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Hyundai Genesis Forum: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration
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  #31  
Old 11-19-2010, 04:53 PM
Ron Veenker Ron Veenker is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

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Sounds very familiar, Jim. I don't know exactly what the origin is, but one technically proficient responder said, "Genesis 3.8 has solid lifters and valve timing chains, variable intake and exhaust timing. During acceleration, the ECU, thru solenoid valves and oil pressure, commands both camshafts (exhaust and Intake) to retard or advance to achieve peak engine performance and fuel efficiency.

"To me, it sounded like it is retarding the spark timing to prevent detonation along with the automatic camshaft adjustments of both intake and exhaust valves. Don't miss the fact that Genesis 3.8 may have the biggest intake throat (almost 3 inches across) that I have seen for this size engine, contributing to the "throaty sound" we are hearing."

I take that to mean that the engineers and designers would say, "We really meant to do that."

Ron
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  #32  
Old 11-22-2010, 10:22 AM
JimInNashville JimInNashville is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by kras6000 View Post
Excellent video. I have exactly the same noise at similar RPM's. Don't know how else to address this.....already made four trips to the dealers and also talking to HMA Consumer Affairs for weeks now. They just don't care. I am never buying a Hyundai again and all my family and friends won't be be either.
kras, thank you so much for responding. Nice to know I am not the only frustrated person.

My experience so far:

1. I've driven the car just over 5,000 miles in 10 months of ownership. Performance has been sensational. I have the absolute base 3.8, and the missing weight (no sunroof, etc.) has the car hitting 0-60 times of about 5.9
seconds, and I am getting a completely documented 22+ mpg in a mix of city and highway driving. After 10 months, the interior and exterior both still look absolutely new. Great paint job. One does have to laboriously clean the "Genesis" insignia on the floor pads, LOL. The insignia is positioned perfectly to pick up dirt and mar the appearance of the interior.

2. As a very experienced car owner, who used to do tuneups and brake jobs and carburetor rebuilds back in the 1970's, but who wouldn't dare touch a modern vehicle, I've learned one major lesson, and it is this: Anytime you hear an unusual noise, find out precisely what it is immediately. Otherwise, you may just find yourself by the side of the road (or worse). For example, I had a 1992 Maxima SE, brand new. Great car. One morning, pulling away from the house, I heard the tiniest little whine from the gearbox. I drove over to the dealer. The service manager went for a drive, and couldn't hear a thing.
He tried to dismiss me, but I insisted that a mechanic go with me. The mechanic heard the whine. "Darn, you have a good ear" he said. We made an appointment to check it out. I drove home, but by the time I got back to the dealership about 10 miles later, that tranny was screaming like a banshee.
Cracked bearing in the transmission, 6 days in the shop. The mechanic told me that they had never seen that problem ever before, and that it "sure was lucky I came in right away." Precisely.

3. I first heard the noise in my Genesis 3.8 a few days after I started driving the car. After a week or two, I went back to the dealer who sold me the car. The service manager went out with me and heard the noise. Then we test drove another new 3.8. It made a similar noise, but not quite as loud and not quite as metallic. But basically the same noise, just somewhat more muted.

I asked the service manager what it might be, and he suggested that it had to do with the valve train and timing advance mechanisms protecting against detonation at the shift point under light load. From what little I know about cars, the explanation that suggested itself is that, under mild load, with the shift points designed to keep the car in the 1500-2000 RPM range, there is a detonation danger when the RPMs drop, and what I am hearing is an adjustment of the engine management systems all working in concert.

Great. But it doesn't really sound right, or good, or luxurious. Sorry, Hyundai, but that is the truth.

The sound in my vehicle got a bit louder the last few weeks, so I took it to a second Hyundai dealer. The first reaction of the service manager when I described the problem was annoyance with me. He switched into an accusatory mode.
"Have you changed the oil?" he demanded. "Yes, at 3000 miles," I said.

"Where" he said, apparently ready to jump on me if I did it "wrong."

"At the Hyundai dealer where I got the car."

"Oh."

Anyway, he scheduled me in, drove my car, but refused to have a mechanic go for a drive with me "for insurance reasons." (Geez, the salesmen don't have any problem going out with customers --- am I really supposed to believe that?)
Overall, he was charming and positive, I must say. But not terribly informative (see below).

He returned, took another new Genny out for a test drive, put the car on the rack, had people checking exhause, etc. Found one "slightly loose caliper cover" but otherwise nothing. Moreover, he said, the other Genny made "essentially the same sound." But he had no idea what the sound was or what caused it!! Even more interesting, he didn't really seem to care. No promise to "call Hyundai and get an answer" for me. Apparently, we owners are considered too dumb to understand these things, and either Hyundai service managers have a stunning lack of intellectual curiosity, or Hyundai Automotive has no mechanism for disseminating information. Either way, this hardly inspires confidence.

Ironically, after all this, NOBODY from Hyundai has been able to give me a clear technical explanation of precisely what the noise is! Now, you would think that if a particular not-very-luxurious-sounding noise is emanating from the engine of the 2009 car of the year on a regular basis, SOMEONE in the Hyundai organization should be able to give a clear, succinct explanation of what the sound is!!

What is even more annoying is that NOT ONE MAGAZINE REVIEWER of this vehicle has ever mentioned what, to any car enthusiast, is a very salient feature of the vehicle. My 2003 Honda Accord 6 never made anything like this sound. By comparison, it sounded like a turbine, silky smooth and whisper quiet under moderate load. So what gives?

How can reviewers continually describe the Genesis 3.8 as whisper quiet, when you hear this noticeable clatter every time you near a shift point under light load?

Irregular, detonation-like noises from an engine are never to be ignored. It is easy to say "relax, you are under warranty," but it is not just an issue of being "under warranty," it is an issue of understanding, at all times, precisely what the 3875 pounds of steel under your behind is doing.

It is also an issue of resale value. When I go to trade this car in, if I choose a private sale, this noise may cost me thousands of dollars!

Hyundai makes fabuluous advertising brochures. Now they need to invest in an intelligent information system and customer interface. I am willing to bet that at least 100 Genesis 3.8 owners have called Hyundai about this noise.
Why is it not in their database, and why have they no answer at the ready? This is not rocket science -- it is an area where Hyundai needs to improve as they take their place near the top of the auto industry.

Last edited by JimInNashville; 11-22-2010 at 10:37 AM.
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  #33  
Old 11-22-2010, 10:34 AM
JimInNashville JimInNashville is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

Ron,
Thanks very much for the response. I tend to agree with your explanation, and I am prepared to accept that this sound (with variations from car to car) is "normal for this vehicle."

This doesn't excuse the facts that

a. Reviewers from major car magazines continually refer to the whisper quiet Genesis 3.8, and it most certainly is not whisper quiet under light load.

b. Dealers and service managers have no coherent explanation for the sound, merely concluding that "they all do that". Sorry, but if you are selling a luxury vehicle, you should be able to explain every nuance of the car's performance. I can tell you that if I sold Genny's for a living, I'd know exactly what that noise is.

I can live with the noise. I keep telling myself "It's the sound of performance."
But it just doesn't sound like a luxury car, and Hyundai engineers have to know that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Veenker View Post
Sounds very familiar, Jim. I don't know exactly what the origin is, but one technically proficient responder said, "Genesis 3.8 has solid lifters and valve timing chains, variable intake and exhaust timing. During acceleration, the ECU, thru solenoid valves and oil pressure, commands both camshafts (exhaust and Intake) to retard or advance to achieve peak engine performance and fuel efficiency.

"To me, it sounded like it is retarding the spark timing to prevent detonation along with the automatic camshaft adjustments of both intake and exhaust valves. Don't miss the fact that Genesis 3.8 may have the biggest intake throat (almost 3 inches across) that I have seen for this size engine, contributing to the "throaty sound" we are hearing."

I take that to mean that the engineers and designers would say, "We really meant to do that."

Ron
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  #34  
Old 12-07-2010, 12:34 AM
Bob25thTA Bob25thTA is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

Hi guys, very new to Forum, just joined an hour ago. Bought a 2011 Genesis Coupe Track model for the wife on Saturday. Didn't expect a quiet car but after hearing noises as described here, I noticed that there is no hood insulation liner installed on the Coupes. Don't know if the sedans are the same, but I found that strange and talked to dealer about installing an Insulating blanket. From what the service dept. said there is no such thing.

Engines make noises of all kinds, and I should know I own a GM with an LS1 engine in it with hood insulation and all, and it is still noisy. Maybe Hyundai should just use some noise deadening and quiet down the engine compartment.

Maybe an aftermarket Idea?
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  #35  
Old 12-07-2010, 01:30 AM
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

You could Dynomat the interior of the car - pull up the carpet and door trim - it will quiet the interior, but it will cost you a few hundred.
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  #36  
Old 02-25-2012, 10:32 AM
omelyan omelyan is offline
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One day I remove engine cover for cleaning,and notice that harsh sound at 2k now is quieter , I thought that engine cover Is in blame,so I buyed sound insulation material and prepare to soundproof engine cover. But when I take a closer look I notice a strange detail that attached to cover with like 16 screws, so I removed it. Inside it was like 2 seppareted,different sized chambers with one hole in each, the thing had a name and it was resonator ) I think that is was made to acoustic porpuses, to amplify engine sound, so i sealed this holes with medical cotton, and tape it. And you know what? Harsh sound is allmost gone now. And I sound proofed engine cover,just in case) but it has no effect. So try it yourself, remove engine cover and you will see that detail on the right side of it. Maybe I just fooled myself )

Last edited by omelyan; 02-25-2012 at 10:58 AM.
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  #37  
Old 02-27-2012, 02:01 AM
JimInNashville JimInNashville is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by omelyan View Post
One day I remove engine cover for cleaning,and notice that harsh sound at 2k now is quieter , I thought that engine cover Is in blame,so I buyed sound insulation material and prepare to soundproof engine cover. But when I take a closer look I notice a strange detail that attached to cover with like 16 screws, so I removed it. Inside it was like 2 seppareted,different sized chambers with one hole in each, the thing had a name and it was resonator ) I think that is was made to acoustic porpuses, to amplify engine sound, so i sealed this holes with medical cotton, and tape it. And you know what? Harsh sound is allmost gone now. And I sound proofed engine cover,just in case) but it has no effect. So try it yourself, remove engine cover and you will see that detail on the right side of it. Maybe I just fooled myself )
That is extremely interesting. I'm going to take a look. Can't find anything about that on the internet!
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  #38  
Old 08-07-2012, 02:05 PM
cpav193 cpav193 is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

I recently got my 2012 Genesis and noticed the sound after about 1200 mi. It reminds me of spark knock back in the day, when vacuum advance existed - or when low octane gas was burned in a high compression V8.

My Genesis is in the shop now, for the 2nd time - the mechanics could not hear the sound the 1st time. So, I took the Service Mgr for a ride and he heard it, although his engine "specialist" could not. I'm not holding out much hope, but will post what I hear this time around.
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  #39  
Old 08-07-2012, 03:15 PM
Glashub Glashub is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

Could be the GDI? Normal sounds for it?
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  #40  
Old 08-07-2012, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimInNashville View Post
I have now posted an extensive video of a test drive, on YouTube, at the following URL.

YouTube - Genesis 3.8 Sound.flv

You can hear the sound fairly well at several points. I have noticed in some other online YouTube videos that not all Genesis 3.8 sedans make this sound.
In particular, one recording inside the vehicle shows 0-180km acceleration, with a noticeably smoother sound than what I hear in my car.

Please watch my video, ESPECIALLY 3:00-4:00 and 8:00-8:20

Thanks,

Jim
i really like that sound in the video. seriously.
maybe it doesn't sound as good in person, but based purely on the video, i hear a pleasant aggressive sound, like a V8 muscle car.
i sometimes wish my V8 sounded like that, as i can barely hear my engine.
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  #41  
Old 08-13-2012, 11:22 AM
JimInNashville JimInNashville is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

LOL, some other people have emailed me and commented that they like the "aggressive sound" while others have said that it drives them nuts. I had a Plymouth Sport Fury 1969 with a high-compression 383 and Holley 4-barrel carb that made some lovely sounds.

I've been to several dealers, and nobody can tell me precisely what the sound is, although the engine passes all electronic tests.

All Genesis 3.8 sedans I've driven make an approximation of this same sound...it is just a lot louder in my vehicle. It could be indicative of a production error, or it could be that I am just at the upper end of "natural
variation" of the sound. Also, I've got the base 3.8, i.e., the cheapest. Maybe that has some impact on the noise.

My issue is not so much with the noise itself as it is with the fact that nobody in the Hyundai organization can state what the noise is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcar View Post
i really like that sound in the video. seriously.
maybe it doesn't sound as good in person, but based purely on the video, i hear a pleasant aggressive sound, like a V8 muscle car.
i sometimes wish my V8 sounded like that, as i can barely hear my engine.
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  #42  
Old 12-03-2012, 03:35 AM
Majin SSJ Eric Majin SSJ Eric is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

Just got a 2009 Genesis 3.8 sedan from Carmax a couple of days ago with 16k miles on it and I noticed this exact noise almost immediately. Definitely stood out as a weird sound when I first noticed it yet it is very subtle and could almost be attributed to an aggressive exhaust tuning if it wasn't so lopsided sounding. Really hard to describe but Jim's video nailed it. Mine isn't quite as pronounced but is exactly the same. Not exactly displeasing but not "right" either. I guess I'll just chalk it up to normal considering that it seems all 3.8's make this noise to some degree.

Did you ever get any extra info about this noise Jim?
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  #43  
Old 12-03-2012, 07:52 AM
Mark_888 Mark_888 is online now
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

I would try using mid-grade gas and see if the sound is the same.
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  #44  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:34 AM
JimInNashville JimInNashville is offline
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Default Re: Newbie question -- 3.8 Engine Sound on Moderate Acceleration

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To respond to the some of the most recent posters:

1. As for the noise itself, I would say that, if anything, it is slightly louder than it was a year ago, but if so, only slightly. It is definitely *not* quieter. Have I been able to get any additional information? No, I haven't. Nobody from Hyundai has been able to pinpoint *any* technical information anywhere in the Hyundai network that discusses this sound and identifies the technical cause for it. This fact is stunning, and indicates a major failing of modern automotive manufacturing and service networks.

Compare my current experience to one I had in 1975. After a particularly "exciting" acceleration run, my 1969 Plymouth Sport Fury with high-compression 383 and a Holly 4-barrel limped to a stoplight with a loud ticking sound emanating from under the hood. I pulled into the nearest service station. The mechanic said "Can't tell for sure -- take it to Les Kimbrel". He was a local mechanic who actually worked on Indy cars and was a local legend. Drove to his shop on the outskirts of Lafayette, Indiana, prepared for the worst. He listened to the car for a minute, grabbed a stethescope, listened some more, then said, "Shucks, you'll be fine. Tell you what it is. You broke a tooth off the timing chain wheel. A piece of it is stuck in the chain and is slapping against the cover on every revolution. Gotta replace that broken wheel before you break the chain. You throw that chain -- then you WILL have a problem."

How much? I asked with a gulp. "Well, we'll have to tear off the fan, water pump, timing chain cover. Aw, you're a student. Heck...35 bucks."

I watched as he tore down the engine and removed the cover. And there it was. The tooth stuck in the chain, just as he said. Of course he was "my" mechanic from then on. A man with knowledge, and the brainpower to troubleshoot. Are there any Les Kimbrels anywhere in the Hyundai network?
People who can listen to a vehicle and tell you what you are hearing?

2. Some people like the sound. I don't mind it too much except when I give someone a ride and they ask "what the heck is that", but the reason I don't like it is that, under the right loading conditions, it moves out of the realm of "aggressive" quite firmly (in my opinion) into the realm of "tinny" and "cheap -- possibly broken." That is not what a new owner expects when acquiring a vehicle that several reviewers have described as "whisper quiet". It is not "whisper quiet," or anything close to it. This fact was brought home to me when I recently ended up with a Buick LaCrosse rental vehicle with a 3.6L direct injected V6. No question that the Hyundai is a better vehicle in almost any measurable respect including being quicker. (Consumer Reports scores them Genesis 92, LaCrosse 74.) But the difference in sound between the engines was incredibly salient to me. The Buick sounded smooth as silk compared to the 3.8.

3. Recommendations to try higher-octane fuels should be ignored. They make zero difference in sound, mileage, or performance. Zero difference. None. Nada. Believe me, I have tried zero-alcohol fuel, 91 octane fuel, etc. This is NOT a fuel issue. Moreover, if it were, Hyundai would be seriously at fault, since 87 octane fuel is the recommended fuel for the vehicle.

This issue is apparently standard on the car. Mine is a base 3.8, possibly assembled with less sound-deadening than more expensive variants. The car continues to perform very well. It is a month shy of being 3 years in service. 16,750 miles. The generally terrible Dunlop tires are even worse now that they are nearing the 2/3 point of their tread life. But the car looks like a new vehicle -- the paint job is awesome. No squeaks, no rattles, no evidence of deterioration anywhere.
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  #45  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:42 AM
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Geeze....and .I'd prefer a little more aggressive sound from my RSpec at less than WOT. Your issue sound like renosence from intake air box combined with some exhaust noise. As your vehicle is a 3.8 it is not GDI noise, did you have exhaust checked for leaks?
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