What could cause a humming noise while driving?

I’ve been hearing this low humming noise whenever I drive lately, and it worries me a bit. What kinds of problems could be causing the humming noise while I drive?

Joshua Levy · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Cars are complicated machines that take
consistent maintenance
and care. So if you hear a humming noise while driving, try not to worry. It’s likely a minor problem like a misaligned wheel bearing.
Here are some of the most common problems that could make your car hum:
  • Bad wheel bearing: Wheel bearings connect your wheel to your axle, so a faulty bearing is fairly dangerous. While it won’t be a problem if it’s a minor issue, it could get more severe as you drive.
  • Damaged power-steering pump: If you start the car cold, the steering fluid will typically be thicker than it should be. As a result, your pump may have a hard time pushing the fluid through your system. If this is the issue, the humming should stop within a few minutes.
  • Failing alternator: Your alternator takes over some of the electric systems in your car once you hit the road. It’s also responsible for recharging your battery while you drive. That said, a damaged alternator could lead to failing electrical systems within your car and a dead battery.
While these issues won’t always be severe, it’s important to have the problem professionally diagnosed and fixed as soon as possible. Leaving them for too long could lead to severe issues that a
will have a much harder time repairing.
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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