High pitch sound from hydrid drive system
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Thread: High pitch sound from hydrid drive system

  1. #1
    Senior Member 11LFCH's Avatar
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    Question High pitch sound coming from hydrid drive system

    Hi everyone,

    I have the CT for more than 2 months now with 1400 miles. I loved the handling and solid drive. Overall I'm really happy with the CT and haven't notice anything unusual up until last Sunday. Because the weather was cool I had the windows down which normally are closed with A/C running. Driving around at low speed I started to hear a high pitch sound coming from the front of the car. At first I thought it might be the brakes but the high pitch sound could be heard while driving at different speeds and not during braking.

    In the 2 months I've been driving I never heard or noticed this high pitch sound and was concern that something is wrong with the engine.

    So this morning I went down to the dealer to have them checked my car. The specialist explained the high pitch sound is produce by the hybrid drive system when it's turning the front wheels. At first I wasn't buying this explanation and we drove around in my CT to prove the high pitch sound is there. When we return, the dealer then arrange to have me test drive another CT with just 3 miles in the ODO. We drove around the block and with the windows down I was able to hear the same high pitch sound although slightly softer but still audible. It's so strange that I never realize that high pitch sound was there all the time.

    Now that I'm aware the high pitch sound is there and is normal characteristic of the hybrid drive system, it's annoying the heck out of me. Hopefully I'll get used to it and ignore the sound completely.

    I'm curious if anyone has read about this high pitch sound anywhere in the owner's manual or was told by the salesman when you bought the CT or even heard the actual high pitch sound when test driving the CT?

    Cheers,
    Bill
    Last edited by 11LFCH; 10-04-2011 at 11:53 PM.
    06/11 CT200h Smoky Granite/Ecru

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  3. #2
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    I've noticed it too. . .but not too annoying.

  4. #3
    Member atebit's Avatar
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    I guess I'm used to it from my previous experience with the RX400h. Don't even notice it.

    If you hate that sound be glad you don't have a 12 with the "hybrid warning sound".

  5. #4
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    I hear the "electrical whine" when driving alongside walls with the windows down; I don't notice it otherwise. I always assumed that it was normal for a "Toyota" hybrid. I've noticed the same noise coming from Prius's when I'm walking through parking lots!
    2011 Lexus CT200h Premium w/Navigation & Premium Audio, Daybreak Yellow Mica / Black Nuluxe

  6. #5
    Senior Member Bigleftyinaz's Avatar
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    I must be blessed. Caused I don't not hear this noise


    2011 Ct200h Premium - Starfire Pearl - HDD Navigation System -10-speaker Premium Sound System -(LED) headlamps -Illuminated door sills- Preferred accessory packages-Leather-Nano-ceramic tint- Nano clear on windshield - Clear Bra

  7. #6
    Moderator midcow3's Avatar
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    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigleftyinaz View Post
    I must be blessed. Caused I don't not hear this noise
    I think something is wrong with their cars.

    I have a CT and a Prius and neither has a "high pitched whine"

    Are these 'whiners" the start of lemon CTs ??
    2011Matador Red Mica CT Premium Black Nuluxe Interior with Custom Installed Sound, Navigation, Morimoto 55W 6000K HIDs, Xenon White 96-SMD LED fogs.

    2013
    Race Red Focus ST, Smooth shifting 6-speed manual. Recaro black leather seats. 2 liter engine. Awesome power 252 Hp, 270 ft-lbs torque = 2,000-4,500 RPM. No turbo lag. Decent mileage, achieving 28 mpg overall rated 23/32. Interior space 23.8 cu ft cargo with all seats up. Audio, light years better than Premium CT. FUN FACTOR 10 out of 10.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by midcow3 View Post
    I think something is wrong with their cars.

    I have a CT and a Prius and neither has a "high pitched whine"

    Are these 'whiners" the start of lemon CTs ??
    I'm not whining (or complaining, for that matter!), I'm just trying to assure the OP that this sound is normal. I also said that I only hear it under the most suitable conditions for hearing such a subtle sound; windows down/near a wall (so that the sound reflects back to me unhindered) or near a slow moving Toyota hybrid when on foot. Otherwise, I don't hear or notice it.

    By the way, have you ever noticed the high frequency "tones" that emanate from the high voltage power supplies in CRT TV's? Many people can't hear high frequencies; some of those that can hear them, just haven't payed any attention to them. I can hear those higher frequencies and I'm aware of them. I'm constantly amazed at just how unobservant and oblivious to their surroundings most people are! The sound from the hybrid system is another one of "these" kind of sounds.

    I suspect that this faint sound coming from Toyota hybrid systems is also high voltage related.
    2011 Lexus CT200h Premium w/Navigation & Premium Audio, Daybreak Yellow Mica / Black Nuluxe

  9. #8
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    Hi folks. I realize that I'm entering a 2 year old thread but I couldn't help myself. I bought a 2012 CT and started noticing the squeal about a week after I bought it. I complained to the service advisor about this at the 5k mile service. He told me that it was normal and nothing could be one. Unfortunately, I'm a sound engineer by profession and deal with getting rid of these types of squeals in production tracks on every movie that I work on. This squeal in the CT200h is like knives in my ear drums. I've been trying to get Lexus to either fix the problem or put me into another car that doesn't make this "nails on a chalkboard" sound. After speaking to Caroline at Lexus it was made very clear to me that they could care less. However, the local Lexus dealer would like to help me so I tried driving other Hybrid Lexus's. All of the newer Lexus Hybrids make the exact same pitched squeal. The RX seemed a little lower in volume but still very much there. After driving all of the newer Hybrid I tried a 2010 HS250. This car had no squeal what so ever. It was a relief. The Lexus service advisor had recently told me that the squeal in the Hybrids was engineered that way so yo knew the Electrical part of the system was working. Wow. I can't believe that somebody would ever say that. This squeal is almost a pure tone. It resides between 8,000 and 10,000 Hz. Most men over the age of 40 couldn't hear these frequencies. It so happens that most service advisors are men over 40. I truly believe that this constant squeal could effect my livelihood. I'm a year and a half into this lease, what should I do? What should Lexus do?

  10. #9
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    Lexus should do nothing since its normal. You should either deal with it is get a new car.


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  11. #10
    Senior Member Bill's Avatar
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    I don't think I ever noticed the sound, or if I did I just figured it was part of being a hybrid. sounds like I should pay attention more...
    2012 Starfire Pearl CT200h
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