Whining when accelerating -- only in Drive - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 11-19-2005, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default Whining when accelerating -- only in Drive

Hello all, I'm having a problem with my '96 SE:
When accelerating, there is a high-pitched whining noise that increases in pitch with increasing RPM, sort of like the noise of an electric motor on those toy cars your kids drive around the cul-de-sac. The funny thing, though, is that the noise only comes when the car is in drive. I cannot replicate it while the car is in park or neutral. Any ideas? My first thought was PS pump, but wouldn't the noise still be present in park or neutral then?
Thanks for the help,
Corey
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Old 11-19-2005, 02:54 PM   #2
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Set the parking brake and put it in drive. Keep your foot on the brake and rev to 4000 rpms. Do you still hear it?

If not, you've got to look at things other than the engine/pulleys/accessories, and only look at things that turn when moving. Trans, drive axles, and hub/bearing assemblies.
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Old 11-19-2005, 02:55 PM   #3
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The alternators on the Series II engines are notorious for whining.

With the hood open and the engine running hold a screwdriver to the case of the alternator and the handle of the driver to your ear. Then have someone rev the engine (while in park). If the noise is very audible through the screw driver you definitely know it'* the alternator.

Might be kinda hard to replicate because of the lower rev limiter while in Park and Neutral, but I think you'll be able to hear it through the screwdriver. If it won't do it that way have the person in the drivers seat apply the e-brake, and the regular brake as hard as they can, put the shifter in any forward gear, and put the gas down slowly until you hear the whining noise.

User'* discretion is advised and any mishap'* that might occur are not the responsibility of the author of this info.

Good luck,
Martin
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Old 11-19-2005, 04:50 PM   #4
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I don't see the alternator being possible, since it only happens in drive?
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Old 11-19-2005, 05:01 PM   #5
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Default Update: No whining with car in drive and 4000RPM

Okay so I put the car in drive and, with both brakes down, revved the engine to 4000RPM -- NO NOISE. Took the car for a spin around the block and noted the noise starts at about 2000RPM, and is the same in 1st, 2nd, 3rd gears. Didn't try 4th. Maybe that helps you diagnostical wizards?
A thousand thanks,
Corey
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Old 11-19-2005, 05:06 PM   #6
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since it only happens while moving, anybody else think it could be a front wheel bearing going bad?
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Old 11-19-2005, 05:17 PM   #7
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my trans likes to whine when in first and second...it sounds exactly what your describing
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Old 11-19-2005, 07:42 PM   #8
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It could possibly be the pump in the transmission getting weak. I would also check your front brakes. Its possible that you may have a stone or something caught up between the caliper and the pads. Also check the thickness of your brake pads.
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Old 11-19-2005, 07:48 PM   #9
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hmm...
If it were the wheel bearings wouldn't the sound be speed-dependent instead of RPM-dependent? What part'* rotation is dependent on the engine RPM, but can only rotate if the car is free to move? Nothing like a good mystery....
-Corey
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Old 11-19-2005, 08:28 PM   #10
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I have a 97 SE that makes the same noise your describing. It is indeed the transmission...a weak pump causes that noise. Mine has been making it for the last 2 years....a tranny rebuild is in both of our futures. Sorry mate.
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