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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-03-2008, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
Gir
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Default Hello, and ICE noise question.

Hello all, new 2008 Prius (package 4) owner here.

I'm about one week into having it and loving it big time.

Anyway, my question has to do with noises that the ICE might make at idle. A friend visited my work today to check out the Prius.
As I was demoing it for him, I started the car with my driver door open and noticed a noise I had not heard before when the ICE
started up (during the start sequence). It was a sort of repetitive 'clack' kind of noise, the closest sound I could equate it to on a
conventional vehicle would be if the engine was running without enough oil.

At this point, I could believe any of several possibilities.

A) This noise is normal and I have not heard it before because I'm usually not outside the vehicle when I start it
B) I've built the noise up in my mind because I'm super paranoid about my new baby (lol)
C) Maybe something is actually wrong?
D)?

I live in New Mexico, and it's still farily cold here (It was a cold start at around maybe mid 50's lower 60's) and the elevation is around 5,500 feet where I work. Also, the car has around 500 Miles on it. Perhaps it needs to break in more / was affected by the cold temps or altitude? At any rate I would appreciate any advice from those with more experience than I!

Thanks in advance!

(ps, thanks to the tips I've read here I've managed to make 53.9 MPG lifetime this first week, YES!)
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-03-2008, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Hello, and ICE noise question.

Fiirst off, you did something that was not normal, (Starting the car with the door open.) I'm sure you have not noticed this before or after. Try starting with the drivers window open to see if you still hear what you have described. These cars are "fail safe," and I'm sure you would be receiving a "maintanence required" light if you were having any valve train problems. The "synergy" system does make strange noises occassionally. You might describe it to your service manager but if it is "normal" now, he will not be able to answer your question. (I would certainly check the oil quantity on your dipstick. It should be slightly above the normal full mark quantity.)
You just have to get used to these cars, rely on the warning systems described in your operating manual and more importantly, get rid of your imagination. If something seriously "breaks," Toyota will "fix it."
With all it's strangeness, these cars really "do work,"
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-06-2008, 03:19 AM
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Default Re: Hello, and ICE noise question.

Gir, when the car is off and parked on level, check the engine oil level. Owner's manual tells how. I bet it will be at the top dipstick mark or slightly above, but if it is at the bottom mark or below, get that seen to.

Prius can have some startup valve clatter especially after a very cold overnight. If you get more than three solid seconds of that, it might also be worth a look. The oil pump is just a conventional epicyclic thingee, and the pickup screen might be clogged like in any other car. Rare, but not impossible, and certainly worth a look.

Most likely you have joined the small group of people who know about the rare clatter. After a few years of Prius experience and enjoyment, it won't matter I am quite sure.

DAS
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-11-2008, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Hello, and ICE noise question.

Awesome, thank you both for your advice! Sorry it took so long to reply, I work really strange hours (at an oil refinery actually, does that make me a traitor? heh).

I will check the oil out and try to be less paranoid!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Hello, and ICE noise question.

If it is any consolation, I am a new Prius owner as well, and have found some of the noises this car makes to be very slightly disconcerting. As a pilot, I am used to keeping a keen ear tuned to the machine that I am counting on, and I have a habit of automatically assuming that anything different indicates a problem. This system has served me well with all my previous cars, but the fact of the matter is that the Prius is a new beast altogether! The good news is that after a few weeks, I got used to the sound spectrum of the Prius, and my confidence level has increased to the point that I no longer worry. I truly believe that while imperfect (as it was designed by man), the Prius is truly a masterpiece, and represents some very fine engineering. I trust it, and am confident that it will serve me well for many years.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-04-2008, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Hello, and ICE noise question.

You will get used to the R2D2 noises after a while. The little ratchet clicking one still catches my attention once in a while. Don't worry about it.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Hello, and ICE noise question.

A racheting noise is most likley associated with the braking system. There are two noises it makes. The most common is the racheting noise. It will occur ocasionally after you have pressed down on the brake pedal. I wish I could recall the details, but it is part of the brake system resetting the hydraulic portion of the system. There is also a breathing/wooshing noise the system makes. I only here that after I have parked the car and remain around it in the garage or as I go into the house. I believe the system is doing some kind of air purge.

Another nosie that isn't associated with conventional vehicles is the hot coolant transfer pump. You will hear that when you start the car or when you shut it down. This sound comes from the left front of the vehicle in the vincinity of the hot coolant storage tank. This pump will only run when there is sufficient temperature differential between the contents of the tank and the temperature of the coolant in the engine for the system to want to move warm coolant from the engine to the tank for storage and future use, or from the tank to the engine when starting a cold engine.

It has been said:
Hybrid drivers come in 3 flavors, greenie, techie and cheapie. Pick any 2.
2005 Prius, Millenium Silver Metallic (color code 1C0) over gray, package 5 (AI)
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