zeldar
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:57 am
Location: Auburn, California

Loud Road Noise when Driving

Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:57 am

Our 2015 FFE has what I consider an abnormal amount of noise when being driven. The noise gets louder and louder with increase in speed. I took it into the dealer for the 60k service and mentioned it to them but they did not give me any diagnosis and acted like it was not significant. I know this is not true as it is very loud. I think they didn't know enough about servicing FFEs to bother with analyzing it. I have looked at the tires and they look fine. They are Michelin Green X with lots of wear left on them and no abnormal tread wear so I have to assume the noise is coming from other components. I have seen some posts in the non-electric forums about noise from a wheel bearing, but those stated that the noise would quiet down around curves which shift the downward force away from the side which has the defective bearing. This noise remains constant no matter whether going straight or rounding curves. I am baffled at this point as to how to diagnose and fix this very annoying and potentially dangerous problem.

Here is a link to a video I made: https://youtu.be/IKaETw5BwK0
2015 FFE
White Platinum Tri-Coat, Leather

Anti_Climax
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 12:22 pm
Location: The Valley of the Sun

Re: Loud Road Noise when Driving

Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:23 pm

Do you "feel" that as a rumble through the body if the car?

It makes me think of "cogging" in the motor - they use feedback to time the pattern for energizing the coils inside the motor and if that is not working correctly the magnetic fields that should be constantly pushing and up "slipping" and it causes the whole drivetrain to rattle in the process.

If nothing else, having someone use a mechanics stethoscope on different parts of the interior as you drive should be able to at least narrow down where it is strongest. You might also try to work out the frequency vs speed as that can narrow it down too.

I'd also consider the transaxle that splits the motor output to both wheels - all the normal failures are possible there.

Edit: Toward the beginning where it was pretty loud, the primary that seems to be coming though seemed a little below the low E on a guitar tuning which puts it around 80Hz. Granted, between the mic, compression and playback I can't say if that is the fundamental frequency or a harmonic that captured particularly well.

If it is 80Hz at 40ish MPH, it's not far from being half the frequency of motor shaft rotation for that speed - so cogging could be a possibility.

You could also place the phone at different spots under the hood and have it record and see where it's the loudest.
2012 Candy Blue FFE
33.5kWh battery pack
CHAdeMO DC Fast Charging

zeldar
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:57 am
Location: Auburn, California

Re: Loud Road Noise when Driving

Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:37 pm

Hi Anti,

Thanks for the reply. There is no perceptible rumble or vibration inside the car, just the noise. I think the YouTube video accurately reflects the primary frequency of the noise as the car speeds up and slows down. The car has been this way for at least two years. It hasn't seemed to have gotten any better or worse. One other point is the car is still as quick, acceleration-wise, as it always was. I would think if there were some kind of fault in the motor's magnetic fields, the performance would also be degraded.

The idea of putting a phone or audio recorder under the hood seems like a good way to get additional data points. I also want to stand by the side of the road while my wife drives by at about 45 MPH and record the sound from external to the car; another data point.

I am really hoping someone else has had this problem and was able to get it diagnosed and resolved. It really degrades the driving experience in this vehicle. I also have a 2019 Chevy Volt and it is whisper quiet when running on battery and not much louder even when the gas engine kicks in. That's the way the FFE used to be when new. Much nicer to drive!
2015 FFE
White Platinum Tri-Coat, Leather

Anti_Climax
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 12:22 pm
Location: The Valley of the Sun

Re: Loud Road Noise when Driving

Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:58 pm

The cogging doesn't have to significantly impact output - pulses aren't missing, they are just mis-aligned from where they should be.

It's a problem I had on mine intermittently and I'm pretty sure a TCM update fixed it. Never drove it at speed when it happened so I can't really compare.
2012 Candy Blue FFE
33.5kWh battery pack
CHAdeMO DC Fast Charging

Heima
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:46 pm

Re: Loud Road Noise when Driving

Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:35 am

Just so that you can rule out tires, try swapping front to rear and see if the sound changes. Its relatively quick and cheap.
I had some Yokohamas on my Matrix that sounded exactly like bearing noise. Made the turn thing and the sound did change slightly, so I replaced the bearings.
Nope still there. Did a quick tire swap front to rear, and it was greatly diminished. Felt like an idiot.
Installed some Goodyear Viva tires and the road noise dropped to almost silent.
Learning from that, a friend's Prius had some noisy tires, so playing a hunch, I swapped front to rear.
Sound did not change. So I replaced the bearings. Yeah, they were shot and now nice and quiet.

zeldar
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:57 am
Location: Auburn, California

Re: Loud Road Noise when Driving

Mon Jan 17, 2022 11:30 am

Thanks again to you both. TCM being Transmission Control Module? I assume this needs to be done at the dealer? If that's it, the dealer I took it to in Roseville California should have checked the version and done an update when I took it in for the 60k service. Perhaps they did not. I'll check into it. I'll also try the tire swap to see if it makes a difference.

Do you know if there is a way I can check the TCM version on the Sync display or using an OBD scanner?
2015 FFE
White Platinum Tri-Coat, Leather

Anti_Climax
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 12:22 pm
Location: The Valley of the Sun

Re: Loud Road Noise when Driving

Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:30 pm

Forscan may tell you, but the dealer can also tell you if there's any updates that need to be applied. And I do believe it's "Transmission Control Module" even if that's a bit of a misnomer for these.
2012 Candy Blue FFE
33.5kWh battery pack
CHAdeMO DC Fast Charging

zeldar
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:57 am
Location: Auburn, California

Re: Loud Road Noise when Driving

Wed Jan 19, 2022 1:16 pm

Took it in to the dealer this AM. Will post here with the outcome.
2015 FFE
White Platinum Tri-Coat, Leather

scottt
Site Moderator
Posts: 395
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:00 am

Re: Loud Road Noise when Driving

Thu Jan 20, 2022 5:25 am

Differential recall??

Power train: Driveline: Differential unit
Recall date
2016-06-27
Recall no.
16V479000
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 Ford Focus Electric vehicles manufactured August 20, 2015, through April 13, 2016. The transmission's differential pinion gear shaft may overheat and fracture.
Recall consequence
A fractured pinion shaft could cause a loss of motive power and loss of the transmission park function, increasing the risk of a crash.
Recall action
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the transmission differential assembly, free of charge. The recall began on March 24, 2017. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 16S28.
2015 Magnetic FFE (aka Magneto) - Retired
2017 Kona Blue FFE (aka King Kona) - Current

zeldar
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:57 am
Location: Auburn, California

Re: Loud Road Noise when Driving

Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:16 am

Dealer has had the car for 3 full days now with no update (Auburn Ford, Auburn, California). Thank you, Scott for the recall information. I hope that's it!

I'm the original owner but didn't get any notification from Ford about it.

Will update tomorrow when I call them and ask WTF is the status!
2015 FFE
White Platinum Tri-Coat, Leather

Return to “General / Main Focus Electric Owners Forum”