General Is it a drone or a whine?

Discussion in '4th Generation (2004-2012) [Acura RL]' started by Legendliving, Friday 8th Mar, 2019.

  1. Legendliving Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    B5830702-0A98-4E6B-A81E-B467031C7C6A. I have now sailed past 170,000 and nine years of totally satisfying motoring and now heading for a second cam belt change and a big service. But for the last 5000 miles I have had an increasingly noticeable noise coming from the front, possibly off-side wheel area. It is a constant drone or whine that I hear from 20 - 70 mph. It gets higher in pitch the faster I go and is not affected by steering or brakes. It is sometimes slightly pulsating. Not intrusive, you can’t hear it with radio on or on noisy rough surfaces. I’m not brilliant mechanically, but it sounds like it might be expensive? I have totally received full value for what I paid for the car in 2010 and it’s trade in value is pretty much zilch so despite loving the car I’m not keen to invest 000’s on it at this stage. Do any of you experts think I’m worrying unnecessarily because there is something obvious and cheap to fix that I’m missing? I’d love to still be driving through 200k. I’d be very grateful for any thoughts.
  2. Redvee Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Andy Lancs
    Sounds like the noise my alternator was making before it gave up the ghost.
  3. Blues Legend Senior Member ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

    It's difficult to diagnose via the internet, but at that mileage it's possibly the propshaft bearing.

    It's more common on Acurazine, where their RLs often have big mileages.
  4. Legendliving Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Thanks Redvee, I am still on the original alternator so will get it checked at the next service.
    Blues Legend, you are dead right about diagnosing noises from written descriptions! I had read the Acurazine long threads on noises and the propshaft bearing/ propshaft replacement was one of the scary expensive issues I am worried about. My noise isn’t dependent on cold temperatures so doesn’t exactly fit their examples. My best hope is that it is just a wheel bearing. I have had advisories for control arms at the last two MOTs, I don’t know if that would affect it. I’ll get the major service items and cambelt done and keep turning up the radio until something fails. Will report back if I get it fixed. In every other respect the car drives exactly as it did when I bought it nine years ago. Thanks for the suggestions, it is great have this forum to consult.
  5. Redvee Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Andy Lancs
    From what I've read, you've done very well as there was apparently a faulty batch of alternators fitted to the Legends which can go as early as 70K. Mine went at late 80s.

    One of the things I noticed in addition to the whining was that the sat nav screen would occasionally get horizontal lines on it. Have you seen that at all?

    Keep us updated...!
  6. Legendliving Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    No, nothing like that. The only alternator issue I’ve had was when the crankshaft pulley broke and the alternator was no longer attached to the belt. I got a rapid run through of all the warning lights that come on in succession when the alternator isn’t working!
  7. Redvee Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Andy Lancs
    Yeah, I remember that well - a series of warning lights, but then followed by each system failing in turn, making the car virtually undriveable. It was like the opening scene from an episode of Air Crash Investigation.

    Sounds like it may not be that, then - hope it's nothing more serious / expensive.
  8. DrSam Club Moderator Club Staff

    United Kingdom Sam Birmingham
    From the description it sounds like a wheel bearing would be the likely cause of the increasing pitch of the sound with the speed.
    However it is difficult to diagnose via the internet as mentioned by @Blues Legend, maybe if you could make a video of the sound it could help.
  9. Blues Legend Senior Member ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

    When I've had the full air crash stall warnings/stripey screen or mad reverse camera, I find blasting the battery with the C-TEK seems to fix it until next time.

    But an alternator spike/drop out might equally be a plausible cause.
  10. David79 New Member Getting Started

    Switzerland David Bern
    Is the noise audible if you just rev the car in P or N?
  11. Legendliving Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Hi, I’m pretty sure the noise is not related to the engine. It changes tone according to speed. These cars are so quiet it means that you can probably hear these things before you would in most. I can’t imagine that the mic on my phone would pick it up if I tried to video it so I’m sorry for frustrating people’s kind efforts to help.
    The latest update is that I took it in to be looked at last week and they found that the front offside anti roll bar link bar had “snapped”. Waiting for the part to come in. I have no idea whether this will stop the noise, but it is the area from where I estimated the sound comes from. I’ll let you know.