Whining 2004 Honda CR-V

About 2 weeks ago, my 2004 Honda CR-V (176K miles, manual transmission) started making sort of a dry, whistling, whining sound. It’s not a grinding sound but more like wind whistling through something metal…? I think it’s coming from the right back wheel or wheel area. It doesn’t start until I’ve been driving maybe 6 or 7 minutes, and usually kicks in above 40 MPH although I’ve heard it when going slower, too. If I jiggle the steering wheel the sound stops and starts. It also stops when I go around curves or make turns. At first it was happening all the time, but over the weekend it seemed to be diminishing.

I did record the sound on my phone and uploaded the video to the following link: http://youtu.be/NcS2MSyCafU You can hear it stop at about 16 seconds and then start again at 20. Also, starting at 35 seconds I stop for a light and then restart at about 1:10. So you can see how it kicks in as I start going faster. No jokes about my shifting or driving or the dog panting in the background. I’m sure the vid will go viral.

I took it to a mechanic Monday but he only heard it for about 3-4 seconds. He put the car on the lift and inspected the wheels but didn’t see anything obvious so is chalking it up to old car syndrome. So, do I seek a second opinion? Is this something obvious for CRVs? I just want to make sure the bearings (or something like that) aren’t going on it.

Thanks for any help!

If you shift into a different gear at those speeds, is the noise still there? In other words, if it were there when in different gears, it is road speed related.
It may well point to a wheel bearing - that’s kinda what it sounds like to me but your mechanic checked for it, I guess.

The noise might be caused from the rear differential fluid being worn out. Common problem on the CR-V’s.

Replace the fluid with Honda’s special rear differntial fluid and see if the noise goes away. If it doesn’t, find an empty parking lot and turn CW ten times and then turn CCW ten times. This will burnish the clutches in the rear differential. Replace the fluid again to remove any debris from burnishing in the clutches.


Thank you both for your thoughts on this. I will verify with the mechanic that they checked both bearings and fluid to be sure.