My car hums and groins when I accelerate...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Nov 01, 1989

Dear Tom and Ray:

We recently purchased a 1989 Chevrolet Celebrity with a V-6 engine. The engine is quiet at idle, but when we accelerate, we hear a humming or light groaning. The Chevy service manager's advice is "don't concentrate on the noise." He says we are making something out of nothing. What do you think?

TOM: The noises you refer to are heard in many Celebrities. When the car is running well, you hear the owner humming. This humming quickly turns to groaning when the car starts running poorly.

RAY: Actually, my guess is that the sound you're hearing is coming from the transmission. The GM transmission used in this car exhibits a lot of "growl," particularly on hard acceleration and particularly in low gear. If none of your neighbors has been missing a small dog, the growl probably is transmission noise. GM ought to improve it, but your service manager may be right when he says that they all do that.

TOM: Go back and ask the dealer to let you can drive another new Celebrity. If you hear the same noise, you're out of luck; it means they really are all like that. If you don't hear the noise, insist that they fix your car. If they still refuse, contact the Chevrolet zone office in your region and see if you can get the zone manager to intervene on your behalf.

RAY: And if our advice turns out to be faulty, Robert, just don't concentrate on it.

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