Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Whining noise coming from my Toyota Corolla

I have a 2005 Toyota Corolla and when I drive on the highway (65-80 miles an hour depending on the speed limit) it makes this loud huming or whining sound. Its so loud you can;t hear the radio or have a decent conversation and it’s just plain annoying. My boyfriend thinks it’s an intake issue. I have an appointment with the dealership Thursday and I’m looking for some advice so I don’t get in too deep financially. Any thoughts on what might be causing this? Thanks!

If you’re lucky it’s the tires; we have a 2007 and the original equipment tires are quite noisy. There are many quiet tires on the market; I believe jt sanders and maountainbike know some, like Yokohama.

Another source could be the transmission, and since your car may now be out of warranty, the dealer may spring a very expensive repair on you. Since many transmissions whine, it does not necessarily spell doom.

If the car is out of warranty, and there is a problem, I would go to a good independent transmission shop, if that’s the problem. If it is another problem, like the A/C compressor, for instance, go to a good independent mechanic or a specialty A/C shop.

Whatever the problem, if it is out of warranty, the dealer will charge substantially more and may have limited ability to find the real cause.

Dealers, even Toyota dealers, don’t realyy fix too many things anymore; they just replace the item.

An intake issue? I wonder why he thinks that. He hasn’t modified the intake on your Corolla, has he?

Does the car have a manual or automatic transmission? How many miles on the car?

Could the noise be coming from the tires? Some tires, especially when they are worn, can become very noisy.

Hey- thanks for responding. I got new tires in December so I am not sure if that’s it. Although, I have had a bit of an alignmnet issue (mainly due to potholes and city traffic) so perhaps that has cuased the tires to wear improperly? I also think I might have a bit of a fan belt issue because I get the little faint squeel from the fan belt so I wonder if the whining at high speeds is an extension of that? Its an automatic with about 65k miles…

One more suggestion. Does the pitch of the noise change when the steering wheel is moved off-center (i.e. changing lanes)? This indicates a bad wheel bearing. When the front wheel bearings were going bad on my 2000 Blazer, I thought it was tire noise at first since it started after I got 4 new tires for the truck.

Ed B.