on the Prius MOT and service history which all came back as legit! It's only done 73000 and only had one MOT failure back in 2012 for rear brake discs. I love this car. 👍

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