Transmission Making a Whining Noise

whining noise in transmissionDear Austin, I have a Oldsmobile Alero with only 102K miles. I have taken good care of the car since I bought it new.

Just recently my transmission started whining. I had the transmission serviced with a new filter and and synthetic fluid, but the whine continues.

The mechanic that serviced it tells me the whine is the transmission. The car with automatic transmission runs and shifts just fine. Is this something I need to be concerned about? The car is in good condition and I would like to drive it another 100K.



Hi there Ron

I would get a second opinion on the noise. I have been fooled many time with noises on these models, a/c compressor pulleys, water pump bearings, belt tensioner pulley and alternators all produce about the same whine noise. Those noises seem to travel throughout the engine and transmission and can be really hard to pin point.

I will usually remove the serpentine fan belt to eliminate all those accessory pulleys and make tracking down the noise a little easier.

Good video on how to find noises on a vehicle, take a watch

Since you mentioned you think the transmission is at fault, I would start by checking the fluid level. Low fluid levels in just about anything, transmission especially will produce whining, clicking, clacking noises so start with that first.

Sometimes using the wrong type of transmission fluid will produce weird noises and “shutter” vibrations when shifting. I have seen this first hand a few times, a customer has a noise in their transmission and the fast lube oil change place just added fluid, but it was the wrong type for the vehicle.

There are a few additives for the transmission you can find at your auto parts store for noises and hard shifts, Lucas and Wynns makes one. Worth a try if you are certain the noise is actually coming from the transmission though.

This person has a whining noise in his transmission too, see what he did

Please share this with your friends
Austin Davis

Posted in: Noises

2 Comments on "Transmission Making a Whining Noise"

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  1. Susan says:

    Austin, Maybe you can help with this. I have a 2008 Nissan Altima been perfect no issues at all. I drove home last Friday night through a severe thunderstorm – pulled in garage – cut off car – next morning I go down to run errands – no start – no sounds – no clicks – dead inside – no interior lights – no nothing – only have brake lights – it is not battery – not brake light switch – not fuses…. it is Nissan as I didn’t know where else to turn and they still don’t know – any ideas? Help me please

    • Austin Davis says:

      Hi there,

      If you have no power…no headlights, no starter motor power, no interior lights etc. then I can only assume you have lost all battery power. I would start at the battery, TRIPLE check battery cable connections to insure they are clean and tight on the battery post. I since the battery (if original) is past due for a change, I would replace the battery with a new battery.

      If you still have issues, it will take a mechanic and a voltmeter to follow the battery power to the engine and computer/relays/ignition switch. There really is not much more you will be able to do yourself, but I have a feeling you have a bad battery or a loose or dirty battery cable issue.

      Most battery’s fail with no warning at all, they just drop dead one day. Average battery life is 4 years.

      Keep me posted.


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