Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Whining noise when starting and rattling while first driving

asked by on

About a year or so ago, my vehicle started to make this whining sound when I first start it. I took it to a shop and they diagnosed it with belt and tensioner. Upon replacing the tensioner the sound continued. Over time the sound has gotten worse. Starting the vehicle first thing in the morning gives a very loud screech continued with the whining. As I pull out it sounds like a mild whining or rattle for about a minute. I've noticed that starting the vehicle seems like it starts with a high idle for a second from turning the ignition. There are no stiff issues with my power steering but once in a while i hear a very faint hum split up by a few seconds while idling. Only once when starting the vehicle I turned the steering wheel to the left and then to the right. Both directions it made a loud grinding sound. Never again after that. An associate told me to put powersteering lucas in it. It doesn't seem like the fluid has gotten low after that. Gas mileage is bad.

My car has 230000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi, thanks for writing in. The whining and grinding sound when turning the steering wheel suggests a weak or failing power steering pump. This can happen when the pump is low on fluid causing it burn up or can happen when the power steering rack forces too much pressure through it as a result of the fluid not flowing freely through small reed valves in the rack. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your home or office to confirm a diagnosis on the issue and make or suggest the necessary repairs or replacements.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Whining noise when starting and rattling while first driving

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

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Vehicle won't pass emissions test

Emissions tests analyze three main exhaust gas components: hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2). In some places, they also look at oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Excessive CO is the result of a rich fuel mixture and can only...

Q: Engine turns over but does not start

Hi there. When the security icon shows up on the dashboard, a few common faults will cause the security light to remain on and the car not to start. The most common is a worn key, faulty key transponder, security...

Q: How do I adjust the remote start passenger seat?

When the remote start passenger seat is turned on, then the front passenger seat’s seat warmers will automatically turn on when the vehicle is started via remote start. To turn this feature on or off, follow these steps: 1. Press...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...