The all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra has an interesting or controversial new “feature,” depending on how you look at it. What’s this new feature? A fake engine noise playing through the speakers on trucks with the JBL audio system.
With the new 3.5-liter V-6 engine replacing the outgoing V-8 (among other changes), the truck won’t have that deep growl fans love. These new small V-6 engines quite simply don’t have the size to growl, and truck makers like Ford have started to add a fake exhaust note to make up for this lack of, well, sound.
For the 2022 Toyota Tundra, sound is piped in through the upgraded JBL audio system. This exhaust note doesn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, replace the V-8 growl. However, it does add some of the audible enjoyment of driving a truck. It works seamlessly with the truck’s acceleration, and it actually sounds like a bigger engine when you stomp on the gas pedal.
Sounds great right? Not so fast. Some new Tundra owners have been wondering if they can turn it off and just listen to either a quiet truck or the turbos from the new engine. After consulting the owner’s manual and reaching out to Toyota corporate, we got a very simple answer to the question. The answer: Nope. The consumer can’t turn it off themselves.
However, you can hear what the truck actually sounds like by standing outside the cabin while another person revs the engine. What does it sound like? Well, muted for what you’d expect from a full-size truck.
After publishing this article, we discovered there is in fact a way for the dealer to turn it off using Toyota’s tech stream software.
The dealership tech can hook up their scan tool to the OBD II port. Then, going into the settings, they will find the following: Active noise control > utility > customize > others > ANC/ESE.
Turning off both ANC/ESE will remove the fake exhaust note.
Fake engine noise (aka piped-in exhaust sounds) is, unfortunately, here to stay. With the rapid pace of hybrid powertrains, small displacement V-6 engines and full battery electric vehicles, the deep growly exhaust note of yore is on its way out. A sad byproduct for the price of clean air.
While I understand the need to create a cleaner world for the next generation, I, for one, will be sad when the only noise you hear while driving a truck is the country song on the radio.