My Car Sounds Like An Airplane – What Could Be Wrong?

As a car owner, you might get worried when your car starts making strange sounds, especially if it sounds like an airplane. When this happens, you may want to know the cause of the problem. Fortunately, we have consulted some experts in this field and here is what they have to say.

There are various problems that will cause airplane-like sounds, some of which are easier to fix than others. The following may be responsible for different airplane-like sounds in your car:

  • Damaged wheel bearings
  • Exhaust leak
  • Transmission problem
  • Bad tires
  • Problem with the brake system

These issues can be easily tackled without the help of a professional. Keep reading to get detailed information on how to fix a car that sounds like an airplane.

Driver holding his steering wheel, My Car Sounds Like An Airplane - What Could Be Wrong?

What Could Be Wrong If My Car Sounds Like An Airplane?

The first sign that shows your car is having issues is a strange noise, similar to that of an airplane. This sound is usually heard while driving, accelerating, or braking. It can be difficult for car owners to determine the specific cause of the noise.  Here are the problems that can cause your car to sound like an airplane:

Damaged Wheel Bearings

The primary functions of automotive bearings, which are found in the drive system of a vehicle, are to decrease friction, increase load capacity, and position spinning equipment. 

If the grease in the bearing deteriorates, and the bearing's balls are dry or damaged, they will create an obtrusive noise like a jet soaring through the air. 

If this problem persists for an extended period and is not fixed, it may increase the friction when your car is moving, produce a lot of heat, and eventually damage engine components.

Exhaust Leak

A car exhaust with mesh for heating absorption purposes

While problems with the wheel bearings can cause a noise like a jet engine, an exhaust leak can create a more old-fashioned airplane noise. This may sound like the sputtering of a crop duster or helicopter.

You can identify the main cause based on how loud the exhaust is. In this case, the major causes of this issue are usually a broken exhaust, a worn exhaust, or a leaking gasket.

Transmission Problem

Transmission gears of a car

The transmission is another possible culprit for airplane-like noises. If your vehicle is running in the wrong gear, it can create a loud, high-pitched noise.

Not only is this annoying, but it can also cause serious damage to your vehicle if not fixed.

Bad Tires

A flat tire

Bad tires may also be responsible for the airplane sound your vehicle makes. Since the road surface and tire make uneven contact, uneven wear develops and may cause loud noise. The tires generate audible noises while driving since the tread depth is not uniform. 

Alignment issues may as well be the cause of tire noise. The air chamber will produce roars or hums as you drive. A rough ride gets more noticeable if your car's wheel alignment is out of place. This will make the tire move unevenly and amplify the sound coming from the chamber.

Problem With The Brake System

A car brake system with high grade brake calipers

When your car sounds like an airplane, one of the components you should check is the brake system. A worn-out pad or rotor is usually the cause of this issue.

Since the rear metal surface would gradually deteriorate when the brake pads are utilized frequently. The metals clatter against one another as a result, making a snarling sound. 

Furthermore, the rotor may rub up against the brake calipers, scraping the metal of the caliper. Self-abrasion leaves trails and damage on the rear metal surface and the brake calipers. 

What To Do If My Car Sounds Like An Airplane?

Worker checking the car axle

Here are some things you can do to stop airplane-like noises in your car, depending on the cause:

Replace The Wheel Bearing

Wheel bearing can get contaminated with water or debris, which could cause oxidation problems. If your bearings are damaged, you should replace them as soon as possible.

Check For Leak In The Exhaust System

Inspect the exhaust pipe down to the last inch starting from the exhaust to the top of the muffler. Since the muffler can rust over time, a little fracture is the most likely cause of the sound. However, small and delicate cracks are difficult to detect visually, therefore it is better to have them examined by a professional. 

Check Your Transmission Fluid Level

A low amount of transmission fluid can cause your car to make strange noises. You can remedy the condition by monitoring the fluid frequently to determine when to replace it or add extra. 

Make a servicing appointment right away if you notice that your transmission's gear system is damaged. Your mechanic can determine the issue and get it fixed.

Inspect Your Brake

If you notice that your car sounds like an airplane, you can inspect your brakes visually. But it is better to consult a professional to determine whether your brake needs to be repaired.

Check Your Tires 

You should also examine your car tires. Suspension or alignment issues can cause abnormal tire wear, such as tube wear. If the tread pattern on your tire is irregular, it will generate noise. 

Changing your tire is critical, repairing and rebuilding your suspension will keep the problem from reoccurring. It is advisable to rotate your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. It's an excellent way of keeping your tire from wearing out too quickly.

What Are The Symptoms Of An Exhaust Leak?

Damaged car exhaust system

An increase in engine noise frequently indicates an exhaust leak. While the engine is working, you might occasionally hear popping or hissing sounds. When this happens, your engine's performance may be affected by an exhaust leak. Other symptoms of an exhaust leak include: 

  • Whistling sound.
  • Strong vibrations coming from the exhaust system.
  • Reduced fuel efficiency.
  • Active engine check light.
  • Catalytic converter making rattling noises.
  • Smell of gas.

How Much Does A New Exhaust Cost?

The cost of an exhaust depends on the model and makes of your car, as well as the number of exhaust system components you want to replace.

Custom exhaust systems are intended to replace factory-installed components on your vehicle. Depending on the desired outcome, you should anticipate spending from $500 to $2,000

Why Is My Car Making a Propeller Sound?

There are several possible reasons for your car to sound like a propeller. Sometimes, the noise is produced when a warped brake rotor rub against a brake caliper. 

A damaged wheel bearing, CV joint, or even a wheel weight inside the wheel that is clicking on the brake caliper could also cause the problem. To get the problem fixed, have a qualified mechanic work on your vehicle.

Why Does My Car Sound Like A Bus When I Accelerate? 

Your engine belt may be malfunctioning if you hear a loud, bus-like, or squealing noise while you accelerate. The belt may be loose or worn. It can be a sign that one of the belt's pulleys is beginning to malfunction. 

Additionally, if your vehicle makes a bus-like rumbling noise while you accelerate, your exhaust system may be faulty. The rumble could be caused by a leak, and it's also your system working harder than usual to deal with too many exhaust fumes.

What Does A Failing Transmission Sound Like?

Different makes and models of cars produce different noises, but the more you drive your automobile, the more you get accustomed to its distinctive sounds. 

You can be dealing with transmission failure if the sound is similar to humming, buzzing, or clunking. When an automatic transmission isn't working properly, it may hum, buzz, or whine, but manual transmissions make a more intense "clunking" sound.

What Does A Vacuum Leak Sound Like In A Car?

Even a small vacuum leak in the engine can be heard. You will typically hear hissing noises coming from the engine when the leak isn't too significant. 

This could also be described as whimpering or whining sounds. When a vacuum leak is more serious, it makes a suction-like noise that sounds like a vacuum cleaner.

To Wrap Up

Driver holding his steering wheel

A loud airplane sound, regardless of where it is coming from, is an issue that needs urgent attention. This noise is usually due to bad wheel bearing, exhaust leak, bad tires, and transmission problems.

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