Whining coming from 2002 Hyundai when moving; trying to confirm my idea?


My girlfriend has a 2002 Hyundai Elantra 5 speed that has a whining/humming noise originating from in front of the driver. It sounds like a bearing going bad and it only exists when the car is moving; faster speed = louder noise. I thought it may be a wheel bearing but it sounds like it is in the engine bay. It was suggested that it may be a bearing on the output shaft of the differential and wanted to check here to see if that seems reasonable?



One thing to look at is the tires. They could be wearing wierdly, and what you’re hearing is noise from the tires.


I would check the serpentine/fan belt(s) for cracks and dry rot. Even if the belt looks ok, if it is the original belt I would change it since it’s 5 years old.
Check the PS fluid level too.

Ed B.


Speedometer drive cables and speedometers used to make noises like that too. Those cables probably don’t exist anymore. Does the noise happen while braking? If not, it could be your wear indicator.


I forgot to say that your suggested problem area does sound reasonable, but reasonable is sometimes (or in the case of cars, almost always) just not true.


Thanks for the replies. I’ll respond to each of these:

Tires - tires are relatively new but do need to be rotated. I plan to do this and if the noise disappears or moves, that’s the answer.

Belts/PS fluid - PS fluid and belts look fine. Revving the engine at a stand-still in the driveway does not create the noise. If it were simply the belts or a roller, we should be able to create the noise anytime, not just when moving.

The noise is present at all times when the vehicle is moving, even when braking so I do not think it is brake related.

Again, thanks!


The alternator on my Carolla started making a whining noise before it stopped working. You could hear it up to about 45 mph and not notice it at higher speeds.