Author Topic: Intermittent grinding or electrical zapping sound - startup and Radio reception  (Read 298 times)

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Hi All,

I have a 2014 Hyundai i30 GD2 active auto australian model. Car drives very well and no issues when driving.

However, the car intermittently, and very rarely makes a very grinding electrical sound just before it starts to crank. then once it cranks over the idle chugs for like 30secs to minute. Then it will sometimes blow a heap of white smoke out the exhaust pipe. the smoke will disappear like the idle chugs and then its back to normal. Below is an exact video of what the idle chugs look and sound like:


The other issue is with the radio dropping out randomly and making fuzzy sound and the only way to fix it is to change modes until i go back to FM radio or turn off turn on car.

The other issue is the reception. Its quite bad for metro melbourne area. I use FM and there will be patches where it looses some reception and then drive another 50 metres and its back to normal.

I would love to video record it but id have to have my phone camera ready to go every time.


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Wow! You took a long time to make your first post, but you made a great job of it.  :goodjob:

That is an odd one, if it was a diesel I would have suspected glow plugs!

I'm guessing you have tried the dealer for an investigation and repair under warranty without success.

Hopefully someone can help. As far as the radio goes, reception is known to be poor in am (in particular) your aerial connection may be dodgy in the back of the head unit though...  :undecided:
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Wow! You took a long time to make your first post, but you made a great job of it.  :goodjob:

That is an odd one, if it was a diesel I would have suspected glow plugs!

I'm guessing you have tried the dealer for an investigation and repair under warranty without success.

Hopefully someone can help. As far as the radio goes, reception is known to be poor in am (in particular) your aerial connection may be dodgy in the back of the head unit though...  :undecided:

Yep - its the Mrs car and I've well and truely had my fair share of car forums. Taking it a little bit easier on the hyundai forum.

In saying that, I've tried and tried to get Hyundai to understand my issue and have them diagnose and fix it. But i keep getting the same old, 'we think it requires and software update'. Its not good enough for me and it keeps happening. Like i said its not an issue now... but if it hits outside warranty period and it does becomes an issue, then i will be very disappointed. What are the glow plugs?

Anyway to check the poor connection at the back myself (without taking apart the unit)?
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If Hyundai are saying they think it needs a software update...do they actually have an updated firmware there waiting that hasn't yet been performed on your car or are they just speculating?


The description of the problem seems like a cold start fuelling up issue which could be a spark plug or lead failing issue or maybe a sticky injector  :undecided:

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 :plus1: Sounds like a cold start fuel mixture/ electrical issue to me. The radio drop-out and noise problem, if associated, tells me you have temperature related electrical delivery problems, such as alternator, regulator or connections.
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Can you try another dealer? The quality of support seems to vary greatly between dealers. Don't worry about the glow plugs (they are a Diesel only thing) but some of your symptoms just happened to be similar. 

Hopefully, given time a few more members may have ideas. Sounds like Craig and Gonz might be onto it...
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However, the car intermittently, and very rarely makes a very grinding electrical sound just before it starts to crank. then once it cranks over the idle chugs for 30secs to minute. Then it will sometimes blow a heap of white smoke out the exhaust pipe. the smoke will disappear like the idle ??? chugs and then its back to normal.

I agree that you should try another dealer , this one is fobbing you off.
I think the radio or its antenna are causing a separate problem. FM signal strength is more critical than AM.

Listening to the video, the engine sounds as if it is 'hunting' , this is common when you have a bad fuel/air mix.
Do you mean that the smoke disappears when the chugging stops...or???

Are you able to tell us what the white smoke is. The smell is a give away, it could be steam or oil burning. Excess fuel causes black smoke.
Where does the grinding sound come from? Under the bonnet or dash. Or do you have the radio on?
  • 2016 GD 1.8L  Auto Hatch;  2009 FD 2.0L Auto Hatch

If Hyundai are saying they think it needs a software update...do they actually have an updated firmware there waiting that hasn't yet been performed on your car or are they just speculating?


The description of the problem seems like a cold start fuelling up issue which could be a spark plug or lead failing issue or maybe a sticky injector  :undecided:

So Iíve been to two dealers both in Melbourne. I wonít name names unless Iím allowed to.

But both have said that there is a software update that fixes the issue? I find it hard to beliece because I have 60k 45k and30k and they all said the same thing.

I was thinking itís spark plug issue but how do I get Hyundai to check actual mechanical parts as opposed to their assumption of a software update?

Can I diagnose and and find the fault myself and then bring my case to Hyundai?
  • i30

However, the car intermittently, and very rarely makes a very grinding electrical sound just before it starts to crank. then once it cranks over the idle chugs for 30secs to minute. Then it will sometimes blow a heap of white smoke out the exhaust pipe. the smoke will disappear like the idle ??? chugs and then its back to normal.

I agree that you should try another dealer , this one is fobbing you off.
I think the radio or its antenna are causing a separate problem. FM signal strength is more critical than AM.

Listening to the video, the engine sounds as if it is 'hunting' , this is common when you have a bad fuel/air mix.
Do you mean that the smoke disappears when the chugging stops...or???

Are you able to tell us what the white smoke is. The smell is a give away, it could be steam or oil burning. Excess fuel causes black smoke.
Where does the grinding sound come from? Under the bonnet or dash. Or do you have the radio on?

Does anyone have a recommended dealer and service manager?
I have only seen the smoke once as itís the Mrs car but sheís seen it numerous times. The smoke comes out as the revs chug away trying to reach back to normal idle. Once it does then itís all back to normal. Definitely not black, itís white.

The grinding noise is more of a electrical zap or like something electrical that shouldnít have touched? It happens for like 1 second then it starts cranking. Hard to explain the sound without a video. Feels like something that might have a sound coming out of the dizzy intermittently?
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A short circuit in the ignition (spark) system has a clicking sound. What you describe is a high current zap more likely to be around the starter motor.
You also infer that cranking is delayed. A program or lack of spark etc will not influence that. Given the radio and crank complaints I would look at battery connections, but importantly look for a poor earth. If its pulling a lot of current you should see marks ----move some wires and watch.
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Pop the bonnet in the shade and watch the start. The clicking may well be visible as arcing.
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A short circuit in the ignition (spark) system has a clicking sound. What you describe is a high current zap more likely to be around the starter motor.
You also infer that cranking is delayed. A program or lack of spark etc will not influence that. Given the radio and crank complaints I would look at battery connections, but importantly look for a poor earth. If its pulling a lot of current you should see marks ----move some wires and watch.

Definitely not a clicking sound more of a zap.

How do I test the starter motor?

Also, just came back from the dealer and I forced them to tell me the software update version number that is listed as Ďimprovement in cold start upí

I really donít think thatís the fix but what can you do.

They also updated the software on the  stereo. Supposedly meant to fix the issue. But as expected drove back and got some static on fm radio. Came back home and tested with removing the areal . I wonder if I got one of those long areals just to test it out and see if that might get better reception
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It probably is not the starter motor itself. More likely a connection to it or an earth link. Check battery connections.  Gonz has added to my post, look under the bonnet , move wires in dim light, look for a spark.
 Your first post is not precise, but I am assuming that you have an occasional delay in cranking and a simultaneous high current zapping.
If I am correct, and you cannot see a spark etc, go back to the dealer and tell them that you have it on good authority from a technician that their so called obsolete program cannot delay the engine cranking. It is independent, even from the immobiliser. Therefore, they need to find the source of the high current 'arcing' .
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