Why is My Car Making a Whining Noise?

Does everyone in your apartment complex or neighborhood know every time you come and go because you have a screeching or whining car?  Do you cringe before you start your car because you are scared of what sounds it will make?  Or are you reading this blog for that friend?  I recently had this problem myself in my Dodge truck and decided to put BlueDevil to the test.  Keep reading for the results!

Having a noisy car can be annoying and embarrassing for you and those around you.  Luckily if you have a noisy car, the repair is often relatively in expensive.  First you need to determine what sort of noise your car is making.

Noises a broken car makes:

Low rumbling a buzzing noise coming from the middle or back of your car:
  • You likely have a leak in your exhaust system.  These can often be easily fixed at your local exhaust shop and best handled by a professional.
Screeching or squeaking noise coming from the front of your car:
  • You likely have a loose or warn belt accessory belt.  Your car may have multiple belts, or only 1, but often can be changed easily.  Before changing your accessory belt, inspect it for obvious wear or cracks.  If it appears to be in good shape, it is possible the tension needs to be adjusted.  Refer to your cars owner’s manual for proper belt tensioning procedures.
Whining noise coming from the front of the car:
  • You likely have a power steering pump that is low on fluid causing it to whine.


Power Steering Resevoir (mine)

Low power steering fluid can often be the cause of a whining noise coming from the front of your car, especially if it changes pitch as your engines RPM.  The power steering pump is located on the front of your engine and usually is driven by a pulley connected to your engine’s crank shaft by one or more belts.  The pump will also have a reservoir with a dip stick to hold the power steering fluid, and a feed and return line running to your power steering gear or rack.



Generally, there are two different types of power steering systems commonly used in vehicles in the US today.  A pitman arm style system uses a rotary valve and steering gear to transfer the motion of your steering wheel into hydraulically powered motion of a pitman arm.  The pitman arm then moves the steering linkage to turn your wheels.  The other system is called a rack and pinion system.  This system turns the motion of your steering wheel into the lateral movement of a steering rack which is used to move your steering linkage turning your wheels.

Leaking Power SteeringMy Car is Whining
Power steering Gear                                                Power Steering Rack


Usually your power steering system will develop a leak in the steering gear or rack rather than in the pump, so if you’re searching for a leak that would be the best place to start looking.

Once you’ve discovered a leak in your power steering system either by drips under your car, a visible leak or steady drop in power steering fluid level, you should look into stopping the leak.  The power steering pump is a robust pump, so even if it has been run dry (and is whining), it may still function properly if the reservoir is filled to the proper level.  The danger in driving a vehicle that is leaking power steering fluid is that it can cause sudden and dramatic changes in the handling of your vehicle and how it responds to steering input from you.  This is a safety hazard and may cause very dangerous situations for you and those around you.

The best way to quickly stop a leak in your power steering system is to add BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak to the reservoir.  One third of a bottle is enough to permanently seal the leak in your power steering system by reconditioning the old seals.  BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak is guaranteed to permanently stop your leak and, best of all, it is quick, easy and significantly less expensive than replacing equipment.  Once you’ve added BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak, top of your reservoir with the manufacturer’s recommended power steering fluid.  Be sure to check your owner’s manual as different vehicles require different types of fluid.

Power Steering Stop Leak (mine)After discovering the leaking power steering gear in my Dodge truck, I purchased a bottle of BlueDevil Power Steering Leak Stop from my local parts store and added it to my power steering reservoir.  After a 1700 mile cross country road trip, my power steering system is still leak free!

Stop the embarrassing whining noise in your car today by purchasing BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak at your local Bennett Auto Supply, Prime Automotive, O’Reilly, Autozone, NAPA, Pep Boys, or Advance Auto Parts.  You can also purchase BlueDevil directly from the manufacturer at http://bit.ly/13eKpuJ.

9 Responses to “Why is My Car Making a Whining Noise?”

  1. Rodney on

    My 2000 Ford Contour SE, 6 cyl. Sport. Has auto trans. It has a whining noise coming from the engine dept. when revving the engine or when accelerating during driving. At idle, it’s hard to hear, but when driving you can hear it. Also the battery red light comes on when accelerating. What’s my problem?

    • Carlos on

      It sounds like the belt tensioner or you might have to change the belt itself. When you rev up the motor it loosens that’s why your alternator goes off and the battery light goes on. Go to your mechanic, it’s easy to replace though.

  2. Matt on

    My car makes whining noise when eccelerating lift the hood and had son rev engine and power steering fluid was bubbling in resevoir very rapidly is it pump or clogged line didn’t notice any leak and fluid level is fine?

    • BlueDevil Pro on


      Thanks for asking us a question on our article “Why Is My Car Making a Whining Noise?”! I’m sorry you are having trouble with your power steering system, but hopefully it will be an easy fix.

      It sounds like you have air in your power steering system. The air bubbles could have gotten in from a variety of places but you should be able to remove them easily. Many power steering systems will have a bleeder valve on the power steering rack or gear near where the high pressure line enters it from the pump. With the engine at idle speed you can open this bleeder and allow fluid to run out until there are no more bubbles in it. While you are doing this, make sure you (or your son) turn the steering wheel side to side to free any trapped air and make sure you have fluid in the reservoir the entire time.

      If your system does not have a bleeder valve, you can remove the air simply by letting the vehicle idle with the cap off the power steering reservoir. As the bubbles come out be sure to add fluid to the reservoir so it doesn’t get low. This may take up to 30 minutes.

      If neither of these solutions work, it may simply be that your power steering fluid is in need of replacement and has lost its anti-foaming properties. A power steering fluid flush will remove the old fluid from your system and replace it with fresh fluid that should not foam or bubble. The power steering flush should also remove any air from the system. Check out our article on how to perform a power steering fluid flush here: http://www.gobluedevil.com/blog/need-power-steering-flush/. If you have any questions feel free to comment on that article.

      Thanks again for your questions!
      -BlueDevil Pro

  3. channantha on

    I have a 95 odyssey and when i start the car it makes a whining and rattling noise. But once i get to a certain rpm or speed it quite down completely . It also happens when i turn. Would any of you guys know what it may be? It happened since i just got my oil changed.

    • BlueDevil Pro on

      You may have something loose underneath your vehicle since that Oil change; especially if it levels out at high speed but you hear it when you slow down. I would advise taking it back to the shop who changed the oil so they can diagnose and possibly fix the issue.



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