How can I identify the source of an engine whine?


Asked by Mar 09, 2013 at 06:05 PM about the 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Wife has 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5LV6 60,000 miles.  Just had major engine
repair/rebuild under warranty.  After repair, there is a very noticeable whine from the
engine/drive train.  The frequency varies with engine RPM.   The whine is noticeable upon
starting, car not moving.  Revving the engine in park or neutral causes the pitch of the
whine to change.  The whine gets louder when accelerating, and diminishes in favor of wind
noise at >45mph.  Accelerating makes the whine louder.  Pitch changes with shifting.  
Dealer identified steering pump; flushed pump, no joy.  Replaced pump, no joy.  Now
thinking it has something to do with the "rack" but I am skeptical.  Any help or advice

6 Answers


I could be the power steering pump. Grab your shop vac hose and start the engine with the hood up. Put the cleanest end of the hose near your ear and move the other end around to localize the source of the whine.


Dealer replaced the power steering pump, but the whine did not go away.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Transmissions also have a pump in them that can whine. Silly question but is the noise comming from the stereo speakers.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

something with the p.s. hoses ,restriction or reversed by mistake if thats even possible or the p.s. cooler restriction if equipped

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

UPDATE. Dealer replaced power steering hoses and the whine is gone. Idles at about 900 rpm now when warm, quite a bit of vibration but no whine.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Had the same issue, loud squeal in conjunction with the RPMs, took it to my mechanic who replaced the idler pulley. Noise completely gone.

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