Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Transmission Whirring

I have an automatic 99 Honda Accord with just over 150k miles on it. Just recently, it starting making a high pitch whirring noise as the rpm rises until it shifts from 1–>2. The noise is gone or just not noticeable when I’m in 3 or 4, but the sound comes when shifting into 2nd and 3rd. Does anyone have ideas about what this may be? Again, its a high pitch whirring sound (like the rising sound of a jet engine) that comes when shifting from lower gears. Thanks so much for any advice!

Are you positive its coming from the transmission and not from an engine component like an alternator or PS pump?? Is the transmission shifting or acting funny in any way??


Thanks for the response! The transmission does occasionaly shift hard (I guess these cars are notorious for having tranny problems). I’m not 100% that its the transmission, but I can say that even when the car is in neutral or park and I rev the engine the whirring is still there. I had my fluids all checked today and was told they are all fine. How could I diagnose the alternator or PS pump as culprits or not?

The fact that the sound is still there in neutral indicates that the culprit is probably an accessory or another rotating part of the engine. Take the accessory drive belt off and run the engine (only for a short time). If the sound is gone, turn each of the disconnected accessories; feel for any roughness; and listen for noise. If the sound is still there, the problem could be the water pump or timing belt idler. You might touch a mechanics stethescope to each accessory and see if you can locate the noise specifically.

Hope that helps.