Volvo XC70 Loud Siren noise driving in rain

tands2tands2 Member Posts: 2
edited February 2015 in Volvo
We were driving last weekend in a heavy rain storm when our 2004 XC70 started making a loud siren noise. The noise increased with acceleration. We pulled off the road, turned the car off. When restarted the sound was gone, but then returned again when driving in heavy rain. Any clues as to what is causing this noise and if it needs attention?


  • jsandek1jsandek1 Member Posts: 5
    Does the noise occur during low speed (5-20 mph) turns? Mine made an odd whooshing noise during same---tuned out to be a dry power steering reservoir. Relatively common for the plastic housing to crack and leak fluid all over the frame. Should be covered under warranty--even after as it has been reported by others on the net.
  • tands2tands2 Member Posts: 2
    No, we were going about 50-60 on the highway. It is a loud ringing. Spoke with the service dept at our local dealership. He suggested that it may be caused by the hollow tunnel in the drive shaft developing a vacuum and pulling the exhaust over it causing a ringing sound. They can adjust. Not sure if I explained this right, but when the car goes in for it's 45,000 mile service next week, we will see what the verdict is. Also still riding on those original Pirelli tires, so expect to hear they are due to be replaced.
  • xc70dudexc70dude Member Posts: 1
    I have this too. I notice it in very wet conditions. Mechanics want to hear it before they can address it.
    BTW: What tires should I get next. I hate the Pirellis.
  • muttililimuttilili Member Posts: 1
    I have had the same experience twice before with my 2002 xc70. Tonight while driving up hill in a semi-heavy rain I started to hear this metallic screech(like metal on metal from under the car)-I was going relatively slow 30-40- I pulled over-heard it when I pulled forward & in reverse but it stopped after I turned the car off and started it again. then a few yards it began again- pulled over and did not turn the engine off. It stopped. Both times before it was raining. Any ideas?
  • terrettterrett Member Posts: 1
    We had the same problem. There is kit available at the Volvo dealer to stop the noise. It is not free ($300), but it stopped the noise. It took them a couple of years to solve the problem.
  • ted354ted354 Member Posts: 3
    The Perilli tires are famous for noises, and low milege. A forum on has had quite a discussion on the best tires with many suggestions, however Nokians in the size 235/55r16 over the stock 215/65r16. I have looked at the tire rack and other on line stores but I don't see the brand......
  • cmicalcmical Member Posts: 1
    Yes, I have a 2004 XC70 and have experienced the same thing, a metal screeching sound from the rear of the car while driving in snow. It has got to be related to traction sensing? Any one who has identified the problem and gotten a fix, please let me know. Just switched tires from the Pirellis, which I never liked to Dunlop WinterSports. The handling and ride has really improved.
  • davidwatsondavidwatson Member Posts: 1
    Wow! This just happened to me while driving up to Copper Mt. this weekend. We heard that high pitched sound... thought it was the brakes, but not certain. It has dumbfounded me. It was snowing when this happened. Does anybody know what to tell the mechanic when I take it in?
  • storminwestiestorminwestie Member Posts: 1
    Did anyone ever post what causes the noise. We have a 2007 XC70 and it makes a very loud schreeching sound in wet snow.

    We just had the car into the dealer today, and we're having wet snow today, but they couldn't find thew cause.
  • chalfchalf Member Posts: 2
    I have your answer. I had the very same problem on my 2007 xc70. Its the bracket holding the vibrates in the rain/moisture and creates that scary high pitched noise. When I called Big Dee Volvo...they knew all about it and fixed it (replaced bracket) for me free as part of the normal (very expensive) servicing. Problem was solved.
  • reggaereggae Member Posts: 1
    Unbelievable! This just happened to me yesterday driving through a torrential rain storm in Connecticut. (2004 XC70). In addition to 3 screaming kids and pounding rain, this siren sound started. It seemed to go away slightly if I sped up, too.
    The dealer we called hadn't heard of this problem but I'll try again. Thanks for the info.
  • tulip55tulip55 Member Posts: 1
    I had a similar experience with my car. I had driven over a rasied manhole cover and the exhaust pipe was bent (but functioned properly). The dealership tried their best to straighten it out but it would have been quite expensive to change it out. I decided to drive as is. I simply laughed every time it rained and said "Singing in the rain..." Did get interesting looks from other drivers.
  • vegas2004xc70vegas2004xc70 Member Posts: 6
    Happens all of the time when I drive in snow and slush. I have a roof rack...does anyone else? It is a combination of wind, snow build-up, and speed. I also have a Thule box on top, maybe it adds to the problem. It only happens at specific wind angles and wetness levels. That is the cause of my noise and may be for some of you.
  • jstyerjstyer Member Posts: 1
    I have a XC70 with 100,000 miles and recently it began making a loud siren like noise in heavy rain, usually not over 60 mph. My local dealer mentioned something about the drive shaft hitting the muffler but I checked and there is no evidence. I noted the kit below. Does it resolve the problem?
  • hanafihanafi Member Posts: 4
    I've seen 2 or 3 analyses here, and wonder what the final conclusion is. Neither the dealer nor any of the local Volvo specialists have heard of this problem! I find that very odd since several of you all have experienced it as do I.

    Someone mentioned a "kit" that fixes the problem, and another popular cure here has to do with a muffler bracket. Are they the same fix?

    It's heading towards the rainy season here in Seattle, and I'd love to find a remedy before it gets really wet out there.
  • monteiromonteiro Member Posts: 1
    I have a new to me '06 xc70, driven in heavy rain over summer, no issues. Today, w/ our 1 st heavy wet snow in NJ, I got what I believe is the same noise. I thought it was binding brakes. Only happened at above 30 mph, not below. Can this be the same thing? If so, what is the part # or name for kit described as the "fix"? TIA
  • hanafihanafi Member Posts: 4
    I still haven't found a solution to the whistling noise. It isn't drive shaft or brakes. It only happens after driving through water or slush. No vibration, no change in pitch or difference when changing speed. My guess is that whenever the water is dispersed, the sound ends. Local mechanics haven't heard of the issue before, including the dealer. They all want to hear it, which of course is difficult since it only happens in very wet conditions. My mechanic wonders if it is vacuum related.

  • montyhousemontyhouse Member Posts: 1
    In a torrential rain storm tonite on the freeway and heard this horrific noise coming from the engine compartment. Came on....subsided some.....then back on full. Pulled off at nearest exit. Drove at 30 MPH for a faintly came back and stayed away for entire 25 minute drive home at city street speed.

    Got home, google'd "high pitch noise 2007 Volvo XC70" and this immediately popped up. If there's a fix--i.e., muffler bracket--I want it, because if my wife or kids were driving, they would have FREAKED.
  • hanafihanafi Member Posts: 4
    The person who posted about the "kit" cure has never responded to any inquiries about it. My local dealer and Volvo specialty shops maintain they've never heard of the issue before. I find it hard to believe since Seattle seems to be Volvo Central.. They're everywhere!

    It's rare for me to hear the sound these days, but every once in a while, after I've been surfing through slush or BIG puddles, it returns.
  • johnwilmerdingjohnwilmerding Member Posts: 1
    Yes, yes, yes! Has anyone zeroed in on the cause?

    It is a loud, siren-like whine when it's raining. Very loud sometimes, as heard within the car. Variable volume, but constant in pitch (same tone). This indicates to me that if it is caused by something that is spinning, it is spinning at the same speed the whole time.

    First happened to me about 3 months ago driving in rain in the hills near my Vermont home in my 2004 Volvo XC-70. Just now, today (Jan 18 '15) it happened again in freezing rain out on the Interstate (91). This time I was less alarmed and experimented just a bit. Noticed three things (1) the whine stops if I gun the engine (go faster) to get the turbocharger to cut in (activate or boost) more, but then starts in again immediately when I let up on the accelerator to resume my previous speed (40-50 MPH or so is when it occurs); (2) when I changed lanes (through some thin slush between the lanes) it was much more likely to happen, and much louder - the lane with the most slush would make it happen more, and louder; and (3) the brake response seems much stiffer right after the whining happens. The brake thing has me worried ... a sudden increase in effort required to engage the brakes could be very dangerous! It felt like the power brakes had stopped working for a bit.

    The high frequency and constant pi tch (tone)of the whine seems to me to indicate that the noise is not originating with the wheel or brake assemblies, and is not linked to engine RPM ... definitely nothing to do with the tires or road noise. Is there a high-spinning gizmo as part of the ABS? The nature of the noise has me wondering if the car is missing some sort of filter, shield, baffle, etc., that normally keeps water out of where it shouldn't go too much.

    Please, does anyone know about this?
  • beachbum65beachbum65 Member Posts: 1
    I had a simila experience with my 2003 xc70. Load whining while driving in a torrential rain. It stopped the weather conditions improved and ne ver happen again BECAUSE a little research led me to believe that the problem was a defective ( from getting soaked ) alarm system component. ( the sirenr is located in a front wheelwell (?)). Anyway, I came to believe this as the cause also because shortly thereafter my cay alarm started going off randomly. I removed the fuse that controls the alarm. Never has the problem again. BTW, the "kit" that has been referenced in earlier forums and that costs around 300.00 might be the alarm sire/ module kit.
  • IntrepidS60IntrepidS60 PennsylvaniaMember Posts: 1
    edited September 2019
    I presently have this Banshee of a noise in rain, slush and snow! Thought it was the rear brake drum shoes that the pads had gotten old and broken away from the base of the shoe. Replaced both rear shoes and the sound stopped for a time. Then we have had monsoons here in PA where the sound has returned!! It does seem to be variable in the intensity by the speed (slowing to 25-30 mph) and then the speed though it does seem to start sooner the speed really doesn't seem to be a major factor. The RAIN!! the WET! that is what kicks it into gear and the screaming begins!! It is a true PIA when driving through the city streets of Harrisburg, PA and people are putting on their brakes as i come near.
    Someone here has said there is a fix with the bracket of the exhaust?? I highly doubt that though stranger things have been true! Sounds like a belt squeal though I have been accustomed to belt squeal in the past and this is about 10 to the 2nd power in decibel level!! Also these cars have a pretty secure splash shield that I find hard to believe that much water is getting into the engine compartment to cause all that noise... but hey.. maybe!!
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