2021 Prius - Disable Virtual Engine Sound - AKA Spaceship hum

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by Armitage Shanks, Dec 22, 2020.

  1. Armitage Shanks

    Armitage Shanks New Member

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    Just picked up a 2021 Prius and the 'spaceship sound' is louder than ever. It plays the annoying hum when the gas engine is not running and doubly loud when the vehicle is put in to reverse.

    Can anyone advise on how to defeat / delete?

    I live in a quiet area and enjoyed the silence of E/V mode.
     
  2. The Professor

    The Professor Senior Member

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    I'm not looking forward to the UFO noise on future cars. I love driving around in "stealth mode".

    The two obvious ways would be to see if it has a dedicated fuse and remove that, or to find the wire going to the speaker and unplug it.

    Do remember though that in most places these sounders are fitted to new vehicles by law. You may be in violation of such laws if you disable this safety feature. It's a safety feature that reduces the number of kids being ran over.

    As I've said here before... safety rules may seem annoying and pointless, but they're often written in blood after somebody has learnt the hard way.
     
  3. hotelprisoner

    hotelprisoner Member

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    Forgive my ignorance, do BEVs make the same noise ie Tesla or the Leaf?
     
  4. The Professor

    The Professor Senior Member

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    Yep. For example Tesla added what they call the "Pedestrian Warning System (PWS)" to the model 3 just over a year ago. It makes a noise from 1 to 19 mph in both Drive and Reverse.

    I'm not sure if this is true in every locale, but I know it came into force across Europe and the UK back in July 2019; all electric vehicles (including HEVs) built and sold since then here have to make this type of noise when travelling under 12 MPH.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    iirc, you can adjust the volume in system settings. i don't have one though.
     
  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    This confirms that the 2021 model has adjusted the Vehicle Proximity Notification System (VPNS) loudness from the 2020 model. You can try Carista (or Techstream or dealer) to adjust the volume of VPNS.. At least for the 2020 model Prime, the default setting can be changed.

    upload_2020-12-23_14-3-6.png
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    So..., level 2 and 3 are louder? If so, might try that, lol. Doesn't really explain does it, just "custom".

     
  8. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I don't know what those levels 1, 2, and 3 are in terms of loudness. My feeling is that Level1 is the lowest volume since I can hardly hear the sound at this level on my 2020 PP.

    I also don't know what default level of volume is set on 2021 models, but I just checked the 2019, 2020, and 2021 owner's manual for Prius and Prius Prime. As it turned out, the VPNS customization is not listed on 2020-2021 Prius and 2021 Prius Prime. It seems Toyota has decided to not let the owner tinker with the volume of the VPSN on the most recent models post 2020 Prius and post 2021 Prius Prime.

    So, answering the OP's question, maybe for the 2021 Prius, there is no way to change the volume of the VPNS.
     
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  9. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    Yes: “Standard +1” and “Standard +2,” according to the Repair Manual (more info).
    It wasn’t Toyota’s decision. FMVSS No. 141, Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (49 CFR § 571.141) was phased in from 2020 and, as Congress directed in Public Law 111-373 (PDF), the standard requires (at S5.5) that similar vehicles make the same sound.
     
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  10. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Aha, thank you. That explains everything. That means OP is out of luck for changing the volume of VPNS on his 2021 Prius.
     
  11. AzWxGuy

    AzWxGuy Weather Guy

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    I can confirm, no longer configurable. The sound does get noticed. People look at you in parking lots. Even the Border Patrol agent at the US-90 checkpoint commented, "Sounds like you've got some trouble under the hood..."
     
  12. PriusRocinante

    PriusRocinante New Member

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    Just got a 2021 and I kinda like the sound... it makes the engine sound less like a leaf blower the breaking sound is cool too. The reverse does sound like you have a loose belt and people look at you with concern every time
     
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  13. EconoModder

    EconoModder Junior Member

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    I have a 2021...took out the speaker, wrapped the noisemaker speaker with shrink wrap and then with black duct tape (don't use silver as it is visible thru the grill!) over that to secure it, then re-installed it. Took about 15 mins start to finish. You need a flathead screwdriver to remove the 5 plastic snaps for the plastic liner that covers the radiator/condenser, and a 12mm wrench to remove the speaker. And then of course you disconnect the wire going to the speaker.

    You can't just unplug the speaker otherwise you will get an annoying error mesg on the dash.
     
  14. MIkeDr

    MIkeDr Junior Member

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    is it that much louder than the 2020?
     
  15. epon

    epon Junior Member

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    '21 prime le here and can confirm the proximity sensor is much louder than a '17 prime Ive been in before. Gets way louder in reverse too. Wondering if an earlier model speaker could be swapped out into a '21 car to reduce the annoying sound at low speeds.
     
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  16. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    A friend just bought a '21 Rav4 hybrid. His noisemaker is WAY louder than ours. And it's louder yet in reverse. Mine is barely audible on the highest setting.
     
  17. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    The reason new PP has louder VPNS is explained in comment #9 by @Elektroingenieur. It became mandated by law, and in 2021 PP, unlike earlier models, VPNS sound level is no longer owner adjustable by customization that was available in earlier models. I doubt the speaker has changed, it must be a sound volume level that is now fixed at very high. I am not sure if it is legal to tinker with the system now it is a law to have this safety device.
     
    #17 Salamander_King, Apr 2, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  18. MPGboss

    MPGboss Junior Member

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    Figured it was some safety thing as well...I actually like the spaceship sound, it adds to the futuristic vibe.
     
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  19. EconoModder

    EconoModder Junior Member

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    I'll say it again, I have a 2021 and wrapped the speaker in plastic wrap and then black duct tape (as it is visible thru the grille). Barely audible in D and still reasonably audible in R. =)
     
  20. DC_2004_Prius

    DC_2004_Prius Junior Member

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    thanks Economodder - found my 'spaceship' speaker and wrapped it in some seat cushion foam + duct tape - so I can still hear it but it isn't so damn loud anymore.
     
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