Every driver on the road has come across strange problems in his car at some point. Be it a jerky ride, loose breaks, or weird car noises, the list of the problems is usually never ending.
If you have noticed a strange humming noise when accelerating and decelerating your car, you’re not the only one. This prevalent problem is faced by tons of other drivers on the roads, who usually complain about car rumbling or other loud noises that appear with increasing speed.
There could be many reasons behind your car making a humming noise that gets louder with speed, such as a bad wheel bearing, faulty transmission, damaged axle, or alignment issues. Let’s get into the depth of the problem, and what should you do in case you face this problem quite frequently.
Why is My Car Making a Humming Noise?
As we know that a car is made up of thousands of parts, majority of them moving, so any one of those parts could be the culprit. Let’s focus on some of the most common causes behind your car making a humming noise;
1- Bad Wheel Bearing
Wheel bearings are those parts that make your tires move freely, without any hindrance. Over time and excessive usage, the wheel bearings can get damaged or worn. If you notice a humming noise as you accelerate to high speed, it is most probably due to this problem. Signs of bad wheel bearing include these humming noises, some jerky movements, and even swaying of the car.
2- Damaged Serpentine Belt
A serpentine is a crucial component of your car’s engine that powers different components, such as the alternator, AC compressor, and water pump to name a few. If it gets dry and worn over time, it gets prone to damage or slippage and increases the friction among the moving parts. This also appears as a humming noise, usually when the car accelerates. Getting it replaced on time is very important, otherwise it could render the most important parts of your car useless and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.
3- Transmission Problems
A gearbox is a complex setup which has different moving parts inside, and is lubricated by transmission fluid. If there’s a problem in your car’s transmission, you’ll abruptly notice a hum like sound with increasing speed. Most probably, low transmission oil level or a bad torque converter cause this problem, and should be fixed immediately before the damage becomes irreversible.
4- Low Engine Oil
If the engine oil level in your car is low, or the lubricant has lost its consistency due to over usage, your car will produce a loud hum like noise. This is due to rubbing together of mechanical parts which produces this strange sound, and can cause serious damage if not checked timely. Mostly, simple replacement of oil gets rid of this problem and saves the owner from any further trouble.
5- Clogged Catalytic Converter
Although not one of the most frequent causes, but a clogged catalytic converter is bound to create this problem. When the filter in the catalytic converter gets clogged, the passage of exhaust gases is hindered and it creates a dull, whistle like humming sound. It can be tracked by getting near the undercarriage area and telling someone to rev the engine. Getting your catalytic converter can solve this issue immediately.
6- Faulty CV Joint
If your car’s CV joint is damaged, you’ll notice a humming sound that increases as the car accelerates. This can also present as a crackling or rattling sound if the damage is severe. The most probable causes of a faulty CV joint include bad lubrication, rough usage by the driver, and wear & tear over time.
7- Steering Problems
Another common cause of humming sound in your car could be the steering column. Most commonly, a loose steering belt, faulty U joint, or bad alignment over long term usage can lead to excessive damage and humming sound from your car at high speeds.
8- Water Pump bearing issue
A damaged water pump bearing can also cause humming sound in your car getting louder with speed. This problem is most probably accompanied by engine overheating or increased coolant temperature, so you can diagnose and get it fixed easily.
9- Faulty Ball Joints
If you feel a humming noise while taking turns and at high speeds, it is most probably the bad ball joints on your car. These are easy to get fixed and don’t even cost that much.
10- Bad Alignment
Another common problem that can cause your car to hum, is the alignment. Either due to uneven wear of tires, over or under inflation, or poor balancing, the car can create humming noise when accelerating and decelerating. This is a minor problem which can be diagnosed and rectified in no time.
What to Do if Your Car is Making a Humming Noise that gets Louder with Speed?
If you’ve noticed that your car is frequently making humming noise that gets louder with speed, it is time to get it checked before the problem gets out of hand.
- Reduce your speed if the noise is continuous and too loud and don’t drive at higher speeds.
- Take your car to a reliable mechanic and get it thoroughly inspected.
- On your part, you can ensure a few things to avoid this problem, such as properly inflating the tires, getting proper alignment, check the engine and transmission oil, and follow the maintenance schedules.
- Whatever problem is diagnosed at the workshop, get it fixed immediately. For example, getting the wheel bearing replaced, topping up the engine oil, replacing serpentine belt or CV joints, and steering column repair.
- Get a test drive after repairs to make sure that the problem has been properly rectified.
Cars are complex machines that have thousands of parts and other moving components. It is normal for a vehicle to produce certain sounds but if the noise becomes louder and troublesome, always expect an issue.
If you face this problem, it is crucial that your consult an expert technician and get your car fixed properly. Most of the problems that cause this humming noise can easily be fixed and be easily avoided by following the maintenance schedules.