Have you ever noticed those buzzing noises from your car and wondered, “Why is my car making a whirring sound?”
Well, this might be a sign that something serious is going on.
The possible reasons for the whirring sound could be a bad alternator, a bad wheel bearing, a flawed air-conditioning system, a steering problem, an oil problem, and more. However, to pinpoint the exact cause, you must analyze where the sound is coming from.
In this article, I’ll review every scenario and reason you need to consider to spot your problem.
Why Is My Car Making a Whirring Sound?
A failing alternator, lousy air filter, bad water pump, wheel bearing problems, etc., could be the reasons behind the whirring or whining sound.
First, you must figure out when your car is making that weird noise. Is your car making a whirring noise when driving? Or when starting up?
And then you have to check where the sound is coming from.
So, let’s find out.
Whirring Sound in the Car at a Different Speeds/Stage
Here, different speeds/stage means whether your car is making a whirring sound when accelerating at high speed or low speed or when making a turn.
Noise levels at different speeds or stages can say a lot about the problem you are searching for.
So, pay attention to the sound.
Whirring Sound When Accelerating
You should be alarmed when you notice your car making a louder noise than before.
However, many reasons can cause your car to make a buzzing sound when accelerating.
Primary possible reasons are:
- Engine problems
- Transmission issues
- Steering problems
- Problems with wheel bearings
- Car oil problem
- Problem with car cylinder compression
- Cooling system issues
- Faulty alternator belt
Whirring Noise at High Speed or Low Speed
When moving slowly, the unsettling sound could go unnoticed. But as you start speeding up your car, the whirring noise gets louder. The reasons are similar, as mentioned before.
Moreover, as you speed up your car, the wheel bearing may get more pressure, and you can hear the whirring sound. And the problem also could be with the steering, car oil, air conditioning system, alternator, or car cylinder compression.
Whirring Sound When Making a Turn
The car sounds all fine until you start turning your car, right? Well, the most likely cause is that your power steering fluid is low. Other reasons include the following-
- Power steering pump issues
- A broken or loose tie rod
- Problems with the ball joint or the car suspension
Whirring Sound from Different Parts
When you are driving your car or any vehicle, pay attention to where the sound is coming from. If you hear a sound coming from the wheel, it indicates a problem with your wheel.
Additionally, your differential or steering wheel may also be at fault.
Whirring Noise from the Wheel
Find a quiet place and carefully notice if the whirring sound is coming from your car’s wheel.
If you can’t figure it out right, ask your friend to stand outside and hear carefully. The whirring sound from the car’s wheel indicates below issues:
- Wheel bearing problem: When turning right, the problem is with your left wheel bearing if you hear a sound. And vice versa for the right wheel bearing.
You can also lift the car and rotate the wheel by your hand to identify bad wheel bearings.
- Flat-spotting tire: A flat spot in the tire can develop due to keeping it idle for a long time. Additionally, a cold temperature can cause that too.
Noise from the Differential
The car differential is a system (placed between the wheels) where the engine sends power to rotate the wheels. And it lets the four wheels rotate at their speed.
However, hearing noise from your car’s differential indicates that your pinion gear and car ring are in danger.
Noise from the Steering Wheel
You can hear sound from the steering wheel if the power steering fluid is low. An easy way to figure out low steering fluid is to check if the power steering rack leaks.
Actually, the low-power steering fluid causes a bad air pump that makes the whirring sound. In such a case, you must refill the fluid reservoir.
Summing Up the Issues
So, after a broad discussion, you’ve known about many problems that can cause the car to make a whirring sound. The significant causes are engine problems, low oil problems, steering wheel problems, tire bearing problems, and finally, the problem with the car differential.
However, it might seem challenging to figure out the problem. But that’s not the case!
You must pay close attention while driving to determine where the sound originates. Is it coming from the tire? Or from the steering wheel or under the car?
That sound is really easy to recognize!
How to Stop the Whirring Sound?
The only way to stop the whirring sound is to identify the problem and solve it. There are some minor problems that you could solve on your own. But for some serious issues, you must take your car to the car repair center.
Some Minor Problems That You Can Fix
- Car oil problem: Low engine oil is the most common reason for that unwanted sound. You can quickly fix this problem by refilling the engine with fresh oil.
- Flat spotted tires: Fill the tire to the highest pressure it can withstand (as advised) and then drive a few miles to repair the flat spots.
If this does not work, you may need to replace the tires.
- Low-power steering fluid: As we have mentioned before, like the low engine oil, low-power steering fluid can also generate a whirling sound. So go ahead and fill it out!
Critical Problems That Need Repair Center:
- Engine problem: Except for low engine oil, there might be other faults with the engine. And it would be tough for you to examine the whole engine and figure out the appropriate problem.
But a professional automobile repairer can handle that carefully. So, take your car to the nearby automobile repair center.
- Wheel bearing problem: If your car makes a sound while turning, it’s probably because of a wheel bearing defect. You might need to replace car bearings if the issue is critical.
- An issue with the differential: The differential is really important for balanced wheel rotating. And it is placed between the drive wheels. So naturally, you cannot fix this by yourself. Hence, proper and lengthy treatment from an automobile repair shop is required.
- Faulty alternator: An alternator powers the electrical system of a car, mainly the car’s battery; it is also a crucial issue that demands immediate action.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the car bearing costly?
The cost of a car bearing depends on the bearing brand. However, it is rather pricey.
2. Is it expensive to fix the alternator?
Yes, the alternator fixing cost is expensive, especially if you replace the old one with a new one.
3. How much will it cost to repair the differential?
Well, the cost to repair the differential depends on the problem. It would be ideal to speak about it at your local repair shop.
I believe that after reading this, you won’t be in a rush to find out, “why is my car making a whirring sound?” You are now aware of every potential cause and its associated solutions.
However, speak to a vehicle expert if you’re still having trouble. And I would highly recommend you not to tinker with the car if you are not experienced in handling automobile issues. Or else you can aggravate the situation and spend more money.