Diagnostic: Why Does My Car Sounds Like An Airplane?

Road trip avid knows how irritating the noise from your car can be, especially as the car engine sounds like an airplane when accelerating. To help you enjoy your ride, today we will take you on an interesting topic that we think many drivers have experienced while driving to help you get a definitive answer to the question: my car sounds like an airplane. Why?

Are you worried when you hear strange noises like an airplane taking off coming from your beloved car? However, after reading the following article, you will no longer feel anxious, but can accurately identify up to 99.9% of the reasons why your car engine sounds like a helicopter (or an airplane). Let’s dive into the main topic!

My Car Sounds Like An Airplane: 5 Reasons Why?

When your car starts developing problems, the first sign that you can easily find out is going to be an unfamiliar sound like an airplane that you hear while you are driving, especially when you get a higher speed or braking. This noise can be very tricky for drivers to accurately diagnose a vehicle’s damage.

We are often mistaken for noises such as clicking noise, grinding, or squealing noise. But when your car has the sound like an airplane, it is described as a hum, growl, or roaring noise and it will get louder when you accelerate. If you are observant, these signs will help you “catch illness” for your driver to promptly repair and avoid problems on the road.

Most drivers described the noise as sounding like an airplane, but it can sound like you’re traveling over a noisy strip of land or like a helicopter propeller. When you are getting some really high noise somewhere in the 72 to 75-decibel level at about 50, 60 miles an hour, you wonder what happened to your car. Here are 3 of the most common causes of your car sounding like an airplane:

car engine sounds like a helicopter
“I don’t know Why my car engine sounds like a helicopter.” Don’t worry! (Photo: autoapp.sg)

Damaged wheel bearings

The first reason that we think you shouldn’t ignore when you hear the sound of an airplane from your car is to check your wheel bearing whether it can be worn out or the seal is broken. Automotive bearings are located in the vehicle’s drive system, whose main role is to reduce friction, increase load capacity, and position rotating equipment. 

When the balls of the bearing are dry or broken, because the grease in the bearing is degraded, they will make an annoying noise like flying in the air. This noise, if it lasts too long and is not repaired, will increase the friction during the movement of your car, and generate a lot of heat, leading to damage to parts such as the wheel hub and the engine. Therefore, when noticing the sound of an airplane from the wheel, the driver should immediately check the bearings to limit the damage to the vehicle. If this condition is prolonged, the wheel axle will be damaged.

As we all know, the function of seals prevents water or dirt from wheel bearings and they also protect the grease that the bearing needs to operate. When the wheel seal is bad or damaged, the wheel bearing will be broken quickly. When your wheel bearing loses its lubrication, the metal of the drive will crush against the metal of the wheel axle. This will be like a roar of noise and will increase the volume as the car accelerates.

Read more: How to Tell Which Wheel Bearing is Bad?

Car exhaust system leak

If you have a brand new wheel bearing, but you still hear the car sounds like a helicopter or airplane when accelerating, the exhaust system is one part you should pay attention to. When this problem happens, it’s usually a sign of an exhaust leak. Depending on the sound level of the exhaust, we can determine the corresponding cause. However, this situation occurs mainly due to a damaged exhaust duct system, a cracked exhaust, or a leaky gasket.

To determine the cause of the roaring sound exactly, it is necessary to find the location of the noise in the exhaust system. First park the car on a flat surface, pull the handbrake, then check under the car to see where the noise is coming from.

why does my car sound like an airplane
Depending on the sound level of the exhaust, we can determine the corresponding cause. (Photo: pinterest.com)

If you hear a noise coming from the front of the vehicle, it may be due to an exhaust leak because the exhaust system gasket is worn out, the exhaust bolt is loose, and the exhaust pipe is cracked.

If you hear a noise in the center of the undercarriage, it is usually due to a punctured exhaust pipe or a leaky connection between the exhaust pipe and the catalytic converter. A more serious case is a broken catalytic converter. At this time, the noise is usually very loud and jarring. 

When experiencing a sudden loud airplane noise from the car exhaust, drivers should immediately go to the maintenance center so that the mechanic can check the cause and take appropriate action.

>> Related post: Loud Exhaust Noises: Reasons and How To Fix

Transmission system issue

Another reason is your car transmission not working properly. There are 2 situations happening: 

For cars with a manual transmission, when the driver shifts gears, the gearbox makes a roaring or squeaking sound, which means that the transmission system is faulty. With hundreds of parts in a transmission, a single gear or even a worn housing can make a loud noise.

In contrast, if your car uses an automatic transmission, the sound of the damaged transmission is like a humming, rattling sound. However, if the gearshift lever vibrates, shifting is more difficult, or the vehicle vibrates/jerks when accelerating, you should have the vehicle checked immediately. This sign can be related to the engine, exhaust system, differential, etc. Determining exactly which part the noise is coming from is extremely important to find a way to deal with.

The possible case involves the transmission: When your car is in the park or neutral but the car still makes an annoying noise. This sign indicates that the transmission fluid needs to be changed. In this case, most of the noise is caused by worn bearings or gears in the gearbox, which is due to be replaced.

There are problems with the brake system

The brake system is one of the parts you should take a look at when hearing your car sound like a jet. The most common reason causing this problem is a worn-out pad or rotor. Because, if the brake pads have been used for a long time, the rear metal surface will gradually wear out. This causes the metals to contact each other and creates a growling noise. In addition, the rotor can also rub against the brake calipers and scrape the metal surface of the caliper. Furthermore, the rear metal surface and the brake calipers will self-abrade, creating trails and damage. Therefore, you need to replace the brake pads quickly.

Car tire problems

Besides the 4 main reasons we have analyzed above, there is a possible cause that can lead to your car making a sound like an airplane, you should check: your tires. Uneven wear is one of the main causes of the loud noise due to the uneven contact between the road surface and the tire. The tread depth is not uniform Which will make the tires make loud driving noises. Tire noise can originate from alignment problems. As you drive, the air chamber makes hums or roars. If your car has outdated wheel alignment, then you will begin to experience a more bumpy ride. This will cause the tire to move unevenly and make the sound from the chamber louder.

5 Ways To Fix When Your Car Sounds Like An Airplane

Corresponding to the 5 causes we have listed, we will have suitable solutions to fix these problems:

Car wheel bearings

car sounds like a helicopter when accelerating
If your bearings and wheel hubs are damaged, it will be one of the reasons cause the loud noise (Photo: pinterest.com)

There are some reasons that cause the loud noise from your wheel bearing: Wheel bearings lose the lubricant and water or debris gets into the bearing causing it to fail due to the oxidation process.

Depending on the cause of the damaged car bearings, the drivers will have a suitable remedy. In particular, car owners should pay attention to the case of choosing inappropriate bearings. Causing this part to overload and generate a large amount of heat, making it wear out quickly. Therefore, in order to avoid the problem, drivers need to choose the right bearings for the load of their car. This not only helps prolong the life of the bearings but also helps to reduce the noise.

In case the bearings and wheel hubs are damaged. It is necessary to handle and install them properly to both ensure the bearings work smoothly and limit the loud sound. In addition, drivers need to regularly use the right lubricant for the wheel bearings. 

Sometimes, when the bearings emit a loud noise for a long time. This indicates that your bearings are seriously damaged, and replacing the wheel bearing is inevitable.

Exhaust system

Check every inch of your exhaust pipe from the exhaust to the top of the muffler. In fact, a small crack in the muffler is the most likely place to cause your car to sound like a jet, as the part can rust over the years. However, small and thin cracks are hard to see visually, so it’s best to have them checked by a professional. You can repair it at home if you have the right tools. But it’s not easy so you should take your car to the mechanic to take timely measures.

Car transmission

The roaring sound from the transmission usually indicates that there is a problem with the transmission fluid level. The noise is the result of too much air in the transmission. Problems can be more serious if you forget to check the transmission fluid level or transmission leak. In this situation, you can fix it by checking the fluid regularly to know when you should change the fluid or add more. 

When the gear system starts to crash, you’ll first notice a whining. When you get to the grinding stage, it is having major problems. If you think that the gear system in your transmission is damaged, you need to schedule a maintenance check immediately. Your dealer service technician will be able to diagnose the problem and will let you know about your repair options.

Brake system

Sometimes your brake pads are damaged. Other factors that can cause brake noise include dirt and debris on the brake pads, rotors, and bad brake shoe return springs. It will be difficult for the driver to correctly diagnose the cause of the loud brake sound. If rotors warp or have an uneven surface. You can restore them to their highest condition by repositioning them during machining at a service center. However, if the condition is too bad, you may have to get new ones. Likewise, damaged drum brakes also need to be replaced or resurfaced depending on the level of damage.

>> See more: How To Change Brake Calipers

Check car tires

Abnormal tire wear, such as the tube, can be caused by suspension problems or alignment. Your tire will make more noise if the tread pattern is uneven. Changing your tire is essential but fixing and replacing the suspension will prevent the problem from recurring. This is always the first thing to put into consideration. This may also help you to get rid of the noise permanently.

We recommend you rotate your tire every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. It’s a great way to help your tire prevent excessive wear. 

Closing Thoughts

Regardless of where the sound comes from, a loud airplane sound is a worrisome problem that requires special attention. The sound tends to make driving a real hassle and hard to have a conversation on the road trip. For sure, the car sound can ruin your mood, and more importantly. It is a sign that your car is experiencing some damage that can affect your safe driving. We hope that with the causes and solutions we have analyzed in the article, you will have the answer to this problem.