Disturbing engine(?) sound

I have a 2004 Taurus, 32000 miles. I hear a whining sound (not too loud)that increases as I accelerate and decreases as I slow down… It is easiest to hear at 20-35mph but is directly proportional to the speed. It is also the same regardless of the 3 forward speeds I am in. I had a very basic checkup that revealed nothing

Does it happen in neutral? That is, if you are in your drive way in park or neutral and rev up the motor, can you hear it?

And if so, you need to pop the hood while the car is on, have someone rev it up a little, and try to locate its source.

If it doesn’t happen in neutral and proportional in frequency / pitch only to speed and not RPM, then you can pretty much rule out the motor.

Alternator bearing?

The whining is independent of what gear the car is in, but happens when the car is moving and proportionate to speed. Sounds like the differential call to the bros last Saturday. Try some sawdust or bananas. Seriously, could be a worn or out of adjustment ring and pinion gear. Suggest checking the lubricant level first.

The power steering pumps on my 91 Taurus and 98 Windstar were noisy. Have you tried locating the source of the noise with the hood open and the engine idling? Does the noise change if you turn the steering wheel? About once a year I would use a turkey baster or a siphon to remove as much fluid from the PS steering reservoir as possible. I would then refill the reservoir with fresh fluid, run the engine for 5 to 10 minutes and repeat the process until I used up ~2 quarts of fresh fluid. This usually quiets the pump down.

Another thought, how old is your serpentine belt? I replace mine about every 3 years with a high quality belt like a Goodyear Poly-V.

Good luck,

Ed B.

I don’t think wear would be involved as I only have 32000 miles and am a very conservative driver.
Wouldn’t I hear the whining in neutral, with acceleration of the engine if it is alternator or serpentine belt?
The sound is not there at idle or reving up the engine in neutral. All fluids at normal leval, had transmisson fluid changed.
Could it be Tires or wheels???

I had the same problem. Mine got worst the faster I went. I had a simple fix for mine tho. I just quit taking the wife with me when I went somewheres! LOL ;0

Now to get serious have you had you serpintine belt changed or replaced? It may be bad. While you have it off check all pulleys to see if they spin freely. Could be a belt tensioner bearing or an idler bearing or any componet that the serpintine belt drives.

Sorry ahead of time for the bad above joke!

Thanks. I assume that belt speed varies with rpm of engine. Is that so? If so, why would sound frequency increase with speed regardless of transmission gear? Would’nt the engine rpm and belt speed be different in each gear at the same mph?