2009 Chevy HHR 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 8000 miles
First off, it might help to know that I have the SS model HHR with the turbocharged engine. For the past few weeks, I have been noticing a noise that resembles the automatic hand dryers in airport restrooms. It's not really loud and happens when I'm accelerating. I realize that the turbo makes a whistling sound when I accelerate, but this sound is different. Also, my engine fan (or radiator fan?) Has been running pretty loudly the past few weeks as well, and starts running loudly within a few minutes of starting the car. It happens whether the car has been setting out in the heat all afternoon or parked in the garage overnight.
This may just be normal operation and I'm just being paranoid, but I just wanted to make sure.
The noise you hear is usually normal on these models, because you will hear the turbo as well as the wastegate opening to releave the excess pressure in the turbo, that will give you a hairdryer sound, that is normal, you will also hear ticking noise from the engine when running because a direct injection fuel system that operates at very high fuel pressures. A direct injection fuel system produces a rapid, clicking/ticking sound that can be heard from the engine compartment. The sound is more evident when outside around the vehicle or when the hood is open. The sound is more noticeable during idle, and is more frequent during a cold start but lessens once the engine is warm. The rapid ticking noise on cold start up is the fuel pump (located on the rear of the cylinder head) building up high fuel pressure. When the engine warm-up is completed, the high pressure fuel pump will continue to tick at a lower rate of approximately one tick per second during idle. The clicking sound is the fuel injectors pulsing on and off under higher fuel pressures. These sounds are the results of a normal direct injection fuel system operating properly. This is normal for an SIDI engine, which is spark injection direct injection. As far a s the fans that is also normal because this vehicle has an innercooler for the turbo so the engine will run hotter which will cause more of a demand for the fans to come on. Post back with any other questions.
August, 11, 2009 AT 10:32 AM
Thanks Brian, that puts my mind at ease. I've never owned a turbocharged car before, so these sounds are a little new to me! I appreciate the quick and thorough response!
July, 2, 2010 AT 10:47 PM
I just noticed this same noise from my car (2009 HHR SS, 26k miles) when accelerating normally, and I accelerated a little faster to see if the whistling sound increased, and. The whistle turned into a grind, and I could no longer accelerate faster than the stereotypical elderly driver. Hoping warrantee covers this, because it's going to the shop.