Hiss from honda civic when under load


Old 03-23-10, 11:35 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ludlow, MA
Posts: 172
Hiss from honda civic when under load

My 99 Honda Civic just developed a "hiss" when you hit the gas while cuising. The noise isn't there when the vehicle is driving balanced(neither accelerating nor deccelerating), but when you hit the gas to pick up speed, it begins very distinctly. Its a quiet sound that you need the radio completly off to hear, and its coming from the front but I can't tell which side (maybe its centered?). When you put the clutch in it goes away and when you take your foot off the gas it goes away. It dosn't do it sitting in the drive way revving the motor. I have no idea what it is as I'm a truck guy and not a car guy. I'm thinking a wheel bearing or maybe exhaust leak? But what I really need is someone more experienced then me to give their opinion. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 03-23-10, 12:00 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3
i had this problem on a escort 1 time similar to this and it was the intake air tubes cracked and you gave it heavy throttle it would hiss sucking in air.also found broken motor support which made it worse ....you can check by looking at the rubber intake air tubes that come from breather to throttle body on intake...hope this help
Old 03-23-10, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,312
The idea would be to find where the noise is coming from...

My usual trick is to place a paper tube (like from gift wrap paper) to my ear, then point the other end around the engine. The noise gets louder closer to the source.

But if you must drive it to make it hiss, then that will not work!

Perhaps you could use a garden hose, a helper, and good old duct tape...

Tape the end of the hose on the left side of the engine compartment, then route through the passenger side window and have the helper listen. Then drive.

Then move the hose to the right side, then drive again and see which was loudest.

If same, try under the vehicle at the front, and then rear (exhaust?).

And move it around the engine compartment if you get different noise levels there. Try left front, left rear. Right front, right rear.

Then when you find where the noise is the loudest, check that area for leaks in hoses or whatever...
Old 03-23-10, 12:50 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,023
Poor mans dynamometer test....... better if its an automatic...don't burn up the clutch if manual.

Open the hood..pull up to a tree or solid block wall...use old tires or something to protect bumper if required. Put it in gear and put a load on it...have someone reliable do the listening. Yes....it can work.
Old 03-24-10, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 912

One way to check for an exhaust leak is to induce something in to the engine to make it smoke then look for the leak. A restriction in the ex. can cause a noise like this but it would be heard at the back. Good hunting RW
Old 03-26-10, 11:45 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington State
Posts: 312
Agree with Fordtech air intake hose is the most common cause of that sound do you have an aftermarket aircleaner? That will do it as well.As for a test on a motor mount does the motor move more than an inch or so when power braking? If so you got a bad front mount.(also real common)and the most likely cause of the intake tube getting a crack in it.
Good Luck

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