Your Car Makes Whining Noise When Cold? [Fixed]

Cold weather can be an invitation to many problems related to the car. When a car makes whining noise when cold, it can be annoying. It is a common problem and is faced by many motorists, especially those living in colder regions. It can also cause embarrassment too. But surprisingly, the issues related to it are very easy to handle and fix. They do not require much technical knowledge and you can easily diagnose them. As it is related to many components of the car, there can be many reasons for this problem.

Let us understand in this article how to deal with the problem and how the problem can be fixed quickly.

Why My Car Makes Whining Noise When Cold?

It can be due to a variety of reasons. They mainly have to do with the engine itself as it is the main source of the noise. Some of the common causes are-

1. Misfiring Or An Unbalanced Engine

A misfiring engine is the number one cause of this problem. The engine which is not firing properly according to the firing order will produce a wining or vibrations when running at idle condition. The problem will exaggerate itself when it is the first start of the car or the weather is too cold. A misfiring happening due to a leaking vacuum line will mostly be increased at the time of cold weather. It will also lead to poor performance of the engine.

2. A Dying Drive Belt System

A bad belt tensioner or pulley that is present in the drive belt system of the car, can also cause the car to whine during a cold start. The tensioner and pully play an important role to make sure that the drive belt runs smoothly into its channel. If the bearing of the tensioner is bad, then it will start to make a grinding or whining noise. Eventually, it will lead to the failure of the drive belt and can leave you stranded.

3. Squashed Out Engine Mounts

Engine mounts are very critical in ensuring the smoothness of the engine. They hold the whole weight of the engine to the chassis of the car and if they are not proper, or have worn out due to age then, they will transmit all the engine vibrations to the car’s body directly and it will produce a warning noise. The problem is amplified during the cold weather.

How To Fix Bad Engine Mounts?

Bad engine mounts can only be replaced, they cannot be repaired. An engine mount has not that long life as it faces a lot of stress. They should be changed according to the changing interval.

4. Loose Underbody Component

The problem of winning sound from the car can also be due to any loose component in the car. It can be under the hood or it can be a from body panel or it can be some heat shield that is rubbing against the body. The problem is not that severe, but in certain cases, can damage or destroy other critical components of the car if left unattended.

5. Lubrication Issues In Engine

In an extreme cold weather situation, the lubricants of a car present in the engine can freeze and can become thick. Cold weather starts the car in an extremely cold weather situation, the lubricant is not able to provide a proper location and as a result, of whining sound is made by the engine. This is not a serious situation but it must be kept in mind that, you should not put a load on the engine when it is extremely cold.

How To Fix Whining Noise problem?

Here are 4 solutions that can be used, if your car makes humming noise when cold. They have been given in the following points-

1. Replace Engine Mounts

The engine mount of the car that had been worn out or has gone bad then must be replaced as soon as possible. A worn-out engine mouth will not only cause whining noise during a cold start, but it can also cause the engine to jump into the engine bay can eventually cause serious damage. It can cause the breaking of any other critical components like the fuel line.

2, Drive Belt System Service

If the pulley for the tensioner or any bearing related to the drive belt system is bad, then replace it as soon as possible. This is also a very critical component of the car because if a pulley bearing or tensioner is bad, then it can easily shred the whole drive belt. If the drive belt breaks while driving then, it can leave you stranded. Or in some cases, where the power steering and brakes run onto the system, you can easily lose control of the car.

3. Attend The Car Body And Pannels


If the problem is some loose component in the car, then tighten it to the specified torque values. Lose component is a major cause of why a car makes squealing noise when cold. It is a very easy job and you can do it in your driving way. Even if you choose a mechanic to do this job, then also it will not cost you much and you can drive out with the solution in very little time.

4. Fill Your Car With Proper Fluids 

Use fluids and lubrication according to the cold weather specifications. If you are using a lubricant that cannot handle an extreme cold weather situation, then it will not only cause unpleasant sounds but can easily destroy your engine on transmission. While servicing your car, use the proper grade of oil according to the weather chart of the region where you are living. If you are not careful about it then you can dramatically shorten the life of your engine.

Fixing A Whining Car Costs How Much?

A Car makes whining noise when cold can be fixed at a little cost as generally, they are related to the general maintenance of the car. The servicing is will cost in the region of 100-200$ if that is the reason. Replacing the engine mounts can be a little expensive as it is a labor-intensive job, they generally cost about 500$.


So if my car makes a whining noise when I start it in cold weather, it is no big deal. It is mostly related to the general maintenance of the car. If you are careful enough about service, then the chances are that you might not face the problem at all. Feel free to comment with any further queries.

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