Why Does My Car Heater Make Whining Noise? [Explained]

Most drivers rely on their car’s heater to keep them warm in the winter.

However, when you turn on your car’s heater, do you hear a whining noise? There are several possible causes for car heater making a whining noise.

  1. Fan belt is loose or worn and needs to be replaced- You can tell a fan belt is loose or worn by the noise it makes. If you hear a rattling or screeching noise when the engine is running, it’s likely that the fan belt needs to be replaced. A loose or worn fan belt can also cause the engine to overheat.
    If your car has a mechanical fan, you can check the fan belt tension by pushing down on it with your thumb. The belt should be tight enough so that it doesn’t move more than an inch when you push down on it. If the belt is loose, it needs to be tightened or replaced.
    If your car has an electric fan, you can check the belt’s tension by pressing on the middle of the belt with your thumb. The belt should be tight enough so that you can’t depress it more than half an inch.
  2. There is something caught in the fan and it needs to be cleaned out- Which means it’s preventing the fan from spinning. It’s important to clean this out as soon as possible, as it can cause the engine to overheat.
    The best way to clean it out is to remove the belt and take a look at what’s caught in it. If it’s a small object it can be easily removed. If it’s something bigger, like a rock or a piece of metal, you may need to get help from someone else to remove it. Once the object is removed, replace the belt and test the fan to make sure it’s working properly.
  3. Worn bearing in the fan motor – A worn bearing in the fan motor can cause the fan to wobble or make a humming noise. If the bearing is not replaced, it can eventually fail, which could damage the fan motor or other components in the system. Replacing a worn bearing is a relatively simple task that can be performed by a DIYer or a professional technician. The cost of replacing a bearing typically ranges from $40 to $80, depending on the type of bearing and the amount of labor involved.
  4. Insulation or gaskets and duct valve seals came loose- If the seals are loose, it can cause hot air to escape from the heater and create the whining noise. There are a few things you can do to fix this problem. The first is to check the seals for damage and replace them if necessary. You can also try tightening the screws that hold them in place. If neither of those solutions fixes the problem, you may need to have your car’s heater repaired or replaced.
  5. Blower motor squirrel cage hit the fan housing- The blower motor squirrel cage is a metal cylinder with fins on it that rotates inside the blower motor. When the fins hit the fan housing, it can cause the fan to stop working. To prevent this from happening, make sure that there is enough space between the squirrel cage and the fan housing.

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Why does my heater make a high-pitched noise?

If you’re hearing a high-pitched noise when your heater is running, there’s a good chance it’s the fan. This noise is normal and usually isn’t anything to worry about. However, if the noise seems to be getting louder or if it’s causing problems with your comfort, you may need to have the fan replaced.

Why does my heater tick?

There are several things that can cause a heater to tick:

  • The bearing on the A/C compressor could have worn out – If your A/C compressor is making noise, there’s a good chance the bearing is worn out. A bad bearing can cause the compressor to overheat, leading to damage and premature failure. If you suspect that your compressor’s bearing is bad, have it inspected by a qualified technician. Replacing a bad bearing can be expensive, so it’s best to catch it early.
  • If your heater is more than 10 years old – it might be time to replace it anyway. Heaters tend to wear out over time, and replacing them before they completely break down will save you money in the long run.


There are a few things that could be causing the noise your car heater is making. It could be a problem with the fan, the motor, or the heating element. If the noise is constant, it’s best to take your car to a mechanic to have it looked at.