Whistle While You Drive


My little Neon has started making a high pitched whistling noise somewhere around the right front tire when the car is driven. When this noise first started, it would stop when I tapped the brakes. This doesn’t work any longer and the noise has gotten increasingly worse. What do you think this is? The car drives fine and the brakes seem to be working fine.


This is a classic description of a leak in one of your vacuum hoses. While it is not yet affecting the engine or the brakes, it is possible that this could wind up affecting either the engine or the brakes, so I would suggest that you have this attended to as soon as you can.

The good news is that a competent mechanic should be able to find the source of the vacuum leak within a couple of minutes, and should be able to repair it almost as quickly.


You need to have the brakes inspected. The wear indicator on the pad is rubbing. In fact don’t wait any longer, you have waited too long as it is, you could be damaging the rotors.


Hmmm…While I wouldn’t describe the sound of the brake wear indicator as being a “whistling” noise, you could be right, Willey.

OP–Get the car to a competent mechanic (NOT a chain operation like Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, etc.). Willey could be correct, which means that you are skating on thin ice with your brakes, or I could be correct about a vacuum leak, which is less serious. But, either way, get it checked a.s.a.p., in the interest of safety.


I think the clue is when he taps the brakes the noise would stop, indicating a brake pad wear indicator. Now he has waited so long that applying the brakes dosn’t stop the noise.

I have heard brake wear indicators that make a whistling sound. I wouldn’t rule out a vacuum leak either but if it is a brake indicator he should have it looked at soon.


Thanks, guys. I’m taking it in first thing tomorrow morning.


Driving home tonight I noticed there was no noise at all while I was out on the highway, but right after I had to put on the brakes getting off the exit, it started right up again, then disappeared as I drove. At any rate, I’m taking it in to the garage first thing tomorrow…a genuine garage, not one of those mechanic-in-a-box places you mentioned. I’ll let you all know what they find out.


Could also be a wheel bearing


Hey, Willey. I took my car in yesterday morning and it turns out the front brakes were totally shot. However, there was no damage to the car from my driving it after the sounder started. But, if you had not warned me about the rotors, I might have kept on driving it and caused some real damage. Thanks for your advice.


Glad I could help.

Whistling noise