My engine makes a humming noise that sounds sort of computerized, and may be power steering or transmission related.

When in motion ( and often but not always), the van makes a "middle c" pitch hum that moves lower on the scale as I slow down, and fades out when stopped. It is more pronounced and more predictable when we are driving on the highway, or the engine is warm. It has a somewhat computerized element to it, and our first thought was that it was related to the power steering, because of the "power/computerized" feel of it, but it also seems to related to transmission activity. My husband describes the noise as a kind of whirring, but that doesn't ring true for me. It's
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hi there. The noise that you are hearing could be the power steering pump whining, the alternator bearing failing, or the transmission gear train has too much gear lash. Check the engine to see if there are any noises when running at a stop with the transmission in park. When revving up the engine in park and there is no noise, then the noise is with the transmission. If the noise is there with the engine revving up in park, then shut the engine off and remove the drive belt. Turn all of the accessories pulleys and see if any of them have a bind or noise to them. Then with the belt off, start the engine and see if the noise goes away. If the noise goes away, then an accessory is making the noise and should be addressed. If the noise is still there with the belt off, then the engine is making the noise. If you need further assistance with the noise as your vehicle is driving down the road, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

If your transmission makes a humming noise, you may be driving with low transmission fluid, or else your transmission fluid may be contaminated with metal shavings. If you hear a humming noise in all gears, you may be dealing with a worn or damaged shaft or bearing.
Humming noises that come when you are accelerating the car indicates a wheel-bearing problem. Often discarded as engine noise, you can keep a check on the RPM gauge for it. To combat this problem, effectively start coasting the vehicle at high speed. If the noise persists, take the car to a mechanic.
A humming noise while you accelerate could be a sign of a bad wheel bearing, uneven tires, or an alternator belt issue. Some of these problems can be dangerous, so it`s important to bring your car to a shop ASAP. Bizarre noises are never a good sign when driving.
Your Car Makes a Humming Noise When Accelerating

If you hear a rumbling/humming noise as you idle and when you accelerate, the noise gets louder (like an airplane taking off) this is most likely a wheel bearing issue. What it could mean: This wheel bearing noise is often mistaken as engine noise.

A humming or whining noise in an automatic transmission vehicle often means that you are low on automatic transmission fluid. If this is the case, you want to refill that fluid immediately. Transmission fluid reduces friction, which means heat, which in turn is bad news for transmissions.
This noise is caused by the excess air in your transmission line. Commonly, drivers will notice this gurgling noise when their transmission slips while shifting gears. If you hear a gurgling noise, particularly while shifting gears, it may mean that your fluid levels are low enough to cause damage to your transmission.
A hum is a sound made by producing a wordless tone with the mouth closed, forcing the sound to emerge from the nose. To hum is to produce such a sound, often with a melody. It is also associated with thoughtful absorption, `hmm`.
It could be something like the rod bearings, which could have gotten loose or completely worn. Either way, you`ll want to get the engine checked out as soon as possible. If you hear a roaring noise that increases with acceleration, you`ll want to have the exhaust system looked at right away, as it could be damaged.
The alternator has several bearings which allow the alternator`s rotor to spin freely. If these bearings begin to fail, you will notice a loud whining noise, which will increase when you accelerate or the car is under heavier load.
Key Takeaway Rattling noises when accelerating can be caused by a number of issues, including damaged or worn-out suspension components, bad wheel bearings, low transmission fluid, loose heat shields, and faulty engine components.
Rumbling and growling

The growling of a bad transmission bearing, like the whine of a bad gear, will become increasingly more noisy while it wears, until the bearing seizes or falls apart, with catastrophic results.

Clunking, humming or whining sounds are signs of automatic transmission problems. Faulty manual transmissions will also give off loud machinelike sounds that seem to come out of nowhere. A clunking noise when you shift gears is a telltale transmission situation.
Among the most common types of noise are electronic noise, thermal noise, intermodulation noise, cross-talk, impulse noise, shot noise and transit-time noise.
Stress is many times attributed as a cause of tinnitus and we often see in the clinic that patients complain that their tinnitus gets worse after stressful situations. The evidence that stress is related to tinnitus is based on studies that show high psychiatric comorbidity related to the symptom.
First, you should determine the type of hum you are dealing with. There are two basic types: 120Hz buzz, typically caused by ground loops, and 60Hz hum, typically a result of poor shielding, cable problems, or close proximity to strong magnetic fields.
To hum is to make a low, steady, singing sound with your mouth closed. If you don`t know the words to a song on the radio, you can just hum along. Other hums are based on the musical hum, making a similar low, constant sound. Bees hum, an electric fan hums, and your car idling quietly also hums.
Low Transmission Fluid: For both manual and automatic transmissions, the primary cause for whining when in gear is low transmission fluid. If the fluid is too low, then the internal components of the transmission are not lubricated properly.
A damaged fuel pump might make a loud, whining sound that you`ll hear from your gas tank. The pump may also make this noise if you`re low on fuel or the fuel in your tank is contaminated. The normal noise your pump makes is a low hum.
If you ever hear growling or whining noises coming from under the hood, you could have alternator problems, which should be checked out by a professional ASAP. This growling or whining sound happens when the belt that turns the alternator`s pulley becomes misaligned or rubs against the side of the pulley.
What does a bad catalytic converter sound like? Often, a clogged catalytic converter sounds like a rattling noise is coming from under your vehicle and engine when you`re starting, idling or driving. Excess heat or damage in the converter can break apart the honeycomb materials, resulting in the rattling noise.
One common problem that will cause a rattle at idle is a failing hydraulic valve lifter. The lifters are small parts that open and close the engine valves, activated by oil (hydraulic) pressure.
Gearbox bearing failure symptoms cause shaking, jerking or grinding and will affect the steering wheel. Automatic gearbox problems often cause problems like hesitation, slipping, or trembling during gear changes. Manual cars usually make a grinding sound if it has a gearbox fault.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

My engine makes a humming noise that sounds sort of computerized, and may be power steering or transmission related.
ANSWER : Hi there. The noise that you are hearing could be the power steering pump whining, the alternator bearing failing, or the transmission gear train has too much gear lash. Check the engine to see if there are any noises when running at a stop with the transmission in park. When revving up the engine in park and there is no noise, then the noise is with the transmission. If the noise is there with the engine revving up in park, then shut the engine off and remove the drive belt. Turn all of the accessories pulleys and see if any of them have a bind or noise to them. Then with the belt off, start the engine and see if the noise goes away. If the noise goes away, then an accessory is making the noise and should be addressed. If the noise is still there with the belt off, then the engine is making the noise. If you need further assistance with the noise as your vehicle is driving down the road, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

Power steering is making noises seems like is looking power does the power steering pump makes the car to automatically stops lock
ANSWER : Noises from the power steering system can be due to low fluid level, as well as a loose drive belt, so be sure to check those two possibilities first. If there is still no resolution, that is if the noise problems persist, you should request a steering noise diagnostic. If faults with the power steering pump are causing the engine to loose power, then you should mention those issues to the mechanic when he does the noise diagnostic so that the mechanic can evaluate the freeness of the pump pulley and look for other faults. If, though, the engine is losing power, due to other causes such as ignition or fuel system faults, those will have to be separately diagnosed.

My Toyota is making a noise when I start the engine and bogs the engine down for a second then goes away.
ANSWER : Hi there. A binding accessory could be causing your concern. Simply remove the drive belt and recheck. If the problem goes away, this eliminates the fear that there could be something goin on with the engine or transmission internally. It sounds like this could be the water pump. If the water pump is binding or leaking, it can cause the belt to slip and make it seem like the engine gets bogged down. Usually a visual inspection quickly uncovers the leak. However a properly executed pressure test is the best way to uncover leaks, both current and potential. I suggest having a qualified technician perform an inspection to avoid replacing unnecessary parts. Your Mechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with a car is making a noise inspection.

Power steering fluid groaning noise. Power steering leak?
ANSWER : Hello. A groaning noise is an indication of low power steering fluid. If you had your power steering fluid serviced about 5 months ago and it is making a groaning noise again most likely means your power steering pump has gone bad or your power steering leak has going from minor to moderate. I can tell you that Honda Accords are one of the most common vehicles for a power steering pump leak to occur on and require a pump replacement. If not a leaking pump it could be power steering hose leaking fluid. I suggest that you have a power steering fluid leak inspection done otherwise you will have to keep filling up your power steering reservoir until it is fixed.

https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/power-steering-fluid-is-leaking-inspection

Check engine light and the engine is making a humming noise.
ANSWER : The humming noise could be the air filter being dirty, the drive belt slipping, or the air conditioning clutch is slipping. It is safe to drive your vehicle to the appointment as long as there is no smells or loud noises other than the humming noise. Only a shop or a certified technician can give out a warranty for the replacement parts.

Transmission making noise that relates to engine rpm.
ANSWER : Hi there. Shut the engine off and check the fluid on the transmission dipstick. If the transmission fluid is low and not registering on the dipstick, then top it off until it reads full. Then start the vehicle and top it off until it reads on the dipstick as the fluid level will drop when running. Then listen for the sound. If the sound is still present, then most likely the torque converter could be loose on the flex plate. If the noise dampened some but is still there, then the transmission pump has failed. I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you diagnose your transmission if the noise is still there.

Reduce engine power / check engine light is on
ANSWER : Hi there. Most of the time, reduced engine power is caused by a restriction of fuel, or the throttle body’s inability to efficiently mix air and fuel. This could be caused by a failing mass air flow sensor, EGR valve or other fuel system components. Since the check engine light is on, you should have a professional mechanic complete an inspection at your location to determine what codes are stored and which components require repair. This should resolve your issue.

power steering problem.
ANSWER : Hello. Noise could be a sign of trapped air, low fluid level, or a mechanical fault in the pump. While the system is cold, check the fluid level. If the fluid level is OK, remove the cap and turn the steering wheel left and right to full extent while it is on. If there is air in the system, that will help purge it. Replace the cap. If the noise remains, it needs to be determined if it is coming from the pump or another accessory, pulley, or belt. YourMechanic has experts in this type of power steering diagnosis and once the fault is found, they will let you know of the cost to repair.