"Whirring, draining" sound under charging port - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Question "Whirring, draining" sound under charging port

I bought a 2018 Kia Plug-in last August and have enjoyed it very much. Over the past several weeks, though, I've started to hear a medium to low-frequency humming/whirring sound coming from the area behind the charging port on the left side of the vehicle. Up until now, I've become familiar with the various noises and sounds emitted from my Niro, from the heat pump to the quiet, purring "hum" sound when the car is in EV mode. This sound is a new, distinctive, and only started recently. It's an electric whirring sound that comes on at various, random points when I drive and/or park the car. The sound also starts from a medium pitch sound and then slowly goes down in pitch to a lower sound maybe after 5-7 minutes (hence why I describe it as a "draining" sound"). Teh sound will then stp on its own or when I turn off the car. The sounds does not run after the ignition is off.

Is anyone experiencing something similar? Any thoughts on what it could be?

Thank you for your assistance.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 10:35 PM
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What part of the world are you driving in? I purchased my PHEV last October, so haven't yet had a chance to experience how it behaves in the extreme heat of a Southern California summer. I do occasionally hear a sound coming from somewhere under the hood, maybe on the left side, that could be described as a humming/whirring sound, but I only hear it when the car is stopped. For example, I drove the car a couple of miles yesterday on a fully charged battery, did not plug it in last night, and then in the middle of the day today, I opened the drivers door to throw something in to the passenger's seat so it would be there later when I wanted it, and I hear a humming/whirring sound when I opened the driver's door. That only happens maybe 10% of the time that I open the door, and I'm not sure what it is about. I've never heard that sound when I was actually driving the car though, and apparently I"m pretty astute about car sounds, because I tend to notice that I pick up on sounds that other people in the car totally ignore.

Not sure if this applies to all packages, but in my EX Premium there's an app on the head unit that can run a self diagnostic. The car has to be electrically on when you run it. I still haven't figured out if it is actually potentially useful or not, but you might try to run it and see if it comes up with anything.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much deltasmith. I live in Los Angeles, so I have dealt with the heat (as well as the recent winter rains). Like you, I pick up on unusual sounds; hence why this particular sound caught my attention. I drive an EX level, but I'll see if there us the same app to run a self-diagnostic. Thank you.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 09:44 PM
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I too have been hearing a sound such as you describe. I've heard it from new and possibly during test drives. I always assumed it was a vacuum pump 'filling up' the reservoir. The on/off of the ICE and the nature of the Atkinson cycle to boot, leaves the vehicle without a consistent dependable source of vacuum. Diesels, HEV's, PHEV'S and EV's, if they have vacuum assisted brakes then I would assume they have a pump.

Last edited by doro6529; Yesterday at 09:48 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Today, 08:29 AM
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I've been hearing it too. In my case, only a couple of seconds when I plug in the charging cable. I presume it has something to do with that.

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