Do you hear a low-pitched sound when accelerating in your Nissan Altima? The infamous humming noise results from different elements.
Humming noise often comes from defective wheel bearings, tires with large tread blocks, and a failing transmission system. Unevenly worn-out tires can also cause this problem. The intensity of the noise increases as you accelerate, making the cabin uncomfortable.
Read on for detailed information about the causes and solutions of humming noise in Nissan Altima.
What Is A Humming Noise?
Humming noise is a low-pitched sound that comes from the underside. It indicates a minor problem, usually with the wheel bearing. Other causes include uneven tire wearing, transmission failure, and tires with large tread blocks. More on this later!
In fact, your Nissan Altima can also produce a humming noise when accelerating because of the low power steering fluid. This problem can lead to power steering pump damage. Therefore, addressing the issue in time can save costlier damages.
Is It Dangerous If There Is A Humming Noise When Accelerating Nissan Altima Cars?
Yes. A humming noise shows something is not right with your Nissan Altima. The risk varies depending on the cause. So, when your car produces this peculiar sound, try to fix it as soon as possible.
Humming noises from a wheel bearing and transmission are the most dangerous. It can put your life on the line and also cause severe damage. On the other hand, if it comes from uneven tire wear or large tread blocks, it will be safe. You can still drive your car, but the humming noise will be uncomfortable in the cabin. Whatever the cause, fix the problem at the first opportunity.
What Causes The Humming Noise When Accelerating A Nissan Altima?
As mentioned, humming noise when accelerating Nissan Altima originates from different causes. Knowing its source can help you or your mechanic to resolve it.
The following are the most common causes of the humming noise in Nissan Altima:
Bad Wheel Bearing
Humming noise or vibration in the cabin is the most common sign of a defective wheel bearing. Wheel bearings attach the wheels to the axle. So, the faster you drive the car, the louder the humming becomes. Other signs of a bad wheel bearing include vibration in the steering wheel and knocking noise when negotiating bends.
Wheel bearings on any car fail over time, but some occur much earlier. That is because the load they bear and the impact they experience vary. For example, if you drive on rough roads and through potholes, your wheel bearings will fail much earlier than the stated time.
So, how do you know which wheel bearing is defective? First, listen for the direction in which the humming noise comes. Additionally, the hum can decrease or increase when cornering. You can also use that to identify the faulty wheel bearing. If you hear the noise when turning left, the right wheel bearing is the likely culprit and vice versa. That is because of the increased load on that side.
How to Change Wheel Bearing
Consider replacing wheel bearings in pairs. If the front-right one is defective, you should change it and the left-front wheel bearing. In other words, always replace wheel bearings on the same axle together.
Changing a wheel bearing is time-consuming, but you can use a DIY approach. Use the following steps if you have the tools and equipment for the task:
Assemble all the materials, tools, and equipment you will need. They include the following:
- Bearing grease
- Diagonal cutters
- Floor jack
- Ratchet (½ inch with 19mm or 21mm socket)
- Safety glasses
- 2 safety jack stands
- ⅜ socket set
- Torque wrench
- Wheel chock x 2
- Wire clothes hanger
- Find a perfect spot to park your car, preferably on a flat surface, and secure all other wheels whose bearings are not defective using chocks.
- Loosen the lug nuts before jacking the wheel with a defective bearing.
- Unscrew the lug nuts and remove the wheel
- Remove the brake caliper, dust cover, cotter pin, and castle nut following that order.
- Remove the rotor, which sometimes is challenging to loosen. If that is the case, hit it with a rubber mallet, but you have to be careful not to damage it.
- Unscrew the hub bolts and remove them. Once done, disassemble it.
- Remove races and clean the knuckle before installing new races and wheel bearings.
- Assemble all the parts in reverse order and lower the vehicle.
- Repeat the same process to replace other wheel bearings if necessary.
Uneven Tire Wear
You can also hear a humming sound from your car when accelerating if tires have uneven wear. Many people confuse it with bad wheel bearings. When you inspect your tire, you will notice depressions around the tread. They can result from an unbalanced wheel, improper wheel alignment, inappropriately inflated tires, worn-out shock absorbers, or other suspension system components.
The solution is to realign the wheels, replace defective suspension system components, properly inflate the tires, and replace the tires. If the problem reoccurs after tire replacement, consider using higher quality tire brands.
Tires With Large Tread Blocks
If the humming noise started after a tire change, tires are the likely culprit. Tires with large tread blocks become noisy at highway speeds as the large amounts of air that passes through them when accelerating.
These tires are mainly for off-road use. Some all-terrain tires may also make a humming noise when driving at high speeds.
You may need to tolerate the noise or replace your tires again if it is too loud.
A transmission problem can also cause a humming noise, though only present in automatic transmissions and not manual transmissions. The latter produces more clunking mechanical noises. As the car accelerates, the frictional forces between the moving parts get higher, which creates the hum.
A humming noise from the underside can indicate a failing automatic transmission or low fluid levels. Check the fluid level and refill if needed. Contact your mechanic or take your car to an auto repair shop for further diagnostics in case you do not know what to do.
The humming noise in Nissan Altima is mainly due to defective wheel bearing and uneven tire wear. Other causes include large tread blocks in the tire and failing transmission, but these are not common. Whatever the reason, you should diagnose the car and fix the problem. If left unfixed, it can put your life on the line. Moreover, the noise in the cabin is irritating.