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Things You Need To Know As A Driver: Whining Noise When Accelerating

whining noise when accelerating

Source: https://camaroforums.com/forum/93-02-general-41/whining-noise-my-z28-64665/

If you’ve already driven any vehicle at all, you would know that the engine is bound to make some sounds. When accelerating, you will hear some noises from the engine. That is very common.

However, there is a fine line between the normal sounds versus the whining engine sound. A whining noise when accelerating is one of the most common problems a driver can experience. Today, we will be discussing its causes and some ways to fix it.

Whining Noise: Is it good or bad?

Sometimes, no matter how well maintained a vehicle is, it is bound to incur some problems. That is because, over time, some parts get worn out from the daily hustle and bustle.

There are some kinds of engine noise that are normal or common to a particular type of vehicle. For instance, if you own a sports car, it’s very typical to hear that whirr when you rev or accelerate.

But for non-sports car vehicles, such noise might not be typical. It is essential that you be able to point out what kind of sound your engine is making. The key to understanding and diagnosing this issue better is to classify all the possible causes of engine noise.

Is it a popping sound? Screeching? Whirring? Or do you hear a knocking sound in your engine? Whatever noise you’re engine is making, each kind of noise has their implications.

Possible Causes of the Whining Noise

Aside from classifying what kind of sound your engine is making, it is also essential to know the possible causes. There are lots of potential reasons as to why your vehicle is making whining noises. Here are some of the most common reasons.

Transmission/Gear Problems

That is one of the most prominent reasons as to why engines make whining noises when accelerating. That is mostly because of gears that are worn out. Worn out gears and low levels of transmission fluid causes friction.

An excellent way to confirm whether or not the transmissions causes the whining noise is to find the sound. Accelerate your vehicle to the point where you hear the whining sound the loudest. Then, shift to neutral gear before shutting down the engine.

It might be your engine or clutch assembly that is causing the problem if the noise stops. But if it persists, then it might be your transmission after all or your drivetrain.

The differential gear, on the other hand, is also under this category. However, the problem lies explicitly on your rear differential or even the front. Worn out differential gears may cause some friction in your ring and pinion arrangement.

Steering System

Another common cause of whining noise is the steering system. Vehicles on power steering often face with this issue. This might be caused by a loose belt. When you make a turn, the free belt will run over the pump pulley of the power steering.

The friction that the loose belt makes as it runs over the pump pulley is what particularly causes the noise. Realigning the entire assembly and having the belt tightened again may help rectify this issue.

Other Causes

Finally, another cause of the whining would be the natural resonance of your vehicle. Just as we mentioned earlier, whining noises may be normal for some vehicles or cars.

An excellent example to this would be when you own a sports car such as the BMW. The noise may just be because of a specific component’s vibrational resonance. That is usually resonated throughout the engine when the vehicle is running at high speeds.

However, if you cannot find something that would describe what you are experiencing in this list, here are some other causes:

  • Exhaust system leakages
  • Power steering system leakages
  • Bad water/power steering pump
  • Crankshaft/gear timing/transmission mount problems
  • Ignition problems

If you think any of the possible causes listed above apply to your experience, then you need to get your vehicle checked. It is best to leave the proper diagnosis to the professionals. After all, having any car problem fixed right away can save you all the stress and possible accidents.


Should you be unsure about any car problem you are experiencing, don’t try to diagnose it anymore. Tampering and tinkering with the engine when you are unfamiliar with it may only cause more damage.

And that is what we are trying to avoid. A whining noise when accelerating is just one of the most common issues. It is also pretty simple to solve when brought to the professionals right away. What’s important is not ignoring any symptoms your engine may be showing.

Steven K. Galloway