Car Making Whirring Noise When Driving? Step-by-step Solutions!

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Cars are getting quieter than their predecessors. However, when you hear annoying whirring noise from tires, under the hood, or in some awkward areas, it’s important to pay attention.

Car Making Whirring Noise When Driving

Turning up the stereo and pretending everything is normal won’t fix the problem. Instead, figure out why your car is making a whirring noise when driving or call your mechanic to fix the issue. You might be saving yourself a lot of dough and stress.

Here’s a detailed article explaining the causes of annoying noises in your car and providing simple steps to diagnose and fix the issue quickly.

Common Causes of Whirring Noise in Cars

How annoying the noise can be often varies depending on the engine RPM. Nonetheless, the car owner should be prudent, as this noise calls your attention to many problems, from faulty air-conditioning systems to bad power steering pumps.

Also, a whining noise from your car can indicate a weary or faulty differential gear train. It’s just important to get to the bottom of the noise to avoid costly, catastrophic damage to your automobile.

Step-by-step Solutions for Troubleshooting Your Noisy Car

In most cases, accelerating your car seems to be the underlying reason for the weird noise. So, more often than not, you choose to maintain a steady speed to avoid creating a nuisance.

Troubleshooting Your Noisy Car

Here is a quick way to find the root cause of the whirring or whining noise your car makes whenever you accelerate:

Inspect the transmission

This is a common cause of embarrassing noise when speeding up. So, it’s important to check the transmission fluid level. There is a high chance it’s low and might have caused the gears to wear out.

Hence, it’s essential to refill the fluid if it’s low. This step should solve the problem. If not, it might be the bearings and gears at fault. Once worn out, they tend to make noise as you accelerate. The easy fix to this is changing the planetary gear sets.

Faulty steering

If a loose steering belt is a primary cause, your car would only make a whirring noise as you turn the steering wheels. In this case, tightening the steering belts fixes this problem.

Power steering mechanism

It’s not unusual for the power steering system to leak, which can be responsible for the whirring noise. Check under your car for dripping oil or the power steering fluid level to determine if it’s the culprit.

Refilling the fluid should stop the noise. If not, the leaked parts might have gone bad, so replacing them is the next action.

In addition, you might want to add a stop-leak mixture before refilling with the right power steering fluid to avoid replacing the damaged components.
Issues with the engine

If the degree of annoyance hinges on the engine RPM, then you might as well start troubleshooting from the engine. It’s a sophisticated component, so I recommend calling your mechanic once you are sure it’s the engine, not the transmission, at fault.

Here’s a quick way to determine which of the two components is to blame. If the noise persists when you accelerate with the gear in Neutral, then there is a good chance the engine is faulty.


If it’s a manual car, you might notice the whirring noise whenever you attempt to shift the gear. So, try pressing the clutch to see if it makes the same noise.

If it does, the only viable option is replacing the clutch. But if the noise persists, especially in motion, the transmission is likely at fault. Therefore, you should check the bearing or driveline.

Torque converter

Although automatic cars are clutchless automobiles, they have an equivalent called the torque converter. This component turns as the engine runs. If shifting the gear from Drive to Reverse generates bizarre noise, then the torque converter must be blamed.

Engine oil level

Immediately you notice a cacophony of noise from your car, especially when accelerating, you should check the engine oil level.

When there’s barely any oil in the engine, a loud whirring noise is a good indication. Check the amount of engine oil left in the tank close to the brake oil reservoir. Suppose it’s below or close to a dipstick’s “add” level. In that case, you should refill immediately to avoid damaging your engine.

Related FAQs

What’s the best solution to a car making a whirring noise when driving?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution since the underlying cause of the embarrassing noise varies. For instance, the worn wheel bearings might be faulty, generating annoying whirring sounds. In another case, the drive belt might become loose or damaged, which demands a different solution from the initial case.

How can I diagnose a whirring noise in my car?

Immediately you notice the whirring noise; you should check the engine oil and transmission fluid level. It’s important there is the right amount to prevent further damage to the engine, wheel bearings, etc. afterward; you can check the alternator, power steering pump, and other components.

How do I determine if my drive belt is loose or damaged?

There’s an easy and technical way to determine the state of your drive belt. You can visually check for signs of damage or wear, like frayed edges or cracks. The technical option involves using a tension gauge to measure the drive’s belt tension and ensure it matches the specific value recommended by your car maker.

When is the right time to replace my wheel bearings?

A grinding or whirring noise is not a strong indication that your wheel bearings have gone bad. However, when you notice your steering wheel vibrating and the tire is somehow uneven, it might be a good indication to consider replacing your wheel bearings. Also, you might notice a clunking or knocking sensation whenever you turn the wheel.


While modern cars are designed to be quieter than ever, they may still produce subtle noises, which is totally normal. However, suppose the whirring noise becomes excessively loud, noticeable, and embarrassing.

In that case, it’s essential to investigate and address the cause promptly to avoid costly repairs or mitigate risk. Hopefully, this comprehensive post provides all the information you need to quickly fix the bizarre noise.

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David Briley

David Briley

My name is David Briley, a soundproofing expert with a burning passion for curating and creating audio since adolescence. The need for a quiescent working and living environment cannot be overemphasized.

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