View Full Version : Humming or Whining Sound

03-12-11, 02:45 PM
I have noticed for the last few weeks that my 07 STS makes a slight humming or whining sound. I can really hear it around 40 to 45 mph on a smooth ashphalt road. When I put it in neutral it goes away. Car only has 17000 miles and it's a rwd V6. It increases if I goes faster and decreases when I slow down. It almost sounds like the fan on my wife's laptop computer. Just thought i would ask you guys before I go to the dealership. Thanks.

03-12-11, 03:09 PM
Sounds like one of the wheel bearings to me. Jack the car up and see if there is any play at any of the wheels. Grab top and bottom and try to wiggle the wheel. ANY play and the hub/bearing needs to be replaced on that corner.

03-12-11, 03:16 PM
How could it be a wheel bearing? The noise goes away when i put it in neutral and the car is still moving at 40 to45mph.

03-12-11, 03:21 PM
Reduced load when in neutral? I don't know...every other symptom you describe sounds like one to me. 17,000 miles is awfully early for a bearing to fail, too. It could be transmission related since it goes away in neutral and changes with speed. Hopefully someone else chimes in.

03-12-11, 08:44 PM
If when you put it in neutral the sound goes away then it's not a wheel bearing. I'd check the rear differental for fluid leads...

03-13-11, 01:24 AM
Often times a bearing will hum in the steer ahead position and turning on one side. If you are driving forward, and you turn the steering wheel to one side and still hear the noise, turn the steering wheel to the other side, If the humming noise stops, it is a wheel bearing.

Like 05_STS said, I would check for any leaks and also check the level of the differential fluid. Make sure the car is jacked up and fairly level. The fluid should be no lower than .25 in. from the bottom of the fill plug hole.

*** A whine type noise will increase or decrease relative to the vehicle speed, approximately 50-60 mph. Typical causes of a gear set whine type noise may include incorrect backlash and/or pinion depth adjustment or worn or scored gear set teeth. Check for the proper fluid level. Fill as required.

03-13-11, 07:44 PM
It's common for a wheel bearing to make noise only under load. I've heard one on the way out and simply letting up on the throttle was enough for the sound to change. This is not uncommon at all.

03-13-11, 09:35 PM
When I have encountered whining and humming noises, 99% of the time it's tire noise. I've changed more wheel bearings and such and then swapped tires more times than I care to admit. Varying road surfaces complicate everything.

03-14-11, 03:49 AM
My 06 has been doing the same thing. Sometimes its more noticeable than others and like he described it, it seems to change with the speed.

03-14-11, 07:14 AM
If noise sounds different when turning left or right i would quess wheel bearing.

03-15-11, 01:01 AM
Well it seems to do it only at speeds over 20ish maybe idk havent really paid that much attention to it and when you say turn do you mean slight turn like a curve or all out turn because I dont think i'll be taking any turns at speeds where you can hear it that prevelant. I'll try to have them look at the bearing when i get the new rims.

03-22-11, 01:30 PM
My 2007 V6 AWD has been doing this as well. Turning has no effect on the whining noise. Put it in Neutral and the sound disappears. Sometimes it will be very loud at low speeds or even at a stop. If I put it in neutral and then back into gear, it usually goes away. Doesnt happen all the time (seems worse in colder weather). Has your car been shifting out of P/N/R harshly? Sometimes mine does, sometimes it doesn't. My car is a CPO--when I get some free time, i'll be taking it into the dealer (and will also have them look at the timing chain problem that they sent me a letter about).

Good luck--let us know if you find anything out!

03-22-11, 02:04 PM
No harsh shifting out of P N R. Car shifts gears and runs very smoothly too. I haven't heard the noise latley. Maybe it is tempearture related. I know for sure it's not the tires or wheel bearings. I knew as soon as I posted this thread that that would be everybody's first guess. As a matter of fact, I first noticed the noise in the mall parking lot when I was going about 15mph. It's weird. I'll have my dealer guess at it when I take it in for the oil life recalc. This car has been a real trip at times.

STS Serge 172
03-25-11, 06:03 PM
I have a noise like this in my STS but I always figured it was my tires like someone suggested before...kinds sounds like a jet in a way??

03-26-11, 10:57 AM
I have to change the discription of the sound. I would remove the word Humming and say it sounds more like a whirring sound. It is also very sensitive to when just touching the gas pedal. Goes away when putting it in neutral and the car is still moving. If it was the Tires, the sound wouldn't stop whether it's in neutral or drive.

03-26-11, 06:00 PM
Louder or softer when turning left or right? Same hot or cold?

03-26-11, 09:14 PM
No change when turning left or right. The sound only changes in response to the gas pedal or putting it in neutral. I didn't hear it all day until tonite. I was only going 15mph thru a shoppring center. Temperature outside was 32F (it's still feels like winter here in the suburbs of Detroit). I didn't look to see what the engine temp was. It still sounds like the whirring sound from my laptop or remember the days when you could hear the alternator noise thru your speakers?? The sound comes from the front engine compartment that i'm sure of. The noise is very subtle.

03-28-11, 01:29 PM
I have an 2006 STS making the same sound. I thought it was probably the hypoid gears, but now that I think about it it could be something else. I had an Aerostar mini van once that would intermittently make a very loud sound under the hood that sounded like a french horn. It made it only at idle and on very hot days. Come to find out it was the idle air control valve going into some kind of resonance. I replaced it and the sound never came back. I'm wondering if this problem might also have something to do with the flow of the intake air going past the throttle plates or the idle air control valve.

STS Serge 172
03-28-11, 02:34 PM
Something in the tranny maybe...??

03-28-11, 07:53 PM
Diagnosis over the web is harder than over the phone. Take a service writer or independent mechanic for a ride.