What is a ‘whining sound when the car is in gear’ inspection?
A whining sound when the car is in gear may indicate a problem with your transmission—and the last thing you want is a transmission component failing while you’re driving. A trained mechanic will know to examine several parts of your transmission:
- Low transmission fluid. The transmission’s parts may not be adequately lubricated, and you may be hearing them interact. Replacing transmission fluid alone usually costs $100 to $300.
- The clutch or flywheel in a manual transmission vehicle. These are both expensive to replace, averaging anywhere from $600 to $1,200 for a flywheel and $1,000 to $1,500 for a clutch.
- Throwout bearings or input shaft bearings. It’s also possible you’re hearing wheel bearings, though this is less common.
How a ‘whining sound when the car is in gear’ inspection is performed
To figure out what’s causing the whining sound, your mechanic will need to investigate in a few different ways:
- Test drive the car to try and replicate the issue
- Check the car’s diagnostics computer using an OBD code scanner to see if it’s reporting a specific transmission error
- Examine the clutch and flywheel in a manual car
- Examine the throwout bearings and input shaft bearings
Do I need an inspection for a whining sound when my car is in gear?
A whining sound like this is usually a sign that a part in your transmission is failing or your car’s transmission fluid level is too low. If this is the case, you should limit your car use only to necessary driving (or no driving at all) until you can take it to the shop.
A failing transmission can be very dangerous while you’re on the road. In many cases, prolonged driving leads to more damage, especially in the case of low transmission fluid.
So if you’re hearing a whining sound when the car is in gear, get it to a mechanic or a dealership as soon as possible.
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