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Whistling noise from heater in new 2019 Ford Escape

Hi all, I just joined CarTalk and this is my first post.

I got a new 2019 Ford Escape on Tuesday. I love pretty much everything about it, except that when the heater runs it produces a high-pitched whistling noise. The harder the heater is working the higher the pitch of the whistle. It’s very annoying and interferes with quiet rides, conversation, and listening to low- or medium-volume music. I recorded a sample of it today and posted it as an unlisted YT video so you could hear it:

Does anyone have experience with this issue and/or know what could be causing it? It seems strange that this would be happening in a brand new vehicle with about 40 miles on it.

2019 Ford Escape SE, EcoBoost (I tried to select vehicle make and model from menus above post but nothing showed up to choose from).


:neutral_face: It’s been a while since we’ve seen common_sense_answer — their last post was in Mar '19.


Have others heard the same sound you are hearing? I was just wondering if it has to do with one’s hearing acuity. Your hearing could be better than most.

Have you tried other settings/adjustment? Do you have an outside ventilation setting and a recirculation setting? Does it do it on both?

I’d go back and talk with the salesperson and demonstrate what you’re hearing. Can that person hear it? Have that person get some keys and together go listen to another vehicle or two at the dealership, similar HVAC system, and see if “they all do that” or if yours has a unique sound issue.

If “they all do that” then perhaps Ford, has or is working on, a remedy which would be covered by warranty. Sometimes manufacturers have to issue Technical Service Bulletins to cure common complaints/issues. Have the dealer check that and/or call somebody at the corporate service level to inquire.

If you’ve got a unique situation then a remedy should be covered by your warranty as well, but would probably require a service appointment. Perhaps they’d give you another vehicle to drive while they work it into their service area.

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Only sound I heard was the engine, so the whistling is to high of pitch for me to hear.

is the fluctuation in the sound you adjusting the speed of the blower? or does it fluctuate like that with engine rpm’s?

What happens when you turn the radio off with the heater on?

Thanks common_sense_answer. Very good suggestions. I’m going to get together with a salesperson at the dealership to compare with other similar cars.

It could be related to hearing acuity, but the sound is so piercing that I’m now getting a headache most of the time I drive. In all vehicles I’ve driven since the late 90s I can’t recall a whistling sound similar to this coming from the heating system, and definitely nothing close to this pronounced.

The one thing I still need to check is whether the sound is produced when in recirculation mode. I also haven’t had an opportunity to have a passenger in the car because of the circumstances with my work for the past couple of days, but I will get a second and third in-person opinion soon. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who would notice it when sitting in the car.

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Thanks eddo. Yes, I was adjusting the thermostat to cause the blower/heating system to work more or less hard to warm up the car, and sometimes lowering the thermostat far enough to make it turn off altogether. The pitch rises and falls according to the intensity of the blower.

It makes the same noise with the radio both off and on. It doesn’t matter which sound source is selected or if the sound system is turned on or off.

You’re welcome. Please let us know how it is resolved and/or progresses.

Part of our “reward” for helping others, besides the satisfaction from helping others, is learning from car problems and possible solutions. Also, it helps us better fine-tune our advice given.

I had something similar on my Ford truck. It’s an old truck now, but it made a whistle/whine noise whenever the heater fan was on even when the truck was new. It depended on how cold the ambient temperature was, colder == louder. It hasn’t made that noise since I moved from Colorado to San Jose, which I presume is b/c the winter temperatures are warmer here. In my case the noise is coming from the motor itself, some kind of heat related interference problem or the motor/fan bearings were dry from the beginning.

I have a 2019 Escape Titanium Ecoboost that we bought on October 30 and it made the exact same sound when I drove it off the lot. I even made a video of mine, and the whistling gets louder as I increase the fan speed, just like yours. For comparison, when I bought my 2017 Edge a couple of years ago, also brand new, I had no problems with it whatsoever - no whistling in the fan, regardless of speed.

Get complaints about the noise documented in writing at the dealer service department, including dates and mileage, and retain them.

My Pontiac Bonneville (and everybody else’s of that model-year) had a noisy HVAC blower fan (not whistling, just loud). Eventually when enough owners complained, GM came up with a revised blower that was installed and covered under warranty at no cost. It was/is very quiet. GM issued a Technical Service Bulletin about this remedy, but one had to mention the noise (complain) to get the goodwill fix (no “safety issue” = no recall).
:palm_tree: :sunglasses::palm_tree:

If it’s still an issue, have your dealer look up Technical Service Bulletin 19-2265. It’s a known issue in Escapes built in February and March of 2019. If that doesn’t work, tell them to contact the Ford Hotline there’s a secondary fix that’s more extensive than the TSB, which is ultimately what fixed mine.

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