9 Components To Examine If A Car Makes A Whining Noise When Accelerating

Whining noise when accelerating is annoying. It makes you cringe every time you start the car because the noise is likely to disturb the neighbors. Why does this happen and how to get rid of this embarrassing problem? With frequent use over time, many car components wear out and start showing issues. It’s not something that you can prevent but it is possible to diagnose the reason and having a fix before it becomes worse. Well, here’s our take on how to deal with when you have a noisy car.

Why Does A Car Make Whining Noise When Accelerating?

A car that makes such a weird noise at the time of acceleration, will be fine at a set speed. It is actually challenging to find the root cause of whining noise when accelerating but these common causes will give you the heads-up.

1. Examine the transmission

You should do a thorough transmission check-up when the car starts making a groaning sound when speeding up. The noise coming from the transmission can be caused by a low fluid, leaking oil, or a damaged transmission oil pump. In addition, if the torque converter is damaged, it will also make a chirping sound. Bearing wear also frequently causes noise under the vehicle. Low levels of fluid can cause all sorts of problems, and bizarre noises are the first to start with. Spotting this problem and refilling the fluid can save you plenty of money down the road.

whining noise during acceleration
The transmission system could be the problem source. (Photo: pixels)

On the other hand, if the noise does not begin unless the vehicle is in motion, there must be issues with one or more gears and bearings. Planetary gear sets will create a whining sound when they are worn out but only when the car starts moving. Repair or change the gear components if they are damaged.

2. Faulty steering

A loose steering belt could be the culprit behind a whining noise when accelerating. When it happens, the sound will occur when you are turning the steering wheels. Tightening the belt will solve this issue.

3. The power steering system

A leak in the power steering system can start that annoying whining noise. If you discover drips under your car or a visible drop in the level of power steering fluid, there must be a leak. Look into the steering rack or gear because these are the places where the leak is more likely to occur than in the pump.

You can replace the damaged or leaked parts and refill the fluid to fix the problem. The easy fix is to add a liquid stop-leak solution to the reservoir. There are plenty of good-quality products in the market that offers a simple, quick, and inexpensive solution to replacing components. After adding the stop-leak mixture, fill up the reservoir with power steering fluid.

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4. Engine problems

The rising noise in the car can indicate an engine problem too. The engine has a complicated mechanism and it is better to go to a mechanic for its diagnosis. But, you should do that only after being sure that the trouble is with the engine, not with the transmission.

Shift the gear into the Neutral mode and crank the engine gently. If the noises seem to have a relation with the engine speed, the engine is in trouble. If there is no sound when the car is not in gear, the engine is unlikely to be the source of the complication.

5. The clutch components

When you are driving a manual car, a whining sound means a completely different story. If it occurs when you press the clutch for gear shifting, the release bearing is likely to be damaged. It will be a pilot bearing if the sound starts when the car begins to move and you release the clutch. In both cases, replacing the clutch is the only fix.

A manual transmission engages only when the car starts running or the gear is in Neutral mode with an engaged clutch. So, it is likely to be a clutch problem when the vehicle is not moving in gear. You should check the transmission, especially the driveline or bearing, if the sound occurs when the car is in motion.

whining noise when accelerating
Check the clutch when it is a manual car. (Photo: vk)

6. The torque converter

What automatic cars have as an alternative to the clutch is the torque converter. It rotates when the engine runs. If the whining sound occurs when you shift the gear to the Reverse or Forward and it goes away after moving to the Neutral mode, the torque converter must be having a problem.

7. Low engine oil

The first thing you should check after hearing a loud whining noise when accelerating is the engine oil. A low level of fluid is the main reason for causing this trouble. The engine oil tank is located near the brake fluid reservoir. Use a dipstick to find out the correct level of oil.

A dipstick has two labels – ‘add’ and ‘full’. You should refill the tank if the oil level is below the ‘add’ mark. There’s nothing to worry about if it is between the ‘add’ and ‘full’ labels. Detecting the signs at an early stage will save the car from severe engine damage.

8. Broken transmission belt

The purpose of the belt is to transmit power between different engine components. They work by friction between the belt and the pulley, which is why loose belts can cause different parts do not operate. If the belt is damaged, other components may not work properly, the car may be difficult to start or won’t start at all, and the belt may “squeak”. Possible causes include cracking, wear or tear, liquid (oil) contamination, and poor belt tension.

9. Worn wheel bearings

In most cases, badly worn wheel bearings will make a loud noise when the driver is moving on the road. This noise usually changes as the vehicle accelerates. At high speeds, these sound like “whining”.

Obviously, there are quite many reasons causing a whining noise when your car accelerates, so be careful when diagnosing the reasons to have the most suitable solution to handle the problem. 

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