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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Does anyone notice a somewhat steady buzzing sound from the car when it is parked and off in your garage or parking space when it’s really quiet outside? It’s kind of like the noise fluorescent light bulbs make when turned on.

I checked some Prius forums and it appears to be normal for that car.
They said it's the fuel evaporation leakage check or something.

I’ll have to check the manual to be sure else I need to go see my dealer.
 

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Dj1, how loud is it? I have incredibly sensitive hearing, hate that fluorescent buzzing sound, and have an attached garage, so...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dj1, how loud is it? I have incredibly sensitive hearing, hate that fluorescent buzzing sound, and have an attached garage, so...
It’s not very loud. I’m told I have dog ears and hear almost anything. It definitely didn’t last more than 15 minutes and I only heard it when I went to the garage. You’d have to be really trying to hear it though.

Idk if we can post YouTube videos here but about 12 seconds in you’ll hear it on a truck but it’s very similar. https://youtu.be/GP0jOi-ziSM
 

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Helpful! It's the kind of gotcha that one doesn't even think about — and discovers later! I once returned a computer because it made a high-pitched noise!
 

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I just heard the same exact sound in my 2019 insight. Im hoping it's the fuel evap test I've read about in other vehicles, but some confirmation would be nice.
 

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Humming sound coming from trunk. Car is off

Hi, I'm the guy whose brand new 2019 Insight was towed to the dealer the first day after I bought it. The car has been running great for the last 6 months and 6K+ miles.

Today, however, I noticed a humming sound coming from the driver's side trunk area while the car was turned off in my garage. The car had been parked there for several hours. It sounded like a small motor whirring away. I backed the car out of the garage, shut the car off and the sound stopped. Weird.

Does anyone know if there might be a motor of some sort located there causing this sound?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Hi, I'm the guy whose brand new 2019 Insight was towed to the dealer the first day after I bought it. The car has been running great for the last 6 months and 6K+ miles.

Today, however, I noticed a humming sound coming from the driver's side trunk area while the car was turned off in my garage. The car had been parked there for several hours. It sounded like a small motor whirring away. I backed the car out of the garage, shut the car off and the sound stopped. Weird.

Does anyone know if there might be a motor of some sort located there causing this sound?

Thanks in advance.
Glad to hear your car has been running well after initial incident. I think the noise you're hearing is the Evaporation Leak Check Module. There's a (very) small blurb on it on pg 14 of the Owners Manual, and additional context earlier in this thread:

"After shutting off the engine, you may hear certain noises coming from the vehicle. Noise from Under Vehicle: This noise is caused by the vacuum pump inside the fuel evaporation leakage check module (ELCM). Depending on conditions, the pump will come on for about 15 minutes about 5 to 10 hours after engine shutoff. This noise is just normal vehicle operation and don’t indicate a vehicle problem."

 

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All normal -- You should here it when two cars are going at the same time !! The wifes Subaru has the same system and if we both park around the same time... 5 hrs later it can be a bit noisy in the garage!
 

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Wow, Thank you both so much for your very quick response to my question. I sure am relieved to learn that this sound is normal. All the best and thanks again!
 

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Hi, I'm the guy whose brand new 2019 Insight was towed to the dealer the first day after I bought it. The car has been running great for the last 6 months and 6K+ miles.

Today, however, I noticed a humming sound coming from the driver's side trunk area while the car was turned off in my garage. The car had been parked there for several hours. It sounded like a small motor whirring away. I backed the car out of the garage, shut the car off and the sound stopped. Weird.

Does anyone know if there might be a motor of some sort located there causing this sound?

Thanks in advance.
There aren't too many things back there to make noise. Fuel pump, battery fan, evap system. I wouldn't worry about it unless it lasts more than 15 minutes. Our cars use a pressurized fuel system, and as the pressure changes from sitting, the system may kick in to adjust the pressure. (It's the same reason why you have to hold the fuel release button, rather than just being able to open and fill).
 

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Attaching a sample video clip what the normal 'buzzing' sounds like when the ELCM runs on a Clarity, for cross-reference:

 

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And a description of what happens during the ruckus of the Evaporation Leakage Checking Module's tests:
  • The evaporative emission control (EVAP) system in your Honda prevents fuel vapors from escaping into the atmosphere. The fuel vapors from the fuel tank are absorbed and stored by charcoal pellets in the charcoal canister.
  • The vent control valve is controlled by the engine control module (ECM) and allows air to flow into the charcoal canister to purge the gas vapors into the engine air intake to be burned.
  • The flow of the gas vapors from the charcoal canister to the engine air intake is controlled by a purge valve.
  • Both the vent control valve and the purge valve are usually open when the engine is at normal operating temperature; however, the ECM occasionally performs leak tests to ensure the evaporative emission control system is working properly.
  • During the leak test, the ECM closes the vent control valve and purge valve to create a vacuum.
  • If the EVAP system does not maintain the pressure, the ECM flags an evaporative emission control leak.
 

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And a description of what happens during the ruckus of the Evaporation Leakage Checking Module's tests:
  • The evaporative emission control (EVAP) system in your Honda prevents fuel vapors from escaping into the atmosphere. The fuel vapors from the fuel tank are absorbed and stored by charcoal pellets in the charcoal canister.
  • The vent control valve is controlled by the engine control module (ECM) and allows air to flow into the charcoal canister to purge the gas vapors into the engine air intake to be burned.
  • The flow of the gas vapors from the charcoal canister to the engine air intake is controlled by a purge valve.
  • Both the vent control valve and the purge valve are usually open when the engine is at normal operating temperature; however, the ECM occasionally performs leak tests to ensure the evaporative emission control system is working properly.
  • During the leak test, the ECM closes the vent control valve and purge valve to create a vacuum.
  • If the EVAP system does not maintain the pressure, the ECM flags an evaporative emission control leak.
We could have just found our vibration issue...

If I remember correctly, fuel trims are fixed during close loop, and if the evaporations test happens during close loop, it could technically affect idle. When my truck had a clogged charcoal canister, during closed loop, it would have a "misfire" like idle, rougher than normal. Not saying that my truck is a direct comparison, but changing vacuum, or even the slight amount of fuel that gets burnt through the Evap. system, could be a suspect in our "vibration at idle" issue.

These tests under normal conditions (driving) would most likely be imperceptible to anyone (unless looking at engine data), but at idle, the engine can't transfer the vibrations through the tires, and instead is forced to transfer it through motor mounts.
 

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We could have just found our vibration issue...

If I remember correctly, fuel trims are fixed during close loop, and if the evaporations test happens during close loop, it could technically affect idle. When my truck had a clogged charcoal canister, during closed loop, it would have a "misfire" like idle, rougher than normal. Not saying that my truck is a direct comparison, but changing vacuum, or even the slight amount of fuel that gets burnt through the Evap. system, could be a suspect in our "vibration at idle" issue.

These tests under normal conditions (driving) would most likely be imperceptible to anyone (unless looking at engine data), but at idle, the engine can't transfer the vibrations through the tires, and instead is forced to transfer it through motor mounts.
Do these type of leak checks happen while driving (in addition to the 15 minutes 5-10 hours after engine shutoff)? And would the explanation be related to cold engine temps, due to colder (less compressible) gas feed?
 

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Do these type of leak checks happen while driving (in addition to the 15 minutes 5-10 hours after engine shutoff)? And would the explanation be related to cold engine temps, due to colder (less compressible) gas feed?
The system checks have to happen when the ICE is running, it's the only way to build vacuum without a dedicated pump. Colder gas evaporates less, in conjunction with oils having a higher viscosity when cold. One would suspect this test happens only when the vehicle is at operating temperature, but as colder weather sets in, the engine cools faster, and may not be within the optimal testing range.

This is a very rough theory, but it is does have some history with ICE vehicles, (evap system causing rough idle).
 

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I think I finally heard the evap test sound for the first time tonight. I've had my Insight since 8/2018. It was exactly the same sound as the aforementioned Clarity video demonstrates. The car had been parked in the garage for 5.5 hours. I had just arrived back home in another car from my daughter's dance class. It wasn't difficult to miss in a quiet garage after the garage door closed. Even though I knew what it was, I was surprised since I had never heard it before. It's nice to know my Insight is taking care of itself.
 
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