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Discussion Starter #1
Hello.

We picked up a brand new 2018 Acadia Denali AWD with twin moonroofs and Technology Package. Less than 200 miles on the car currently.

Temps have been in the 40s here and I am using Auto for climate. Once the car has warmed up, at lower speeds, there is a noticeable howling sound coming from the AC compressor. Changing the fan speed manually does not affect the sound, but as soon as you push the AC button to turn off the compressor, it goes away. It also doesn't seem to do it during the first 10 minutes of any cold start drive, which is why I didn't notice during our test drive. I'm not sure if that's a hint that there is a pressure problem in the system.

The howling really messes up an otherwise serene quiet cabin. The sound reminds me of a semi tractor trailer applying its brakes, kind of a "hooooo" sound. Quieter of course. This is not the "pssssh" sound the AC will make on first engagement.

Before someone says "just take it in", yes, that is what I will have to do. I would simply prefer to walk in there with some idea of whether I'm facing a common complaint on 2017+ models? Perhaps there is a TSB which would be ideal? I hope the dealer is not going to give me a hard time or even tell me it's normal. After personally driving 14 GM cars over the years, I assure you it's not normal.

Thank you!
Brian
 

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Congrats with the new ride!

It does seem there's a problem somewhere. Your "howling sound" could be the compressor, the tension pulley, or something else making noise when the compressor is engaged and extra stress is put on the serpentine belt. Good luck at the dealer. Make sure you demonstrate your concern to your service advisor.
 

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Hello.

We picked up a brand new 2018 Acadia Denali AWD with twin moonroofs and Technology Package. Less than 200 miles on the car currently.

Temps have been in the 40s here and I am using Auto for climate. Once the car has warmed up, at lower speeds, there is a noticeable howling sound coming from the AC compressor. Changing the fan speed manually does not affect the sound, but as soon as you push the AC button to turn off the compressor, it goes away. It also doesn't seem to do it during the first 10 minutes of any cold start drive, which is why I didn't notice during our test drive. I'm not sure if that's a hint that there is a pressure problem in the system.

The howling really messes up an otherwise serene quiet cabin. The sound reminds me of a semi tractor trailer applying its brakes, kind of a "hooooo" sound. Quieter of course. This is not the "pssssh" sound the AC will make on first engagement.

Before someone says "just take it in", yes, that is what I will have to do. I would simply prefer to walk in there with some idea of whether I'm facing a common complaint on 2017+ models? Perhaps there is a TSB which would be ideal? I hope the dealer is not going to give me a hard time or even tell me it's normal. After personally driving 14 GM cars over the years, I assure you it's not normal.

Thank you!
Brian
Does not sound normal to me, our 2017 makes no noise other then the actual fan when on high. No howling, clicking, ect from the HVAC system
 

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Maybe you might want to ask the service mgr to go on a test drive with you or sit in the car with you, to verify what you are hearing. If you have to, check another car on the lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I took the Acadia into the dealer this morning. The temperature was about 10 degrees cooler than last week, and the AC howling was much quieter. The tech and I went for a ride, and he stated it sounded normal. I truly can't blame him for saying so. I know my ear was still sensitive to the particular pitch and I could pick it up, but someone who has never heard it before probably couldn't. He was very nice and said to bring it back if it gets worse.

So now I just have to grin and bear it if we get an occasional warm day. Then it will probably be quiet all winter, unless whatever it is progresses. Maybe it will get addressed in the spring or summer next year. It's loud enough even my wife said something and she's not one to notice these things. I honestly hope it DOES get worse so they do something about it, even if not until next year. It's bad enough that it ruins an otherwise serene and comfortable ride.
 

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I have a 2017 Acadia which is in the dealership now for the third attempt to repair the exact same noise. Mechanics hear it every time the car is road tested. Have already installed two compressors and an accumulator dryer. Still has not fixed the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just bought a 2018 slt1 3700 miles on it I hear the same howling sound with the A/C on sounds like the A/C expansion valve, will be taking it in for service soon
Thanks. Keep us posted and if the repair works please post part numbers for what was replaced. So far I have not had any luck getting this annoyance fixed.
 

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I have a 2017 Acadia which is in the dealership now for the third attempt to repair the exact same noise. Mechanics hear it every time the car is road tested. Have already installed two compressors and an accumulator dryer. Still has not fixed the issue.
I have the exact same issue and was curious if you found what the problem was. I've had mine in shop 4 times now with no fix
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have the exact same issue and was curious if you found what the problem was. I've had mine in shop 4 times now with no fix
Hello. The first 2018 Acadia Denali that I owned when I started this thread was replaced with another brand new 2018 Acadia Denali (for non-AC reasons that I won’t go into right now).

The new one does the same thing and sadly I have not found any solution. I think it’s a bad design, and some of us are simply more sensitive to that frequency of sound. Have resigned myself to living with it. Which is a sad statement for a $53k MSRP vehicle. The cheapest new GM I ever owned was a 2013 Cruze LS and even it had a silent AC compressor.
 

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Did anyone figure out a solution to this? Happening to my 2018 Denali with 9,000 miles on it.
Welcome to the forum.
Hope you can get some help with your Acadia's problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Our Acadia is at the dealer due to SAC002 code (bad battery at only 22,000 miles / 2 years).

I asked in passing if there’s been any TSB on the AC system. They said they’d look into it.

I get a call from the Service Advisor. She says the tech says it needs a new blower motor. I explain that it doesn’t do it on heat or vent without AC engaged so it’s not the blower motor. “Can I talk to the tech? Maybe he didn’t understand mu

She says “That’s what the tech found so that’s all we would replace.” Shut me down.

Bad Service Advisors are a reason many of us dread going to the dealership. She simply could not comprehend that I was telling her when the AC button gets pushed, the noise immediately stops, so it can’t be the blower.

If anyone’s had any luck with this minor annoyance let me know. I might, on a different day, test drive a 2020 just to see if there’s been a fix implemented.
 

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I have a 2018 Acadia Denali with 20,000 miles on it and have not had any issues with this. Now if you ask my wife, I don't hear anything anyway..........
 

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I get a bit of a whistle from the HVAC . .. with heat or A/C. But only with the fan up to the 3rd or 4th speed notch. If I crank it up higher for a few seconds and then back down, the whistle goes away.
I attribute it to a bearing.
But the A/C compressor does not make any unusual noise that I can tell.
.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You know when a semi hits it’s brakes very hard and the trailer brakes let off a howl?

That’s the type of sound I hear from the compressor. Only much much quieter. It’s not the whooshing of air movement. It’s got more of a ringing sound to it, if that makes sense. And for some reason, not until it’s been running for 20-30 minutes.
As soon as I push the “A/C” button it’s gone.

It is also cyclical. Over the course of about 5 minutes it starts barely audible, builds volume, gets annoying, then quiets, and goes away. It’s gone for a couple minutes and then the cycle starts again.

I think it’s unfortunately a design characteristic. I’ve heard it on 3 different 2018s.
After Coronavirus is all done I’ll go test drive a 2020 and see if I hear it.
 
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Hello. The first 2018 Acadia Denali that I owned when I started this thread was replaced with another brand new 2018 Acadia Denali (for non-AC reasons that I won’t go into right now).

The new one does the same thing and sadly I have not found any solution. I think it’s a bad design, and some of us are simply more sensitive to that frequency of sound. Have resigned myself to living with it. Which is a sad statement for a $53k MSRP vehicle. The cheapest new GM I ever owned was a 2013 Cruze LS and even it had a silent AC compressor.
From day one I got the sound from the blower selection, I expect it when it's on a higher settings. However I hear the blower when it's at the lowest setting. I figured it was a design problem, you should not hear any sound when turned to low. 2018 Denali. :(
 
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