Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

04 Odyssey engine "whine"

Recently had my 105K maintenance done which was water pump and timing belt plus whatever other misc belts go with that. Had it done at an indepentdent shop. Since the job was done we have noticed a high pitched whine that increases in pitch with RPM or speed that we drive (literally sounds like a jet engine whine). I took it back to the independent shop and he suggested it was our transmission. I have noticed no difficulty when changing gears nor any engine warning lights. I contacted Honda and our vehicle was part of a transmission recall in 05 that was done already. Other sources have suggested that the whine could be the belt being too tight or the water pump. Shop supposedly used all honda parts. Should I take it back to him again and suggest that the belt is too tight? Take it to the dealer and see what they think? Other ideas?

Can you re-create this noise sitting still while in Park? If so, you’ve just proven your independent shop wrong and they should find the belt or belt pulley that’s making this noise and fix it. They didn’t fix it right so they should make it right at no cost.

If this whine started immediately after the timing belt replacement then odds are it’s caused by the timing belt being too tight.

Since the independent shop suggested it was the transmission this means:
A. They are clueless about an overly tight timing belt causing a whine.
B. They are not clueless and do not want to go back in and redo their work for free so they are shifting the blame to something else, as in the transmission.

My gut feeling is that it could be Option A.

I tried reving the engine while in park but couldn’t really hear the noise then. Is a belt being too tight bad for the engine, will it affect the performance? Will the belt eventually stretch to loosen and no longer make the noise? I hesitate to take it back to them AGAIN if it is option A or B as I don’t know that I trust their work anymore. I suppose if I take it somewhere else though it would cost me a lot to have someone do the work.

Are you saying this whine only occurs when the vehicle is moving? If so, this would rule out a tight timing belt and could point to something in the powertrain.

This could be in the transmission or a wheel bearing.

More questions. Did this problem start IMMEDIATELY after this service or was there a delay of days or weeks, etc.?

Was the transmission serviced, fluid-wise, as part of that service?

I’ll attempt to listen again with the vehicle in park to see if i can duplicate the noise while not in motion but I could not hear it the first time and didn’t know if reving the engine up to 2-3 k rpm while in park was a good idea.

We also got new tires like two days after the timing belt service. Not sure the noise was there before the tires but it wasn’t there before either of these services. We had our transmission fluid flushed at the dealer at 90k miles so it was not done with the 105k service. They did check the fluid and said it looked fine.

If the timing belt is behind this whine then you should be able to hear it without revving the engine and the whine should be present with the vehicle not moving.

Wheel bearing failure would be very unusual on a 105k miles vehicle so I’m wondering if this problem is related to noisy tires?
If you have a smooth stretch of roadway with no traffic around you might run the vehicle up to highway speed, shift into neutral, and then allow the vehicle to coast while noting if the noise is there and if it appears to be dependent on the speed of the car rather than engine revolutions.

Aha. If it the noise showed up with the new tires, and it only happens when you’re moving, it’s probably the new tires.

But wouldn’t a tire noise be heard more clearly when I put the window down? This was not the case. Again I’ll test drive to confirm this but I think I noticed before that the whine died down when I stopped accelerating (took my foot off the gas once up to speed on the highway)then would become more noticeable again when I press the gas again. My logic was that if it was a tire noise I should hear it constantly once I’m driving at speed and I stop accelerating.

Ok it took me awhile but did some experimenting. Reving the engine while in park I do not hear the sound. While driving at speed on highway I put it in neutral and the sound drops slowly as the vehicle speed drops. So does this sound like a tire noise issue to you guys?

They used an aftermarket Timing Belt…and its over tightened… This is a known issue when doing the T-belt…I have seen it b4 and repaired it. It will quiet down over time but will always be there.

Do a search on the net about aftermarket T belts on Hondas…“making a Supercharger sound” or whine… Its well known.

Damn just read some posts now…OK45 REALLY KNOWS HIS STUFF

Its the T-belt…the sound is elusive sometimes but is always there…you just cant hear it well from inside the car …if you were outside the engine bay on the side where the t belt is…you would notice it never goes away…just changes pitch. This is a well known issue w aftermarket belts…and if not aftermarket…then its a symptom of a belt too tight.

Hey OK45…what is your background? I notice that our answers are almost the same MANY x…and it happens without me reading your posts. Just wondering what your background was…You really do know your stuff.