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Learn More about the Symptom
A humming noise from the car can have different origins; it's typically friction-related and has a large pool of root possibilities. However, these are the most common causes:
- Tire cupping: Tire cupping is when the tires become uneven. The tread patterns typically show a bumpy wear pattern resembling a cup or orange surface. So, when the car moves, those irregularities press against the road, making odd vibrations and noises.
- Faulty wheel bearing: Wheel bearings are components behind the wheels that help them rotate on a metal rod below the car called an axle; this is also part of the steering system. However, the wheel bearings can have issues like overwear and lack of lubrication, causing extra friction and producing a humming noise.
- A/C failure: An air conditioning (A/C) failure can create changes in the airflow efficiency. If the compressor responsible for blowing the air through the AC vents fails, it'll likely produce a humming sound.
- Differential issues: The differential helps the wheels rotate on a metal rod below the car called an axle; they're essential for helping the wheels turn and get good road traction. However, they can have issues like a lack of lubrication and worn bearings that generate extra friction, causing a humming sound.
- Faulty fan clutch: A fan clutch is part of the car's cooling system; it controls the cooling fan that prevents the engine from overheating. However, it can become erratic or even stuck, creating a humming fan noise.
When driving at high speeds, a humming noise can become an alarming distraction for many drivers. Note that dirt roads typically mask these types of noises. The humming noise might come with a grinding noise. Still, there are different symptoms to keep track of if you catch your car producing a humming noise.