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Strange noise under the hood of my brand new car

I just purchased a 2013 Ford Focus hatchback SE Monday night. Tuesday morning I came out of the house to get in my car, I unlocked the car, and opened the door. Before I even got into the car I heard a “scratch scratch scratch whirrr whirrr” coming from the engine. The dealer did not show me where the hood latch was so by the time I figured out how to open the hood the noise had stopped (within a minute of when it started.) Driving that day I did not notice any more noise, nor any issues with the engine.

Wednesday morning (today) I came out to get in my car, and when I opened the door I heard the same nose coming from under the hood. I got the hood open and looked in with a flashlight while the nose was still going. The noise was coming from the right hand side of the engine block, but I did not see anything actually moving to cause the scratching and whirrring noise.

I already have an appointment with the dealer this weekend, but knowing it is under warranty and they probably dont want to invest much time into a free repair I am not confident in taking it to them. I will also try and get a video if it happens again tomorrow.

Thanks for any help

Drew

My guess, and only a guess, is that when you unlock the door the car’s computer reads that action and starts a “cycle” of checks and events to prepare the car to be driven. You might be hearing the fuel pump and fuel system cranking up, and/or an ABS/Trac/Stability control system check.

Just ask your salesperson to take you to a similar car with the same engine and see if you get the same noise when the car door is unlocked.

DSkinner wrote:
I already have an appointment with the dealer this weekend, but knowing it is under warranty and they probably dont want to invest much time into a free repair I am not confident in taking it to them.

The manufacturer pays the dealer for warranty work, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

i agree that the noise you hear is probably just all the cycles starting. i have a volkswagen and it does the same thing when i unlock and open the door the computer starts its cycles. its almost like its waking up. i would not worry about it. but you are best to get it verified from the dealer. good luck!!!

If you haven’t read the owners manual yet, that would be a good place to look to see what they say about it.

ITS ALIVE ! :wink:
Been a while since you’ve had a new car eh ?
My 06 Escape has a complete life of its own too. Sounds just like that after unlocking. Mine even has sounds after locking and walking away.
Computers rule our lives.

  • DEALER DIDN’T SHOW YOU ???
    There’s two strikes against you already…
    Please, please, please do yourself a huge favor and read the owner’s manual…today.

“If you haven’t read the owners manual yet, that would be a good place to look to see what they say about it.”

I had a noise from the front of my 2005 Accord at about 8 MPH the first time I moved forward each day. I read about the ABS brake check for Camry’s but never saw anything about the Accord. I finally decided it was the same thing. There was no warning in the owner’s manual.

I think the dealership will be more than happy to listen and give an opinion on this at least. If you are not satisfied, ask them if you can do the exact same thing on one of the new cars on the lot, and see if it makes the same noise. I expect you’ll probably find this is normal for this make/model/year.