Intolerable wind noise

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Oskar, May 15, 2021.

  1. Oskar

    Oskar Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2014
    236
    91
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    I purchased a 2020 Prius Prime Limited last August and have found it to be the best car I've ever owned. With one exception... wind noise. When driving above 40 mph I cannot leave the rear windows open. The noise is a deep, low rumble that is almost painful. Passengers have commented as well. Not quite as bad with front windows down, but still annoying to the point that you wouldn't want to keep the windows down.

    Perhaps this is a personal issue, with my own hearing abilities. I admit I've played in a rock band for many years, but other riders with me have noticed it as well. Has anyone here experienced this and, if so, is there a solution to fixing or at least abating the problem. Thanks
     
  2. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    1,405
    961
    0
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Pretty much every car I've owned (10 at least) do exactly that. If I want to open the rear windows I have to open all of them.
     
  3. Oskar

    Oskar Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2014
    236
    91
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    That's unfortunate. I'm sure it has something to do with the aerodynamic design of the car, but I would also think it would be something that designers would consider. Oh well. It's not a game changer for me.
     
  4. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    1,171
    544
    0
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    LE
    Every car in the history of ever does that as far as I know. I've owned or driven quite a number of cars over the decades and I can't recall a single car that didn't do that. I cringe when I see people driving down the highway with a rear window open and no other.
     
  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    16,588
    7,819
    0
    Location:
    eastern Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    It is an artifact of being a hatchback, and it occurred in every hatchback I owned. It likely happens in wagons and SUVs since they have the empty chamber in the rear also. Never was a problem in a sedan.
     
  6. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    1,171
    544
    0
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    LE
    It happens in all the sedans I've ever had or driven that I'm aware of.
     
  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    16,588
    7,819
    0
    Location:
    eastern Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Sedans don't have the echo chamber to amplify it.
     
  8. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    1,171
    544
    0
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    LE
    I can't say I've measured it, but I know that when someone rolls down a rear seat window in a sedan it's uncomfortable enough for me to tell them to roll it back up.
     
  9. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    9,621
    11,762
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    The noise is the car's way of saying you're going too fast for open windows. Close them and turn on the air conditioner and save some gas. Right around 40-45 mph is the break even point where A/C is more efficient than dragging a car with open windows through the air.
     
  10. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2021
    45
    30
    0
    Location:
    SacTown, Ca
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    LE
    Have you tried installing window visors? They range from the cheap glue-on one to the very expensive snap-in types. It'll change the pitch of the noise and you can keep the windows "cracked" in all weather, to let the hot air out of the cabin. I put them on all my cars.

    Hope this helps.
     
    nesoccer and Trollbait like this.
  11. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    2,250
    1,311
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Curious: I almost never drive any car with windows open.
     
    Pulse07, jerrymildred and GSK like this.
  12. GSK

    GSK Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    127
    63
    0
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    I never open the windows, other than to swipe my badge to get into the parking lot at work.
     
  13. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    1,405
    961
    0
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Maybe it’s my 60s vintage Motorola VibraSonic that’s doing it?
     
  14. Oskar

    Oskar Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2014
    236
    91
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    Appreciate the responses and, in context, they seem to make sense. Although in the many decades I have been driving, many of them with a clunker with no AC, I've used the trusted Four-Forty Air Conditioning system and never noticed the truly ear thumping noise I have with the Prius. As mentioned here, it's probably due to the design of the car. Again, a minor issue compared to the other qualities of the car, but was curious if there was a solution.
     
    jerrymildred likes this.
  15. fed123

    fed123 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    109
    6
    0
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Do you have crossbars on the top? They generate a heap of noise on the highway.

    kukui ?
     
  16. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    1,076
    509
    0
    Location:
    Paramount CA
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    What? You aren't supposed to leave the windows open when you drive. It is detrimental on the fuel economy. You're much better off using the A/C.
     
  17. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    9,621
    11,762
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    Now that I think of it, that was the rule of thumb years ago. Since the Prime's air conditioner is so amazingly efficient, that break even speed is probably much lower than 40 mph. Maybe so low that you wouldn't get much breeze from the open window. I don't know if anyone has done a study on that with a Prime. Probably not. I just run my A/C about 99.99% of the time.
     
  18. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    4,204
    4,139
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    Yeah, you're reacting to the helmholtz resonance of the empty car body vs. the windstream going past the windows. Same principle as blowing over the top of a bottle, just that you've got a big bottle singing contrabass/subsonic.

    Cars with smaller interior volume (sedans) won't react as strongly.

    Wagons and hatchbacks (Prius is close enough between) will react more strongly.

    Cars whose shape allow the passing air to flow very quickly, directly across an opening (like the rear window) will react strongly.

    Cars whose shape rams the air out of the way and keeps it from hugging the sides of the car won't react as strongly.

    The Prius is a natural for making noise in this situation. I'm sure the designers considered it and "driving with back windows open" lost out to other features long ago.
     
Loading...