Whine Sound While Accelerating

2005 Toyota Camry, 202 kmiles, 2AZ-FE 2.4 L engine, U250 automatic transmission

I hear a whine sound while accelerating, that doesn’t seem to match up with the RPM of the wheels. It is very noticeable and loud while going up hills. I hear the same sound with the car up in the air (all four wheels off the ground) and pressing the accelerator (all though not as loud as when going up a hill).

Here’s what I attempted to do to diagnose this issue:

  • Valve Clearance - All good, some are right on the edge, but still under the limit, at some point I would need to replace the buckets

  • Replaced serpentine belt

  • Replaced tensioner, external to the engine

  • Replaced alternator

  • I was not able to spin power steering pump, air conditioning compressor, or water pump by hand to check to see if they were noisy

  • Rotated the crank with valve cover off. The timing chain dips down and clicks each revolution in the same area. Showed the service advisor at stealership, and the he showed the tech who worked on my car. The tech said that was normal for the 2AZ-FE.

  • Power steering, coolant, engine oil, ATF, checked to make sure were all at the correct levels, they were

  • Took it to the stealership and paid diag fee. They told me the exhaust was leaking at the flex pipe, and a few sections past it. I double checked that by blowing shop vac into it, and sure enough it was leaking bad. I replaced it and used gaskets in-between flanges. Did not replace the exhaust manifold, it looks like for my car it is OEM only which is expensive. I do not have a smoke machine, and cannot locate one at a reasonable price to double check to see if my exhaust is leaking at the manifold. Thanks for pointing me to one at a reasonable price (if there is one)

  • The last time I dropped the transmission oil pan was at 187 kmiles and roughly a year ago. I didn’t see any large metal fragments or anything to concerning. Some particles on the magnet, but I think that’s normal. I believe it was the first time it was dropped.

  • I dropped the engine pan at around 176 kmiles and about 2 years ago. Didn’t notice any chunks of metal, and no sludge

I’m kind of running out of ideas. Thanks for any help.

Likely the pump in the automatic trans is worn and whining. Hydraulic pumps will do that. If it still whines when the serpentine belt is removed, that confirms the trans whine.

1 Like

I will try running the car without the belt, to test this. I should be ok running it without the belt?

Looks like in order to replace the pump, have to remove the trans from car, remove bell housing portion attached , and it’s held in by 7 bolts. Something I could do if I had multiple days, and another car to drive while doing it. I imagine would be a costly repair to have a shop do this for me.

Yes, because I doubt you could find a shop that would do just the pump. I know I would have turned down that job. No way am I doing a partial repair on a 200,000 mile transmission. We offered a 3yr/36K warranty on all our work, and there’s no way I could warranty that job.

1 Like

Yes but only for a very short time since your water pump won’t be turning and you’ll have no power steering.

Agree with @asemaster, If that trans comes out, a fully reman’d unit goes back in.
Now you need to decide to live with it until the transmission quits working (and NO we don’t know how long that will be!) or you spend the money to do it correctly.

Ask your shop if they’ve already tested for an exhaust manifold leak. I expect they have. If no you could try using a length of old garden hose as a stethoscope probing that area, esp the exhaust manifold/head gasket area. My Corolla has had the bolts that hold the manifold to the head work loose from the heating cycles.

Smoke machine test? It’s most practical to just hire a shop for needed smoke machine tests. I recall seeing internet instructions on how to build a home-brew smoke machine, so you could try googling to see if you can find it. Check utube vdo’s too. I thought that particular home-brew smoke-machine design could be unsafe for testing areas which might contain fuel vapors, but probably ok for the exhaust system.

Fuel injectors can make a whining noise btw.

It calls for about 14 hours just to R&R the transaxle only, plus the bushing, seal, O-ring and possible torque converter and extra labor to replace those parts… Yes it would be very expensive IF you could find someone willing to do it as mentioned above…

Me? I would not do it either…

I take it if it was the fuel injectors it would whine all the time even when not accelerating? If not, then how do I determine if it’s the fuel injectors or not? Maybe acceleration means more fuel and fuel injector whine louder.

Thanks for all the help by the way.

Are you sure the whine is not the power steering pump??

It could be. I have the original on there. I haven’t lost fluid and it doesn’t appear to be leaking. But I don’t think that necessarily means anything. The bearing could be going bad, and still not leaking fluid, right?

I do hear a faint whine when turning the steering wheel with the car parked, even when not accelerating, but it’s inconsistent when it happens. It’s not a clicking sound. The RPM goes up when turning the steering wheel at cold start, but I think it’s normal.

Not sure if it’s related or not, but whenever I go into reverse, there’s some sort of EMI and the radio gets very staticy. Also, on cold start when going into reverse, car shakes and there’s a slight rumble. But after warming up, going into reverse, car doesn’t shake or rumble.

Have you had the pump off the vehicle or any of the lines/hoses disconnected??

Or turned the steering wheel with the engine off??

I would for ha ha’s, try to bleed the PS system just incase… doesn’t hurt anything and it is free to do… lol

Just curious how that’s done on OPs Camry? On my Ford truck, all I need to do to bleed the PS pump is turn the steering wheel from the left to the right limits a few times, done.

Fuel injectors don’t whine.

1 Like

I presume you are speaking of Camry fuel injectors. They definitely made a whine sound on my older VW Rabbit.

Fuel injectors make a clicking sound. start video around the 5-minute mark and you can hear it.

Fuel injector basics, clicking sound, cleaning, and checks. - YouTube

Then (after doing above) sometimes you have to turn the steering wheel to lock, hold it while turning the key off, leave it for a little while, then start it and turn to the other lock, hold it (the steering wheel) while turning off the vehicle…

1 Like

I had the hoses off the reservoir maybe 5 years ago when I had to replace the clamps because it was leaking. But other than that, no. Never had any of the other hose bcs off or the pump. Should I expect complete silence when turning the steering wheel at cold start? It seems to make the vibrations and rumbles worse. A slight whine when car is warmed up, but can’t really hear that much unless parked. I think the pulley on this pump is to large to spin by hand. So it’s possible it’s bad.

If the pump is bad, would it necessarily be leaking? I don’t have any leaks, and the fluid is nice and red.

I should probably drain and refill the PS system. I sucked up as much as I could when I replaced the clamps. But far from drain and refill. Other than that, I don’t think the fluid has ever been drained and refilled completely. When I noticed it was leaking, before replacing hose clamps 5 years ago so, I had to add more to the reservoir a few times.

A) Slow down a little and don’t overthink it, just asking questions, just try to bleed the system, if it helps it helps, if it doesn’t then no harm no foul, just trying to cover all the basics… Let us know the out come…

B) Does it whine in P or N while revving the engine, or only while driving it??.. Again, don’t overthink it, simple question…

Your old Rabbit had a mechanical fuel injection system. No one has used that type for 40 years. Electronic FI systems do not whine, they click or tap.

1 Like

Comparing apples to oranges again… :man_facepalming: :wink:

1 Like