Why is my 2006 Grand Prix whining when it is cold?

Asked by Dec 20, 2011 at 09:55 AM about the 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I'm thinking it's the power steering fluid, but when looking at the manual, it says you
should never have to top it up. It's a whining sound, and is only really prevalent
when my car has sat overnight.  

11 Answers


If there's a dipstick for the power steering fluid, check it and top it off if necessary. I'd imagine that it's just the accessory belts warming up though. Cars tend to develop little quirks and personality as they age.


Does the sound you hear get worse when turning the wheel??? If not how long until it goes away??? if it gets worse when you turn then it is most likely a power steering pump but I have seen a bad power steering rack cause a similar problem..... if all fluid levels are normal then have your local shop check out your power steering system.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

If it is a high pitched whine only when it's started cold,and as the engine warms up it goes away,or stops whining shortly after starting,you may want to get your alternator checked and battery,the reason for this is,when the battery is low on reserve power it makes the alternator work over time the noise you hear is the two magnetic forces inside the alt working at maximum load.If you take it to a shop,a few thing's that's nice to know about alternator's,they can only produce 14.7volts max any more than that and you are getting a.c voltage,if you check the battery with a charger put a volt meter across the terminals when it's on charge if the voltage reading is more than 14.7volts then the battery is not good.I hope some of the info is helpful. DRDC

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Yes, when it's cold it gets worse when I'm turning. This morning it wasn't very cold out, and there was no whining sound at all, even after sitting all night.


It could be the bearings on the power steering pump pulley going out.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have the same car and it is a very big Pain in the butt to check your fluid level because the fluid reservoir is behind the engine. You have to get your arm back there however you can to check the level. If it is low use a Funnel with a long hose stuck on the end of it to be able to fill the reservoir so you do not make a big mess all over the floor of your garage. If your fluid levels are normal then you need to have a shop check out your pump and or steering rack. Sometimes when your rack is cold the seals inside shrink and let air in the system, it will make that noise once the fluid warms up and the seals start to take there shape again it slowly disappears. Hope this helps a little bit.

Yes, that helped a lot. Thank you very much. Cheers.

try adding some p/s fluid you might have a leak .

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have this same issue, trying to find more information


Initially my brother put some power steering fluid in and that kept it fairly quiet for awhile. Recently it has started getting colder out and when I start it up and press the gas a bit, it get's louder. As the car warms it up it tends to get better but it's constant. I just listened to it more and the noise is coming right from the alternator/pulley area...

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I've had to change my serpentine belt three times in the past 5 years. It wears on the edges. The noise is worse when it is cold but never goes away until replaced. If rubbing candle wax on the edges quiets it down temporarily, it is the belt. Unrelated I also have power steering noise.

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