Q: Car loses power and makes whirring sound when warm

asked by on July 05, 2017

Car makes a whirring sound when warm. Loses much of its power. RPMs correct for amount of pedal pushed. Sound gets louder as the accelerator is depressed.

My car has 118000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Alternator Replacement $151.62 - $1237.14 Get a Quote

Depending on the specific type of sound, this may be related to an alternator that may be starting to fail. As you may know, the alternator charges the battery while the engine runs by generating amperage and recharging the battery while the engine turns the alternator pulley. The voltage regulator is a unit that regulates the charging of the battery by the alternator and maintaining a certain amperage while the engine runs. When the alternator is not working properly, this may result in the battery quickly losing charge and the car losing all power. You may also notice a whining sound as a result of the bearings inside the alternator begin to fail. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your charging system.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $70/hr

What others are asking

I have changed the thermostat and temperature sensor. Bled hoses. Wasn't overheating before now it is. PLEASE help. :(

With the thermostat installed, if the coolant temperature, as measured at the sensor in the engine head/block, is in the range of 195 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit, the car is not overheating. Coolant temperature can be read off of an...

What is the normal/average RPM range for a 2010 Town and Country van at around 30-35 miles per hour?

Hello, thank you for writing in. During acceleration, the RPM's can go all the way up to 3,000. 2,000 RPM's is totally normal during acceleration. This does not mean that you are not sensing something wrong, and if you know...

Heater controls not working

Hello, thank you for writing in. There are multiple fuse boxes associated with the vehicle, and you may also need to check the interior fuse box. Fuse number 13 according to my records is for the rear climate control, and...

Engine Stutter On Acceleration

It's likely that If you were to scan the engine controller, (ECU) you would probably find several misfire codes. The misfire codes can indicate specifically which cylinder if malfunctioning. Your model car has a history of coil and ignition module...

Car sputters/stops at red lights and won't restart

Hello. This can be caused by a few things. Most of the time it is a failure in the crankshaft position sensor. The sensor fails and causes the computer to lose engine speed signal which turns it off. I have...

Chemical..front seat.. smell after it sits overnight

If I am reading this right, it seems as though you are saying that you recently has a power steering fluid leak fixed, and now after the car sits overnight, there is a chemical smell while sitting in the front...

Check Engine light on

The wrench light is a maintenance indicator. It illuminates whenever your vehicle is due for a timed maintenance. The check engine light could be several hundred issues. A qualified technician such as one from YourMechanic can retrieve engine codes and...

Steering wheel locked.

The loud noise may be due to the fluid has leaked out of the power steering pump. This would make the steering very hard to turn without any power assist. The system has a major leak if it lost all...

How Does the Front Defroster Work in a Car?

Selecting the front defroster mode directs warm air up through the ducts at the base of the windshield in order to clear moisture in warm weather or frost in colder temperatures. In cold weather, the defroster becomes more effective after...

Related articles

The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're Over 50
Shopping Shopping for a car when you’re over the age of 50 begins to shift a bit, as your priorities tend to change. Suddenly it’s not so much about what the vehicle looks like, or how much space it has...
Understanding the Chrysler Oil Change Indicator and Service Indicator Lights
Car symbols, or dashboard lights, are a car service reminder. The Chrysler Oil Change Indicator lets you know when and what service your car needs.
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're a Rock Climber
If If you’re a rock climber, you want a vehicle that gets you where you need to go, even if the terrain gets rough. You may be living out of your vehicle at times, so you also want a rig...