Whining Noise at Idle
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Thread: Whining Noise at Idle

  1. #1
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    Whining Noise at Idle

    I have a 2001 Honda CRV with about 101,000 miles. Today, for the first time, I noticed a whining noise coming from under the hood when the engine is idling and in park. It's hard to tell where the noise is coming from, but I can hear it better when I am at the passenger side of the engine. Does anyone have any idea of what could be wrong?
    Last edited by naturehut; 05-25-2008 at 02:23 AM.

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  3. #2
    crv|oc Rank: Silver
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    Check your fluid levels.

    Check your fluid levels, especially the power steering. Also check the transmission fluid level if an automatic.
    The Black Pearl . . . 2007 EX, 4WD, 5AT, Nighthawk Black Pearl

    “Being Irish he had an abiding sense of tragedy which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” W. B. Yeats

    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

  4. #3
    crv|oc Rank: Freshman
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    Whiny CRV...

    Quote Originally Posted by naturehut View Post
    I have a 2001 Honda CRV with about 101,000 miles. Today, for the first time, I noticed a whining noise coming from under the hood when the engine is idling and in park. It's hard to tell where the noise is coming from, but I can hear it better when I am at the passenger side of the engine. Does anyone have any idea of what could be wrong?
    I think your CRV is just bored and wants you to take it to the zoo, or an ice cream, or maybe it is just acting out.

    A little putch on the dupa and a nap should take of it.

  5. #4
    crv|oc Rank: Silver
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    Welcome To The Club!

    Now that I am awake (I posted this last night about 3 AM. I started a GPS map set down load, set the alarm, went to bed, got up to complete the download steps--which didn't work and replied to this while the GPS was sitting there doing nothing--well at least I didn't lose the old map set).

    Anyhow first: Welcome to the club.

    Second: Does the whine get worse when you move the steering wheel. If so that is the classic (for cars I don't know about Hondas) symptom of low power steering fluid.

    Now the strange thing about Honda is that they must have taken Dupont's slogan back in the 50's "Better Living Through Chemistry" (also a failed mass social experiment in the '60's and a album by Fatboyslim in 1996 --never heard of him or them) to heart. Short of motor oil, Honda has decided that only proprietary Honda juices are fit for Hondas, and they have engineered the cars around the proprietary juices so indeed you must always use Honda fluids. Ergo you have to use Honda powersteering fluid. Now if you go to any autoparts you will find "Honda Type" Power Steering Fluid. I am not going to tell you not to use that, but if it was my car, I would only use the genuine Honda Power Steering Fluid available only at your dealer or online at a place like HandA for an outrageous price compared to the crap at the auto parts. (Then log-on here and moan like hell how much it costs). Here is the kicker on that. If there is something wrong with your powersteering, you may qualify for a Honda good will consideration if you have used Honda fluid. Use something else and it is guaranteed that you will not qualify.

    Now on this part I am on far shakier ground. It seems that I have seen posts here stating to change the powersteering fluid every ??? years. Perhaps Honda's wonder powersteering fluid does not have longevity as one of the secret ingredients. Anyhow if you can determine that it is the powersteering unit making noise and the fluid level is fine, it may be worth a fluid change with new Honda Genuine Fluid. If you are going to the effort to change the fluid don't put some crap from the autoparts that claims to be for Honda's. I don't have a clue how you go about changing that fluid.

    In line with the above, is there any chance that you may have had the car serviced (Jiffy Lube is our favorite place to pick on for these sort of problems) and some kind albeit ignorant oil change engineer added the wrong type of fluid to either the power steering or transmission?

    If so fluid changes are in order.

    First thing to do is open the hood and listen. While you are listening have someone move the steering wheel and see if it is the power steering pump making the noise.
    The Black Pearl . . . 2007 EX, 4WD, 5AT, Nighthawk Black Pearl

    “Being Irish he had an abiding sense of tragedy which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” W. B. Yeats

    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

  6. #5
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    Whining Noise

    Thanks for the help. I will check all the fluids today. Would the power steering make noise even when the car is just sitting without steering? I just bought the car used in February, so I don't know if the previous owner put Honda brand fluids in it. I did get an oil change about a month ago. I would think they would have topped off all the fluids, but sometimes they don't. If they did, I don't know if they used Honda brand. Also, they said the hole in the oil pan is stripped. They said that they were able to put the plug back in, but it's no guarantee that it will go in next time. They told me that a new oil pan will cost about $400. I found this hard to believe. They said they could weld a nut to the hole and it will act as the new hole to the pan and that will cost about $270, but it seems to me that replacing an oil pan shouldn't cost $400. That seems like something I could do myself. This was an independent Honda shop a friend told me about. He said they are really honest, so I didn't think they would try to cheat me. I am really concerned about the whining noise, so I will check on that today.
    Last edited by naturehut; 05-25-2008 at 11:17 AM.

  7. #6
    crv|oc Rank: Silver
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    Independent Honda Shop

    If it was a place intimately familiar with Honda's they should know about the Honda fluids. Of course, you have no idea or control over what happened before you owned the car.

    Regarding the oil pan, I can't tell you either way about replacing the pan. But $270 to weld a nut on the bottom of the pan seems a bit outrageous.

    What you may consider is a Fumoto?? valve. See if it will thread into the pan and seal. Instead of removing the plug, you open the valve. If I remember correctly our very own T-Mac is a dealer.

    Again I am not familiar with Honda's (only had mine for a year) but power steering units will whine at an idle without touching the steering. When you move the steering wheel the pitch changes.
    The Black Pearl . . . 2007 EX, 4WD, 5AT, Nighthawk Black Pearl

    “Being Irish he had an abiding sense of tragedy which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” W. B. Yeats

    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

  8. #7
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    Thanks Black Pearl. I checked the power steering fluid and it's full. The transmission fluid is also ok. When I turn the steering wheel, I also hear a hissing noise and the engine speed increases a little. This is probably normal, but the whining is related to the engine speed because it increases if I step on the gas petal a little. I took a stethoscope around the engine to try to find the noise, but I think it may be coming from the transmission. Would the transmission make a noise even when the car is idling and in park or neutral? I would think that the transmission wouldn't be doing anything until the car is put in drive. Is the transmission engaged and running when the car is not in drive? Maybe, I will have the transmission fluid changed. I hope it's not an indication of transmission problems.

  9. #8
    crv|oc Rank: Silver
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    Transmission

    You are quickly departing my area of expertise--which quite actually is very limited. Hopefully someone here can help you better. But yes I believe that your transmission could be whining in just park. As long as the engine is running things are happening in the transmission. Does your transmission fluid look clear & red. You don't want it looking brown or smelling like burnt rags. If you have no idea when it was last changed it may be worth doing the 3 X drain and fill described here:

    http://www.crvownersclub.com/forums/t2324/

    Post #1.

    It seems that putting the transmission in gear should change the nature of the whine, try both drive and reverse.

    Try turning the air conditioning off, (don't have the heater in any of the defroster modes) and see if that makes any difference.

    There is another source of whining that I have experienced, the alternator. I think when one of the diodes start to go it creates a phase imbalance in the alternator and it can whine.

    Well that is not much to go on, as I said before it don't take much to lose me.
    The Black Pearl . . . 2007 EX, 4WD, 5AT, Nighthawk Black Pearl

    “Being Irish he had an abiding sense of tragedy which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” W. B. Yeats

    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

  10. #9
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    Thanks again Black Pearl. I will check it again tomorrow with it in drive and reverse. When I checked the transmission fluid, it was red, but not bright red (a little dull looking), so I think I should have the fluid changed. On the other hand, it could be the alternator. I know for sure that it has been making a squeaking noise, so maybe the whining is the second step of the alternator going bad. I will take it in and have it checked out after the holiday.
    Last edited by naturehut; 05-26-2008 at 01:33 AM.

  11. #10
    crv|oc Rank: Silver
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    Alternator Whine

    If it is the alternator, and I am not committed to that, it could be one of two problems. Bad bearing or something electrical. If electrical the whining should somehow change under load. Listen to it with your head lights off, then turn them on high beam. The rear window defroster has a fair load on it as well so try it also. Also if electrical, you may see some change in your headlight intensity with engine speed. If it is bearing there shouldn't be as much change, and no changes in intensity.

    Again, we are treading on shaky ground here. I would have been far happier if you would have found your power steering level low.
    The Black Pearl . . . 2007 EX, 4WD, 5AT, Nighthawk Black Pearl

    “Being Irish he had an abiding sense of tragedy which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” W. B. Yeats

    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

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