Get Rid of the Whining Noise Your Car Makes Easy and Fast
An average car can have anywhere between 20,000 to 50,000 individual parts. A malfunction in any one of them can lead to serious problems.
The problem we are solving today is the issue of cars making a whining noise when accelerating. This concern can be caused by several reasons and every one of them needs a different approach for a solution.
So, let’s just get to it and see why your car makes a humming noise when accelerating and how you can fix it.
Reasons and solutions when a car makes a whining noise when accelerating
1. The noise is from a forced induction system
The engine in your car, which is an internal combustion engine, burns fuel in the presence of air and makes power. To make more power, you need more fuel and air inside the combustion chamber.
Forced induction systems are used to pump more air into an engine than it can naturally suck at the normal atmospheric pressure. These systems are of two types:
- Turbochargers convert the energy in the exhaust gases into rotational energy and use it to drive a compressor wheel that pumps air into the engine.
- Superchargers run on a pulley straight from the engine.
When you accelerate hard in a car that uses one of these, they make a whining noise. This is nothing to be worried about.
What’s the solution for this whining noise?
- Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do, but you always have the option of taking it to a professional.
2. Infotainment system earth leakage
If your car makes noise when accelerating, the noise may be from the speakers and not a mechanical part.
Sometimes, the car’s infotainment system can have a short circuit in the electric supply or the supply to the speakers. This can lead to the car making loud noises when accelerating as the alternator puts out more current when it spins fast.
Here’s how you can eliminate this noise:
- Make sure that the noise is originating from the speakers and not the engine bay.
- Inspect the wiring of the infotainment system and check for any wire that has worn-out insulation.
- Check the speaker cables and make sure that they do not touch the body of the car.
- If you are using a Bluetooth modulator or an FM modulator, disconnect them and replace them if they are causing the problem.
- If you are charging your phone from the 12-volt outlet in the car and playing music via an AUX cable at the same time, it can result in the car making noise when driving. Try disconnecting the phone and the noise will go away.
Those are the small problems. Now, on to the serious ones.
3. Transmission noise
The transmission of your car is a machine that takes input from the engine and transmits it to the wheels. The transmission is made up of a large number of gears. These gears spin all the time when you are driving and can wear out.
If any of the gears or bearings in the transmission are worn out, or the transmission fluid is not fully topped , it can cause a transmission whining noise when accelerating.
How to tell if the noise is coming from the transmission?
Transmission noise is often linked with vibration. Drive the car on a smooth road and if you feel an unusual vibration, the noise is from the transmission.
- Transmission noise is mostly caused by a specific gear being worn out. Drive on a smooth road and change gears. If the noise is more noticeable in one of the gears, the noise is being caused by a malfunctioning transmission.
- If your car makes noise when accelerating at a low speed, it can be due to faulty transmission, especially if it goes away when you speed up.
So, how can the transmission noise be mitigated?
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do by yourself to eliminate the transmission noise. Transmissions are a really complicated piece of machinery and need specialists to fix.
Here’s something you can do:
- Check the transmission fluid and top it up if it is not full.
- If your transmission’s oil change is due, change it.
If that does not solve the problem, you can try to take the transmission apart and replace the worn-out bearings and gears, but we’ve found that putting those things back together is not a rookie’s job by any means. It is better to go to a mechanic to get the transmission fixed.
4. Belt noise
If you hear a high-pitched squeal from a car when moving, it is most probably caused by a loose belt in the engine bay.
There is a belt in the engine that drives the pulleys that power the auxiliary systems like the power steering, and air-conditioning. If the belt gets loose, it can result in the car squealing when accelerating. Since the belt is not under the proper tension, it slips on the pulleys and creates a sharp, high-pitched noise.
Here’s how you can solve this problem:
- If you want a make-shift solution, just apply a little bit of grease to the belt and it will stop making the noise. However, this can lead to the belt not properly powering the pulleys and the auxiliary systems might not work.
- For a permanent solution, you need to tighten the belt. This can be done by using the tensioner pulley in the engine bay. You can find detailed tutorials for this on YouTube. It is a fairly simple and easy repair that you can do at home.
If you still hear a whining noise from the engine after greasing/tightening the belt, you need to check the transmission or other components.
5. Clutch failure
If you have a car struggling to accelerate and you smell burning, you might be in for a bit of trouble and a lot of expenses in car repairs.
The clutch of your car is responsible for delivering the power from the engine to the transmission. It is made up of a number of friction discs that allow the engine to spin free from the transmission and vice versa.
If your car makes a noise and struggles to accelerate, the clutch might have failed. Here’s how you can diagnose it:
- Check the temperature of the tires. If they are hot, the issue is with the brakes. If not, the clutch is to blame.
- If the car’s RPM is high and the speed is not up to the RPM in that gear, the clutch has failed and is slipping.
- The car’s engine sounds loud when accelerating if the clutch is not doing its job.
Unfortunately, the clutch is located deep inside the engine and there’s nothing you can do about it. Tow the car to a repair shop and be ready to pay around a grand or two to get a new clutch installed.
6. Brake noise
Sometimes the whining noise might not be from the engine at all. It can come from a brake on one of the wheels of the car.
The brake pads are fitted with brake hardware that rubs against the brake rotors when the brakes wear out past a certain threshold. This is an indication that you need to replace the brake pads.
If the brake pedal on your car has more travel than it should have and the noise is coming from the wheels, the brakes are to blame.
If this is the case with your car, take it straight to a repair shop and get the brake pads replaced.
Frequently Asked Questions
That sound can be caused by a faulty transmission, a failed clutch, or a worn-out brake.
As the whining noise can be caused by a number of different things, it is not safe to keep driving such a car. It can be dangerous to drive such a car or you can even end up damaging the car. It’s better to have the car checked.
The whining sound is caused by a range of different reasons. There are some you can mitigate at home and some that need an expert to fix.
This can mean a lot of things. If you hear such a sound, your car needs the attention of a certified professional.
Disclaimer: This article is written to give you an overview of what can cause a whining sound when accelerating the car. All information is provided in good faith and with the purpose of helping you. If you feel that you cannot undertake the repair, please do not do it and get help from a professional mechanic.