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A common cause of a whining or buzzing type noise when not in gear (neutral and park) is a WORN PUMP in the transmission. How many miles are on the car??
A noisy pump is just noisy and won't cause a breakdown until it becomes MUCH louder. If the noise is not that loud at this point, just keep driving it for now, and chalk it up to normal wear & tear. But DOOO make sure your transmission fluid is topped off. The amount of fluid between the LOW and FULL marks is about one pint. DON'T overfill OR allow it to get below the LOW mark. Transmissions are VERY fluid-level-sensitive.
that whine you are hearing is the transmissions torque converter , it is low on fluid , how long since you had auto tranny flushed , pull the tranny dipstick , fluid should be red or pink , if it is brown or even worse BLACK , your transmission is ready to fail
Does this noise lessen as you drive at high speeds?
Is the noise present at all gears including park and reverse?
Either purchase a stethoscope at Autozone or use a very long screwdriver place it behind water pump,alternator and a/c pulley and listed for the whining noise. Where ever you hear it with the scope / screwdriver is the problem.
If you don't hear anything at the described pulleys then get all four wheels off the ground, get on a creaper and place whatever your using as a listening device on the transmission . If its comming out of here its the pump inside the torque converter . If its not and the only time its happening is when your driving it could be wheel bearings (not likely because they grind and howl). The same with axle's except if the boots are torn. this may be your problem. I think its the transmission. Good luck
normally, the only part of your automatic transmission that will make a whining noise is the pump. it usually whines when iether the fluid is low or more commonly when the transmission oil filter is getting plugged up.
the power steering pump will also make a whining noise too.
turn the wheel all the way to the right and hold steady pressure against the stop. this puts maximum force on the power steering pump and, if the power steering pump is the one making the whine, it will change the sound of it. (usually louder).
if the trans pump is making the whine noise, it should sound different in neutral compared to drive. this test will really only work if it make the noise without the vehicle moving. if it wont do it at idle hold the rpms at 2000 or so.
if you decide the noise is coming from the transmission, and the transmission filter has not been replaced (assuming you installed a used transmission), replace the filter by removing the oil pan.
oh and also, if it is the power steering pump you should be able to make it make the whining noise while the vehicle is stationary. if it wont make noise unless its moving its not the power steering pump.
Run the car from the top of a hill and let it coast at your whining speed. Put it in Neutral, does the whine disappear?
If not its in the drivetrain (wheels, driveshafts, tranny)
Very unlikely to be the timing belt. If it appears at a fixed speed then its drivetrain, if it whines at fixed revs its the engine.
Most likey the transmission I fear....Tires will also make loud whining noise too though...