High Pitched Whistle

jetta
volkswagen

#1

My car occasionally makes a high pitched whine while driving it’s very loud and very frustrating. I’ve come to the following conclusions: It only happens when the car is warm, it only happens at speeds above 40mph, it doesn’t correspond to either accelerating or decelerating, it happens either way and in between. I’ve had people in the car while it’s happened and the noise seems to come from the driver’s side rear wheel. Sometimes it gets so loud and then gets even louder when I begin to apply the brakes, it’s as if it starts screaming. I’ve had mechanics take apart the complete brake system on every wheel and put them back together. They’ve put anti-squeal on the brakes to no avail. While driving the noise can come and go, with no apparent reason why. It happens in rain and on warm sunny days. Also, the noise seems to oscillate as if it is something that’s spinning, I’d guess it’s at approximately 160 beats per minute. This has been occurring for about a year, it was not this way when I got the car. No mechanics have ever found anything, but it’s so loud! And so annoying and embarrassing. This can’t be normal, what is it!?


#2

Sounds like a wheel bearing to me. Have you had it checked for that?

Find an empty parking lot. Go fast in a tight circle (round and round) - first to the right then to the left. If the pitch changes as the rear wheel is unloaded, that is more than likely the problem.


#3

I agree, it easily could be a wheel bearing. A good way to make sure is to jack up the front of the car so that each of the front tires are off the ground, and test each wheel for movement, top to bottom and side to side. If either wheel moves AT ALL in each direction, the wheel bearing is definitely failing and must be replaced at once. In many cars it’s just easier to replace the whole axle at the same time.