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Old 11-12-2012, 09:29 PM   #1
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2013 engine "click click whir" (engine not running)

First post. Just got my US 5-door SE and love it so far.

However, I can't figure out this odd noise that occurs with the engine off. When I open the driver door, something in the engine compartment begins to do a "click click whir" cycle. If I don't start the engine this sound will repeat every 10-20 seconds (I think, although I don't think it is perfectly periodic) for several minutes. I have not exactly timed everything, but after several minutes this stops. It only seems to happen when the engine has not been run for a while.

When looking down at the engine from the front of the car, the noise is coming from the right side of the engine (left side when sitting in the car). I can't see any external movement in this area, but I may very well have missed something - things are crammed pretty tight.

I can understand the car doing something when the driver door is opened, because the computer will anticipate the engine is going to be started. But this sound continues to occur for minutes without the key even being inserted. Vehicle health report doesn't say anything is wrong (although I have no idea how thorough these are). I noticed this at the dealer on the day I picked up the car, and the service guy said there were no engine codes. He also told me "this is normal", but I assume that is the standard answer if they don't really know and just want to get you off the lot.

This noise sounds like it is something the car is doing deliberately, but it's still disturbing. I noticed that the interior lights dim a bit when this occurs, showing it takes a fair amount of power. The car has been running perfectly, but I'd like to get an explanation of what the engine is actually doing in this case.

Thanks to anyone with information.


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Old 11-12-2012, 10:08 PM   #2
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Sounds like the Grille shutters cycling.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:42 PM   #3
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The grill louvers cycle, as well as your cabin vents I believe. It's normal, don't worry.

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:03 AM   #4
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The grill shutters. Like Burns said it's normal.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:39 AM   #5
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Thank you for the replies.

I investigated some more and figured out where the noise is coming from. It isn't the grill shutters (I didn't even know this vehicle had them ) or vents. It is on the air intake just past the air filter. There is some sort of mechanism in that path, and when the noise occurs I can hear that is the source, as well as feel it vibrating. Unlike what I said before, the noise appears to be periodic - about once every nine seconds.

I have uploaded a picture with an arrow pointing to the component, as well as a sound file of the click-whir occurring:
http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/9...licksource.jpg
http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/9...rengineoff.wav
(sorry for the small image - I haven't figured out how to post a full-size link)

This occurs without starting the engine - all I have to do is briefly open the driver door and this starts occurring. It continues for several minutes (I still haven't exactly measured the time), but eventually stops.

If it's normal then I won't worry. It just seems odd to me that Ford would engineer something that cycles for such a long time with the engine cold and not running. If this is normal, I'm surprised no one else has asked about it. I searched but did not find any reference to this noise (apologizes if I did not do an adequate search).
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:56 AM   #6
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The device you highlighted in the picture is the electronic throttle body.

The sound almost sounds like the transmission cycling gears and confirming neutral. But it very well could be the throttle body. I've never heard one make that much noise before though.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:59 PM   #7
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by recyclebin View Post
Thank you for the replies.

I investigated some more and figured out where the noise is coming from. It isn't the grill shutters (I didn't even know this vehicle had them ) or vents. It is on the air intake just past the air filter. There is some sort of mechanism in that path, and when the noise occurs I can hear that is the source, as well as feel it vibrating. Unlike what I said before, the noise appears to be periodic - about once every nine seconds.

I have uploaded a picture with an arrow pointing to the component, as well as a sound file of the click-whir occurring:
http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/9...licksource.jpg
http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/9...rengineoff.wav
(sorry for the small image - I haven't figured out how to post a full-size link)

This occurs without starting the engine - all I have to do is briefly open the driver door and this starts occurring. It continues for several minutes (I still haven't exactly measured the time), but eventually stops.

If it's normal then I won't worry. It just seems odd to me that Ford would engineer something that cycles for such a long time with the engine cold and not running. If this is normal, I'm surprised no one else has asked about it. I searched but did not find any reference to this noise (apologizes if I did not do an adequate search).
We just got our new Focus a few days ago, and immediately noticed the exact same noise, coming from the exact same place. So far, I've noticed that it makes the noise every 10 seconds or so for about 10 minutes after shutting the car off. I think it also does it if you simply unlock the car, at least with the keyless. I haven't stopped back at the dealer yet, and I guess I feel a little better that mines not he only one making this noise, but I am a little concerned about it.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:39 AM   #8
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It is normal for the PCM to wake up when you open the driver door. A self test of the throttle body would not be unusual because it is a safety critical component.

If you want to hear what the throttle body motor sounds like, turn on the ignition (without starting the engine) and press the accel pedal.

As Doctor Drew said, the "clacking" sound does sound like the transmission gear actuators.

I'm not sure why others have indicated the grill shutters as mine do not move until after the engine is started.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:21 AM   #9
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Great information - thank you.

I drove into work today (only about ten miles). After being parked for approximately 15 minutes I went back to the car and opened the driver door. That self-test (or whatever) noise didn't occur. This matches my previous observation of it not occurring when the engine is warm. That is going to make it fun trying to duplicate at the dealer if I bring it in.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else can duplicate this noise. It is barely noticeable when sitting in the car with doors closed in a quiet garage, but quite clear when looking down at the engine with the hood open (but again in a quiet garage). The sound recording I took does exaggerate the volume, and adds an echo effect. It occurs about once every nine seconds, and I'd say goes on for at least three minutes. This is the only mechanical noise being produced by the engine in this situation.

BTW (hijacking my own thread): The parking garage at work has very steep ramps and tight turns, but the DCT w/hill hold worked perfectly. Much easier than my old manual-transmission 2003 Focus. Did notice a bit of vibration through the accelerator pedal, but I believe that is expected sometimes when creeping along.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recyclebin View Post
Great information - thank you.

I drove into work today (only about ten miles). After being parked for approximately 15 minutes I went back to the car and opened the driver door. That self-test (or whatever) noise didn't occur. This matches my previous observation of it not occurring when the engine is warm. That is going to make it fun trying to duplicate at the dealer if I bring it in.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else can duplicate this noise. It is barely noticeable when sitting in the car with doors closed in a quiet garage, but quite clear when looking down at the engine with the hood open (but again in a quiet garage). The sound recording I took does exaggerate the volume, and adds an echo effect. It occurs about once every nine seconds, and I'd say goes on for at least three minutes. This is the only mechanical noise being produced by the engine in this situation...
Hi recyclebin,

I'm happy to jump in here and get involved. You may want to have your dealer check this out again the next time you have an oil change or another scheduled maintenance visit. You can continue to monitor the situation and see if there are circumstances under which you can replicate what you're experiencing so you can show your Service Tech.

Additionally, once you're ready to go to the dealer, I want to escalate your case. All I'll need is a PM from you with your VIN, preferred servicing dealer, mileage, full name, and daytime phone number; I'll do the rest.

Feel free to reach out to me via PM if you have any other questions or concerns.

Thanks!
Crystal
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