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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2012 Kia Forte with the 2.0, it has around 102k miles. This sound has been plaguing the car for around 10k miles, it is a whistle noise that doesn't change with RPMs, constant whistle. I've tried to track it down, initially thought I had a vacuum leak, but I checked all of the hoses, have tried the smoke test for the vacuum, nothing. When I put my ear up to it, it almost sounds like the fuel rail is whining, the sound is the loudest on the right side of the engine (facing the engine from the front of the car), but the left side also whistles a slight bit. I've found a few other people on the forum who have very similar complaints, they just didn't get any answers. I'm wondering if anyone has figured out what this phantom whistle is. The only other thing I can think is a loose bold on the manifold? Who knows. It doesn't affect performance, it runs smooth and there are no other abnormal noises (at least in Forte terms, I have the notorious piston slap that I got to quiet down a ton by adding Schaefers Moly EP). Thank you guys! I'll upload a video link to my issue. Maybe we can figure this out haha.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
My guess would be a vacuum leak or a pulley making noise.
I know right, that is what stumps me. EVERYTHING points to a vacuum leak, but all the tests I've done to look for a vacuum leak (smoke and starting fluid) all have came back inconclusive, no smoke comes out and the RPMs don't fluctuate with starting fluid. The pulley thing isn't it sadly, it almost sounds more electric, it is literally happening right at the fuel rail. Maybe I should just look into replacing the injectors at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What testing have you done in order to be able to make that statement?
The sound is LITERALLY starting on the left hand side of the engine near the air box, it's not a pulley. But, I've taken off the serpentine belt to see if it helped the whistle. Literally nothing changed (Except for the obvious battery light on the dash and the AC not working.)
 

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What testing have you done in order to be able to make that statement?
I promise, I know my car and it's not that. If you saw it in person and had your ears on the car itself you'd know it wasn't either. It's a literal mystery sound.
 

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…. If you saw it in person and had your ears on the car itself you'd know it wasn't either. ...
Yes, not being hands-on is half the problem for someone on a forum trying to help diagnose. And the other half is that no one knows what you've tried, until you post it. But now that you mentioned removing the serp belt, that's the testing that I was asking about and looking for. So I agree with you that the all the pullies have been eliminated as the source of that noise.

I'm no fan of throwing parts, and I'd always want to make every effort to diagnose before replacing anything. You mentioned 'putting your ear up to it', but how about trying a mechanic's stethoscope? You can use it to listen to everything on the top and right side of the engine bay, and that tool might just be able to isolate an pinpoint the source of the noise. Also, although I wouldn't normally eliminate anything from being a suspect, IMO an audible vacuum leak would cause a noticeable performance issue.
 
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