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After driving my car for approximately 5 minutes, I hear a whining noise. However, there are no warning lights on and there is no problems with my transmission changing gears. Could it be a torque problem?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Carol, A "whining noise" can be caused by a number of malfunctions...A failing alternator, a faulty wheel bearing, a torque converter. You can start with the simple and have your alternator tested at a local auto parts store for free.

Bogi Lateiner, Owner and Technician at 180 Degrees Automotive Hi Carol, Noises are often tough to diagnose without hearing it... there are several things that I think of right away though. A power steering pump or even oil pump on its way out could be the culprit. I have heard electrical fans, secondary air pumps, and even drive shaft problems all described as a whine. A lot depends on when it does it, if it is speed dependent or constant, and where it sounds like the noise is coming from. I would pay attention to all of these things and and bring it to a mechanic you trust. Maybe go on a test drive with her/him to make sure you are both talking about the same noise... Hope that helps! Bogi Lateiner 180 Degrees Automotive

Karen Davis, Service Manager at Smith Stokes Carol, Its hard to tell what you might be hearing without actually driving it. The CTS is not having any specific problems like you are mentioning. Usually a whining sound is either a gear or bearing noise. One possibility could be a wheel bearing, especially if it changes when you turn one way or another. You can have a whine in the transmission. While driving you could try shifting into neutral when safe to do so and see if the noise changes. Also, check your fluids and see if anything smells burnt. Especially transmission and power steering fluid. Good luck!

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear Carol, Are you sure the noise is coming from the transmission? You may be able to check the fluid level. Look in your owner's manual to see if there is a dipstick available to check your transmission fluid level. That's the first thing I'd check. Just because you don't have a problem yet,doesn't mean that something won't develop. Without hearing the noise it's hard to tell. It may be best to drive with a technician so that they can hear the noise that you're hearing and give you a diagnosis. Lori Johnson

Suzanne Grego, Technician at City of Philadelphia Fleet Management Carol, Without hearing the noise first hand, it's hard to say exactly what the cause of the noise could be. Although the transmission seems to shift properly, it is possible that there is a problem with it. There are other possibilities also, such as a belt or tire whine. To find out for sure, I do suggest that you bring your vehicle to a qualified technician to have it properly diagnosed. Suzanne

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