What Causes The Humming Noise While Driving The Car?

If your car makes a humming noise while driving, the techniques to fix it are usually pretty simple. The car gets noisy if you install unsuitable tires or if a car part loosens or is damaged, such as a worn wheel bearing.

Car Makes Humming Noise While Driving

Keep reading to find out about other causes and know how to fix them.

Why Does the Car Make Humming Noises While Driving?

The car makes humming noises while driving due to a problem with a wheel bearing, ball joint, transmission, or engine belt. The noise may also appear due to a loosely hanging heat shield or lack of lubrication. Improper tread or uneven wear on tires can also be noisy.

Humming Due To Faulty Bearings

There are many bearings inside a car, and they all go through a lot of stress which can damage them over time. You can observe the spot where the noise originates to identify which bearings are faulty.

You probably have a bad wheel bearing if the noise comes from a wheel. These bearings damage if you hit a bump or pothole or if you have been driving off-road. Even if it did not happen, the wheel bearings are bound to decline because, like other parts, they have a limited lifespan.

Other than the noise, you should notice vibrations in the steering wheel. If the wheel bearing is the culprit, the noise will change while cornering. Moreover, you will hear a humming noise in the car getting louder with speed.

You can get an idea of the wheel with worn bearings by carefully listening to the sounds. For instance, if the left wheel has worn bearings, you will hear a humming while turning right.

However, if the car makes a humming noise from the engine, the bearings in the water pump might be defective. Since the engine is present on the front side in most cars, you will hear this noise only from the front.

The noise from worn wheel bearings is a mixture of whining and humming and is prominent when you accelerate. If you ignore this noise and keep driving, the engine can damage due to overheating.

– Noise From Damaged Ball Joint

If your car makes humming noise at 30mph to 40mph, it can be due to a damaged ball joint. Ball joint works for the suspension in a way that allows the up and down movement of the suspension even when the wheel is moving to the left or right.

Common Car Humming Noises

The noise gets higher as you speed up and has a low pitch. The ball joint fails due to the following reasons:

  • Lack of ball joint lubrication
  • Putting extra weight on the car
  • Aging or wear due to off-road driving
  • Dirt or other particles entering the joint
  • Exposure to moisture and salts corrodes the joints

– Humming Sound From Unevenly Worn Tire

The humming and other symptoms due to rough tires are much like the signs of worn wheel bearings in the wheel. In both cases, the steering vibrates, and people get confused between them.

So if you observe all these signs, you should first check the condition of the tires. Sometimes people only experience front-end humming noise while driving because only the front tire is weary. Others notice a humming noise while driving from rear tires.

The uneven wear includes scalloping or cupping. Look for any dents or depressions on the tire surface. This noise gets louder as you speed up and can be dangerous if you ignore it for a long time.

Uneven tire wear can occur due to the following reasons:

  • Misaligned or imbalanced wheels
  • Damaged steering elements
  • A defective suspension part
  • Over- or underinflated tire
  • Low-quality tires
  • Off-road rides
  • Harsh driving
  • Old tires

– Transmission Defect Causes Humming

You will hear humming or clicking noises if there is an issue with your car’s transmission. These noises originate from the lower side of the vehicle and occur due to various reasons.

The transmission undergoes stress, so it may break down after some time. This process is escalated if you drive harshly, use the wrong gear shifts, or park your car without applying the handbrake.
It can also be noisy due to a faulty transmission part, such as the torque converter or gear teeth. Moreover, low transmission fluid levels increase friction between elements and create noise.

You can detect a problem with transmission if you notice a burning smell, leakage puddles, or slow shifting. Sometimes a defective transmission is also indicated by the check engine light.

– Noise Due To Wrong Choice of Tires

Humming noises are not always a sign of damage or defect. Sometimes the noise can originate from the tires because they are unsuitable for your car. It is more common in all-terrain or high-performance tires.
The choice of tires is crucial for a smooth and comfortable ride. Some off-road or winter tires create noise because they have larger tread block patterns. These noises are more prominent when you drive on a highway or accelerate.

Your biggest clue can be the recent replacement of tires. Sometimes even the right tires can be noisy when newly installed on a car. It is because they take a while to get smooth.

– Squealing Noise From Worn Serpentine Belt

The serpentine or drive belt drives many elements in the car’s engine. It is a rubber belt that functions with the help of a pulley. If it gets damaged, you will hear humming or screeching noises.
The belt slippage creates friction due to improper tension in the belt. High or low belt tension can both hurt the belt function.

The belt may wear out over time as it wears due to continuously working for thousands of miles. Heat dries up the belt and leads to cracks and tears. Moreover, exposure to moisture or defects in the pulley can also damage the belt.

The initial sign is the noise, but later the belt separates from the pulley or snaps. Since the belt aids other car parts, such as the air conditioner, or power steering pump, it should be replaced instantly.

– Low Engine Oil or Defective Engine Part

Some engine issues can also result in humming sounds. A low oil level increases friction, and the car gets noisy. You can check the reservoir to confirm this issue.

Notice the volume and color of the oil, and if it is below the minimum label and dark, you need to fill or change the oil. Apart from that, you should check other components that need lubrication. For example, the differential needs a lubricant otherwise, it makes noise.

If your car makes a humming noise when parked, it can be normal. Most modern cars have a cooling fan that runs for a while when you stop the engine. So if it goes on for a few minutes, it is normal, but prolonged noises indicate a problem with the radiator.

Moreover, there might be a defect in the engine, or some parts may loosen over time. A car making humming noise at 40 mph or higher is a sign of loose parts.

The low-quality components create gaps that cause air leakage from the engine and noise. Sometimes it seems like a whine, while other times a hum. So the sound varies with the affected part.

– Humming Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter can also cause noise due to two reasons. Like other exhaust parts, the converter is covered by the heat shield that protects it from the engine’s heat. If this shield gets loose, it hangs from an end and collides with the converter, hence the noise.

Defected Car Catalytic Converter

The other reason is the damage or clogging of the converter. It may clog due to debris or exhaust particles and lose its efficiency. As a result, you may hear a car humming noise at low speed.

– Noisy Defective CV Joints

A defect in the CV joints can also cause humming. These joints provide the torque and rotation needed by the wheels. If they wear out, you will not be able to speed up or make turns smoothly.

Many factors damage these joints. Starting with the most obvious, poor lubrication wears out the joint faster than usual aging. Moreover, road dirt or moisture contaminates them, and they gradually lose their function.
The joints deteriorate faster due to careless driving or extensive use. Overloading, towing heavy objects, or off-road adventures are some reasons. So, if you have recently tried any of these activities, you can suspect a CV joint producing the noise.

How To Fix a Car That Makes a Humming Noise While Driving?

You can fix a car that makes a humming noise while driving by replacing unevenly worn tires. You can also change a broken serpentine or drive belt to stop the noise. Moreover, hiring a mechanic to replace worn ball joints, wheel bearings, and transmission parts can solve the issue.

– Get New and Suitable Tires for Your Car

If your car is making noises, changing the tires can help. If you notice tire cupping, make sure you buy good quality tires this time. Moreover, buy tires that suit your driving conditions.

Solutions of Car Noises

There are different tires for highway drives and off-road rides, so choose accordingly. Considering the climate is also important as winter tires can be noisy in hot weather.

Also, consider the tire ratings as it gives an idea about the tread and traction. The rating will also define the load and speed capacity of the tires. You can consult the owner’s manual of your car to understand which tires suit your car.

– Replace the Dried or Torn Drive Belt

You can change a worn serpentine or drive belt yourself if you have basic tools. The belt can cost $20 to $40, depending on your car.

You can save the labor cost by following the steps below:

  1. Use the manual to find the belt. It goes around the pulley in many turns because it is very long.
  2. Identify the belt tensioner, rotate it with the help of a ratchet or turn the bolt, and remove the tension.
  3. Extract the old worn belt from the engine and install the new one.
  4. Compare both belts to ensure the right size.
  5. Once the new belt is placed around the pulley, rotate the tensioner in the opposite direction.
  6. When the belt rolls on the pulley, check the tension with your finger. Make sure it is not very loose or very tight.
  7. Start the engine to ensure proper installation of the belt.

– Replace Humming Ball Joints

Replacement of ball joints can be tricky, so it is better to hire a mechanic, but if you want to save the cost, you can do it yourself. The steps vary according to car models, but generally,

the following procedure is followed:

  1. Turn off the engine and lift the car using a jack.
  2. Loosen the lug nuts to remove the wheel.
  3. Use your car’s manual to locate the joint. Usually, it is attached to the control arm with bolts.
  4. Unbolt the joint using a wrench and press to remove it.
  5. Use bolts to install the new joint and fix the wheel back in position.
  6. Do not forget to insert the lug nuts. Lower and remove the jack and start the car to test it.

– Hire a Mechanic to Repair Other Faults

Some worn parts should not be repaired or replaced at home because you might end up worsening the car’s condition. You can only fix them if you have prior experience and you own all the required tools.

For instance, the replacement of bad wheel bearings requires the removal of the hub assembly. There are specific tools to do that, and even if you own them you might ruin other parts. Generally, it costs between $300 to $500 to replace bearings from one wheel.

Although the price is high, you may increase the expense by damaging the hub assembly if you do it yourself. Similarly, if you diagnose noises from worn engine or transmission parts, you should take your car to an auto repair shop.

Car Makes Noise when Accelerating

Can Rattling Noise While Accelerating Cause the Humming Noise in a Car?

Car rattling noise when accelerating: causes & fixes. Can this rattling noise while accelerating cause a humming noise in a car? It is possible. The rattling noise may be caused by loose or worn-out parts, such as a heat shield or an exhaust system problem. If left unaddressed, it can lead to a humming noise. To eliminate these sounds, have your car inspected by a professional mechanic who can diagnose and fix the specific issue.


After exploring all of “car makes humming noise while driving causes and fixes” you are an expert on the topic.

So let us revise the main points one last time:

  • You might hear the noise due to a bad wheel bearing, misaligned wheels, or worn tires.
  • Damaged car parts such as transmission, CV, or ball joints can be noisy.
  • You can change the tires or drive belts or hire a mechanic to replace a bad wheel bearing or other worn parts.

Get your tools and start repairing your car, to root out the constant humming.

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