Help diagnosing strange ICE scraping noise (with video)

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Ethan Waldman, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Ethan Waldman

    Ethan Waldman Junior Member

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    2011 Gen3 Prius iii in northern VT with ~105k miles. I first noticed this noise driving two days ago right after the temperatures dropped. It sounded to me like a chunk of frozen ice/snow stuck in the wheel well. However, when I pulled over to investigate, I couldn't find anything there.

    After some further investigation, the noise happens whenever the engine is running at low RPM. It sounds really loud, like something getting scraped and dragged around.

    • It doesn't happen at highway speeds, just slow speeds <25 or when stopped.
    • It doesn't happen when running just on the electric motor.
    • The drivetrain doesn't feel rough, it just sounds rough.
    • When it's making the noise I can't feel it in the steering wheel and it doesn't feel like the car is shaking.
    • With the hood open, the noise sounds like it's coming from somewhere much deeper than the engine.
    I was hoping that with the temperature hitting 40 degrees today, whatever this potentially frozen thing was would melt and be gone, but it's still just as loud. See the video below and let me know if you have ANY idea what this is or if I should be majorly concerned.


     
    #1 Ethan Waldman, Nov 25, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how many miles on her?
     
  3. Ethan Waldman

    Ethan Waldman Junior Member

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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Could we call ICE "engine" from now on? Discussing ice and ICE is making my head hurt.

    If this is happening when you're at a standstill, could not be ice blockage in the wheel well, must be something internal to the engine.
     
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  5. Ethan Waldman

    Ethan Waldman Junior Member

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    Good point! Yes, we can refer to the ICE as the engine :)

    I will try to make a video with the hood open when my wife gets home (need someone to rev the engine). However, when I listened to the engine running it really doesn't sound like it's internal to the engine. it almost sounds like it's behind the engine and much lower in the car. Any ideas from the video?
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    hard to diagnose the sound, trying to think what's moving when the car isn't.

    possible vibration of an exhaust shield?
     
  7. Ethan Waldman

    Ethan Waldman Junior Member

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    does any part of the hybrid charging system spin when the engine is idling?
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    well, you're hooked up to the tranny, which is the hybrid charging system.

    not sure what's moving in neutral
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Have you looked at the underside, anything dangling?
     
  10. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    My vote is on a damaged transaxle, possibly from a leaking seal, draining all the fluid.

    Check to see if transaxle fluid is full
     
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  11. Ethan Waldman

    Ethan Waldman Junior Member

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    Yikes, that sounds bad. Transaxle fluid is checked from under the car, right?

    If it was a damaged transaxle, wouldn't I feel it shaking while accelerating or idling?

     
  12. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Only thing (deeper) under your engine would be transaxle. If you haven't changed your fluid before, now is a good time. Measure the amount drained and you'll know if it's low. It should take close to 4 quarts to fill completely.
     
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    If the engine underpanel is clean, I can't see it being a transaxle leak. The underside of the transaxle too would show a leak.
     
  14. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    My 2015 had an axle seal leak at 15000 miles and it was really hard to see it.

    I just can't see what could make that sound, it has to be in the transaxle. On a gen 2 with bad mg2, it would make a whining sound in low speeds and be fine at high speeds.
     
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  15. Fred_H

    Fred_H Misoversimplifier

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    wild guess brainstorming:
    something tangled in or rubbing against the unused crankshaft "pulley", wind moves it away at higher speed
    bad electric water pump, that only wobbles or scrapes at low speed
    loose exhaust heat shield
    broken vibration damper/torque limiter on flywheel, that resonates at lower RPMs
     
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