Does Your Car Make A Whining Noise When Accelerating? (2023)

Does Your Car Make A Whining Noise When Accelerating? (1)

If you’re reading this, then you’ve experienced this unfortunate predicament. You just want to drive your car on the road, but whenever you try to go fast, your car seems to let you know it doesn’t like it- hence, the whining noise.

The question is, why does your car make a whining noise when accelerating? What are the possible causes of this problem, and what can you do to inspect your car in order to find out the source of the issue? Most importantly, what can you do about it?

Read on to find out everything you need to know when it comes to your car making strange sounds as you drive.

Read also related articles: AC Clutch is Not Engaging, and Common 5.7 Hemi problems.

Post Contents


  • At a glance: Common causes of whining noise when accelerating
  • How to do a visual inspection of your vehicle
    • When to do a visual inspection
    • How to do a visual inspection
  • Why cars make a whining noise when accelerating
    • Problems with the transmission
    • Other probable causes
  • Overview

At a glance: Common causes of whining noise when accelerating

There are many possible causes why your car makes that whining noise whenever you increase your speed. It may be that a small part has broken down and needs to be replaced, or perhaps your car needs a major overhaul that costs thousands of dollars.

Among these underlying issues may include problems with the steering pump, such as leaks and low levels of steering fluid, or it may have to do with the transmission, alternator, belts, and exhaust. After all, these parts are prone to damage and general wear and tear over time.

I will go into detail about each of these things and more later, but first, let’s talk about how you can do a visual inspection of your car in order to spot possible issues.

How to do a visual inspection of your vehicle

All automotive such as cars, trucks, motorbikes, and so on need regular inspection and maintenance in order to make sure that everything is in a good condition and everything is working smoothly.

Here is when, how often, and how you can do a visual and auditory inspection of your vehicle to ensure that everything works as they should, or if not, to find out what the problem is and be able to resolve it quickly.

When to do a visual inspection

You can always do a visual inspection yourself at least once a month in the comfort of your garage, especially if you have a few basic tools to get started. That said, sometimes, even everything seems to be alright, as soon as you hit the road, problems start to arise.

These include strange and unwanted sounds coming from your car as you drive, malfunctioning commands, a poor AC system, a flat tire, burning smells, smoke, and so on, many of which are highly problematic, can cause engine failure, and can endanger your life.


Hence, it’s best to pull over to a safe area and do a proper inspection of your car, unless it’s a more serious and severe issue that needs the immediate attention of a mechanic, in which case you should look for one, or call a towing service.

How to do a visual inspection

Below is a list of all the important things you need to check closely so you can do a proper and thorough visual inspection:

  • Inspect the wheels and tire wells, as well as the underside of the vehicle, for any blockage and debris that may be causing noise, or anything that may be scraping against the road or other car components such as rocks and pebbles, twigs, pointed objects that may have pierced the tire, and broken car parts.
  • Once the engine is off and cooled down, look under the hood and inspect the engine whether everything is in place and not worn out, or if there are any loose parts such as belts, wires, compartments, fans, and hoses.
  • Making sure that the car is parked and the emergency brake is on, start the engine and try to locate by sound the source of the problem. Do this again while another person steps on the pedal for several seconds. You can also have that person drive the car along the street while you visually assess the car’s state and performance.

Remember to note down everything you are able to observe, even if it doesn’t seem related to the whining sound that you’re hearing. Take note of when these sounds and vibrations occur, how often they do so, and try to specify the kind of sound you’re hearing.

Why cars make a whining noise when accelerating

Does Your Car Make A Whining Noise When Accelerating? (2)

I’ve mentioned earlier the common causes of this whining noise that your car makes whenever you hit the pedal. Now, I’ll explain each of these issues in more detail, as well as the best fixes you can do to resolve the problem.

Problems with the transmission

One of the major reasons why your car may be making that whining noise is because there are transmission issues. The gears and other parts may be worn down over time, or the transmission fluid is either old or getting at a low level.

These things are prone to cause a noisy car when you drive, especially whenever you speed up. What’s worse is that depending on the severity of the issue, you can easily rack up thousands of dollars in repair costs.

(Video) Transmission whining noise or Power steering pump noise? P0868 P0944 P0700 P0740 62TE P0897 P1798

In order to avoid this, and also to diagnose the problem accurately, a thorough transmission check-up is important, preferably done by a licensed mechanic. However, you can also do an inspection of your own.

How to check your transmission

In order to test whether the transmission is working properly or if there are any unwanted issues, there are two things you can do:

  • Look under the hood and inspect the fluid container as to whether the transmission fluid levels are low, or if the fluid has a brownish or black color. If this is the case, it might need replacement, refilling, or leakage may have to be addressed.
  • Drive your car slowly over a smooth and even road, and try to feel and hear whether there is anything out of the ordinary, especially as you shift gears. Then, accelerate quickly and continue to listen and feel for anything that’s off.

Note down the specific moments that the car makes those unwanted noises, so you can better figure out the cause of the problem, as well as explain things to your mechanic better.

Other probable causes

Aside from the transmission, other common causes of a whining noise coming from your car as you drive include the following; a low level of steering fluid, loose or worn out belts, or tapered wheel bearings.

You may also be experiencing some issues with your steering system, such as when there is a leak or when the power steering pump is faulty. Or, another source of leakage could be from the exhaust system.

Again, it’s important to be as clear as possible on what sort of noise you’re hearing. For one, If you are hearing whooshing noises, the most likely problem is a leaking vacuum system. But if it’s screeching noise, then you might be dealing with worn out brakes that need replacement.

Low steering fluid

One, the steering fluid may be at a low level, in which case, the steering wheel makes noises as you turn it. You can easily refill your steering fluid if there are no other problems with the car. Just check your car manual for the right type of steering fluid that you need.

(Video) Bad Transmission slipping whining noise caused by ABS. Nag1. Cheap Cat Convertor warning C191F P0153

Loose belts

Two, the belts in your vehicle may be worn, loose, or damaged, which can easily happen since they always move as the car is running. The general rule is that belts should be tight and with minimal slack, and should not show any sign of wearing or breakage.

Tapered wheel bearings

Three, the wheel bearings may be tapered and thus make weird noises whenever you drive your car down the road. This noise doesn’t exclusively happen whenever you accelerate, but all throughout your drive.f


Does Your Car Make A Whining Noise When Accelerating? (3)

Your car shouldn’t be making unwanted noises apart from the natural sound of your engine. So, if you’re hearing a whining noise when accelerating, then they’re most definitely is a problem that requires an immediate solution.

However, diagnosing this problem can be tricky, even for the most experienced of mechanics. As such, it’s important to be thorough and meticulous in inspecting your car, so you can find out the real cause of the problem and address it before it gets worse.

Otherwise, not only will your car’s condition continue to worsen over time, you will also suffer from significantly higher repair expenses that can take a huge cut over your savings.

Read Also: Best OBD2 Scanner for diagnosting car problems.

(Video) How to diagnose a whining noise in your accessory drive


Does Your Car Make A Whining Noise When Accelerating? ›

Whining noise while accelerating can be caused by several things, including low levels of steering fluid, the steering pump, a leak in the pump, the alternator, wheel bearings, loose or worn belts, the transmission, brakes, and the exhaust.

Why do I hear a whining noise when I accelerate? ›

While the transmission is the most likely cause, whining while accelerating can also be caused by low power steering fluid or more serious damage like faulty alternator bearings, a malfunctioning water pump, a broken piston or a bad AC compressor.

Does a bad transmission make a whining noise? ›

There are many reasons why your transmission might be making a constant whining noise: Most commonly, this is due to a low fluid level, but it could also be due to transmission gears that have become worn or a torque converter that is failing.

What does a bad alternator sound like when accelerating? ›

The alternator has several bearings which allow the alternator's rotor to spin freely. If these bearings begin to fail, you will notice a loud whining noise, which will increase when you accelerate or the car is under heavier load.

What causes transmission to whine? ›

This whining sound can be caused by any number of transmission issues. Low transmission fluid or a clogged fluid line/filter are the most likely culprits, but there could be other internal damage causing the noise.

When I press the gas pedal it makes a whining noise? ›

Whining noise while accelerating can be caused by several things, including low levels of steering fluid, the steering pump, a leak in the pump, the alternator, wheel bearings, loose or worn belts, the transmission, brakes, and the exhaust.

How do I stop my transmission from whining? ›

A humming or whining noise in an automatic transmission vehicle often means that you are low on automatic transmission fluid. If this is the case, you want to refill that fluid immediately. Transmission fluid reduces friction, which means heat, which in turn is bad news for transmissions.

What type of transmission whines? ›

Automatic transmissions depend on a planetary gear system to function probably, and if this system is allowed to fail, it can result in major damage throughout your transmission. When the planetary gear system starts experiencing problems, you first notice a whining noise.

What does a failing transmission sound like? ›

If the sound resembles humming, buzzing, or clunking, you may be experiencing transmission failure. Bad automatic transmissions may emit humming, buzzing, or whining noises while manual transmissions have harsher “clunking” sounds.

What does a car sound like when the transmission is going? ›

Clunking, humming or whining sounds are signs of automatic transmission problems. Faulty manual transmissions will also give off loud machinelike sounds that seem to come out of nowhere. A clunking noise when you shift gears is a telltale transmission situation.

What are the warning signs that my alternator is failing? ›

The standard symptom your alternator is going bad is the warning light on your dashboard. Other symptoms include the lights on your car are flickering or you have issues starting your car. If you hear sounds coming from the engine, it's almost definitely coming from a failing alternator.

What does a bad alternator sound like while driving? ›

Growling or Whining Noises

This growling or whining sound happens when the belt that turns the alternator's pulley becomes misaligned or rubs against the side of the pulley. You may also hear this sound if the bearings that spin the rotor shaft are going bad.

Why does my engine have a high pitched whine? ›

When you hear a high-pitched squealing sound coming from under your hood, you may need to check your vehicle's serpentine belt for cracks and wear. Many cars have multiple belts, and each one will need to be checked to ensure they are in good working order.

Can a clogged transmission filter cause whining? ›

In addition to (or in place of) a rattle, your car may also make a whirring or whining noise when you shift into gear.

What are the signs of low transmission fluid? ›

Here are the symptoms you can expect to witness when you're low on transmission fluid.
  • Grinding Noises. ...
  • Shaking When Shifting. ...
  • Delays Between Gears. ...
  • Transmission Slipping. ...
  • No Shifting at All. ...
  • Transmission Overheating. ...
  • The Check Engine Light. ...
  • It Smells Like Something Is Burning.

Can a fuel pump make a whining noise when accelerating? ›

A damaged fuel pump might make a loud, whining sound that you'll hear from your gas tank. The pump may also make this noise if you're low on fuel or the fuel in your tank is contaminated. The normal noise your pump makes is a low hum. Loud whining indicates there is a problem.

What does a bad water pump sound like when accelerating? ›

If you hear a high-pitched, whining sound that increases as you accelerate – it could indicate a faulty water pump. These sounds are caused by a loose belt and the belt becomes loose when the pulley is loose or the bearings are wearing out.


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