2012 Ford Fiesta SE (auto) possible Hill Start Assist noise?

At ~6,000mi, I started noticing a sound that occurred during the period when almost at a complete stop and also a couple seconds after taking the foot off the brake and speeding up (i.e. at traffic lights, stop signs, slowing to a slow coast to make a turn at an intersection or into a parking space, etc.). It comes from the drivers front side. If the radio is on (even on lower volume) it isn’t noticeable. However, if the radio is off it is very apparent and pretty alarming. The closest I can describe the sound is it’s a metal “adjusting” sort of noise. I don’t want to say it’s a grinding, but it sounds almost like metal clunking/cranking/creaking. It doesn’t occur at every stop. Sometimes it happens right before/as I’m coming to a complete stop, sometimes a couple seconds after I take my foot off the brake and start to accelerate, sometimes both. My car shifts perfectly fine, no hesitation or noise during gear shifts, the braking is fine and responsive, and the sound occurs for only a second or two. When I took it in for an oil change/multi-point inspection at the ford dealer I told them about the sound. They held it overnight to test drive and look into it. The technician said that he found it was worse on an incline and that it was a normal sound from the Hill Start Assist engaging. However, I feel like it happens on flat surfaces as well. I took it in again last week (1 mo after the oil change), because the sound was really unnerving me for a car that is only 8 months old. And they said they checked everything out and found nothing out of the ordinary. I don’t remember hearing it when I first got the car. I know I had driven with the radio off before, and nothing came to my attention. But I am not 100% certain whether it just started happening or if it was always like that. I’m also not sure if it’s getting worse or if I’m just listening for it. Other than this sound, I love my car. Should I just chill out and stop over-analyzing it? Or should I try taking it to another ford dealer?

Ask to drive another one on the lot to see if it is “normal”… It does sound like it could be reated to the hill start assist, although I had it on a Subbaru in the past and it never made a sound… Try another car, if that does not work try another dealer…

IMO the Hill Assist shouldn’t be activating when the car is on level ground or when the car is coming to a stop. My guess, the noise is from the brake pads and the dealer is hoping it goes away before you decide to come back and ask them to dig a little deeper.

Hill start assist on an Automatic? I must really be out of touch with new cars. Why would it need such a claimed feature?

Does this sound happen more when turning the wheels by chance? If you have the steering wheel turned completely to one side is the noise more apparent when you take off from a stop? This could be an early, early CV joint issue.

Yep, from what I’ve seen/read they are putting that feature on a lot of automatics now, especially little economy cars. I’ll try turning my wheel like you have mentioned to see if it is worse. However, I believe some of the most apparent instances have happened when my wheel is straight ahead, or only slightly turned. So I don’t think it matters where the wheel is. I wish I could turn the hill start assist off to see if that’s really where the sound is coming from.

You may be listening to the clutch actuator. I believe this car has the automaticlly shifted manual transmission. An automated clutch is used instead of a torque convertor found on a typical automatic transmission.

I can’t tell you is the sound is normal, I haven’t driven one but I would expect the behavior and sounds to be different than conventional cars.

If it were a clutch actuator, wouldn’t I be hearing it during gear shifts as well?

You might be able to hear it during shifts but the action would be so fast it wouldn’t sound the same. Clutch engagement during take off from a stop takes longer.

How about a loose heat shield on or near the muffler?

What the heck is a “hill start assist”? And why would there be one on an automatic?

How long is your warranty? It will probably get worse instead of better. Calling different dealers that will perform warranty service may be helpful. If your situation is not unique it may float up in the TSB world.

I said it befpre and will say it again, how agout a loose hea shild on or nesr the mffler??