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Why Do My Tires Make A Humming Noise?
Many factors can cause humming noises, and it can be challenging to determine what exactly causes them. There are a few things to consider to diagnose the problem correctly.
Tires are made to be durable and long-lasting. They are also designed to create noise when in use, so you shouldn’t be alarmed if you hear something when driving.
However, sometimes tires can make a humming noise that is usually attributed to an imbalance in the tire. This can happen for a few reasons: tire wear, loose bearings, misaligned tires, or poor PSI levels.
Luckily, it is easy to fix the problem once you have identified it. We will discuss how to do so below.
5 Reasons Why Tires Are Making A Humming Noise
Humming noise is a common issue that many drivers face. When tires make a humming noise, it could be caused by a few factors, but determining exactly why can be tricky.
Below are five possible reasons your tires are making a humming noise.
1. Misaligned Tires
Humming noise is a common problem that many car owners face. It is caused by misaligned tires, which can be fixed relatively quickly. Alignments are a fast and cheap way to fix this problem with your local mechanic.
When tires are misaligned, they no longer point in the same direction. This creates an uneven feeling between the four tires, so driving lacks the same balance and stability you are used to.
Not only will you hear a humming noise, but rides will be bumpier too. This can make driving extremely uncomfortable and increase tire sounds in the air chamber.
2. Uneven Tire And Tread Wear
Tire wear and tread depth are two factors that can lead to a humming noise while driving. When a tire wears down too much or bald spots form on the tire, it can create a humming noise.
For this reason, we recommend performing regular tire checks. You can use the primary method to check the tread depth on your tire with a coin.
If the tread wear is still intact, you can eliminate this as a potential reason for why you are experiencing humming noises. However, if you notice an issue, a change must be made to avoid future tire problems.
3. Unbalanced Tires
Tire balance is one of the most critical factors when evaluating tires and the overall health of a vehicle. Lack of balance leads to faster wear, poor vehicle durability, and uncomfortably driving because of things like loud noises or humming.
When tires are unbalanced, it creates an uneven distribution of weight between your four tires. To fix this, a tire rotation can be done for cheap.
If a tire has lost balance, it will have a non-circular rotation that causes a wobbling sensation to occur while driving. Driving for too long on an unbalanced set of tires will quickly wear the treads and lead to an expensive repair.
4. Loose Wheel Bearings
Loose wheel bearings are one of the most common causes of humming noises from your car tires. This is a vital part of your tire because it connects the wheel and the axle to create a smooth tire rotation.
When they come loose, it creates friction that causes a grinding sensation in your tire. This will cause you to hear a loud humming noise that will eventually wear your tire out after extended use.
This is because the bearings loosen up and make a lot of noise when you drive over bumps. This causes vibrations that are transmitted to the vehicle's chassis, which in turn causes the noise.
5. Low PSI Levels
Another reason for the humming noise could be the tire’s air pressure, which must be checked regularly. In fact, poor tire pressure can cause a wide range of issues for both your vehicle and your tire.
It also contributes to every other issue we have listed. For example, when you have low PSI levels in one or two tires, your vehicle drives with less balance.
It also causes your tire to wear down faster and creates uneven tread wear. We recommend keeping an eye on your PSI levels to avoid this happening.
How Do You Stop Tires From Making A Humming Noise?
Once you have identified the issue causing your tires to make a humming noise, you have three choices to repair the problem.
Depending on the cause, you either need to replace your tires, use an air compressor to add more PSI to your tires or bring your vehicle to a local mechanic for a repair.
Replace Your Tires
If you're looking for a way to solve the humming noise from your tires, you should simply replace them. This is the best course of action when the tire is worn down, and the lack of tread depth is causing the noise.
On average, tires will last about 45,000 miles, so you should keep an eye on how long you have used your current tires.
A worn-out tire can also lead to issues for your rims and wheels. It is best to get ahead of the problem instead of riding on a worn-down tire for too long.
Use An Air Compressor To Properly Inflate Tires
If you have identified tire pressure as the cause of your vehicle making humming noises, this is a simple thing to fix. You can do this in your garage with a portable compressor or drive to a local gas station and use their air compressor.
When you use this pump, it will also give you a reading of your current PSI levels too. Sometimes an extremely low PSI is an indicator that you have a tire leak that needs to be patched.
Visit Your Local Mechanic
You should take your car to a local mechanic if you need major fixes like a bearing replacement, tire alignment, or balancing. These are advanced fixes that professionals best do.
The good thing is that none of these maintenance requests require too much time, so they are fast and cheap.
What Else Could Cause A Humming Noise While Driving?
We have covered all the possible issues with your tires that could be causing this humming noise. If you still can’t get rid of it, we may need to dig deeper and look at your vehicle.
There are also a few common reasons, like a failing alternator, poor lubrication, power-steering pump damages, or transmission issues that can create a humming noise.
Damaged Power-Steering Pump
The power steering pump is responsible for the flow of steering fluid. When this gets damaged or frozen, the fluid struggles to reach the right place, creating a humming noise.
Most of the time, this will go away after a few minutes, but if it is indeed damaged, you may need to see a local repair shop to fix it.
The alternator is one of the most critical parts of the car because it creates electrical energy for your car to run correctly. When this fails, it can cause all types of problems for your vehicle.
One of the issues most drivers who experience a failing alternator notice is a loud and consistent humming noise.
Lack Of Lubrication
Lubrication is essential for cars, especially in specific areas of the vehicle, like the differential system. In this area, the wheels will turn, and without proper lubrication, it will cause too much friction.
When this happens, a loud humming noise happens. It can get even louder than a simple humming too if it becomes too severe and doesn't get taken care of promptly.
A transmission failure can cause a loud humming noise in your car. It is a common problem when the fluid inside the transmission leaks out, creating an imbalance in the gears.
You will see even worse issues follow after the transmission failures. But an initial sign things are going wrong is this humming sound.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding