I've recently purchased a 2014 VW Golf. There is a whine that occurs which is directly proportional in noise to the car's speed - so it appears related to the final drive. From what I can determine, at one point there was flat tyre and thus a different tyre was put on the rear. The tyres are both 195-65-15 but different brands. Is it conceivable that extended use of different tyres could cause this? Total mileage atm is 70000 km (43400 miles).

Update: Doh. (face palm). Of course, it has no differential. I've been owning AWD and RWD cars for such a long time. The previous owner (who I never met) has put a non-original tyre on the left rear, whereas the original with plenty of tread is on the right rear. So I am guessing they hit something that damaged the left rear tyre, replaced the original and the impact has damaged the wheel bearing. So i think inspection will be:

  • have left rear wheel balanced and tyre checked for damage / unusual wear
  • wheel alignment
  • inspect for hub bearing damage
  • inspect final drive components
  • 1
    If it is a FWD, it has no rear differential. As you sated it is the rear which has different tyres, I don´t see how this relates.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 9:34
  • There is still a differential, it's just incorporated into the gearbox, and it could still be whining. But not likely if only the rear tyres are different left to right. BTW bearings often make rumbling or knocking sound upon failing, rather than squeeling or whining.
    – Bart
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 22:09

2 Answers 2


Here is what I´d propose to do:

  1. Check your tyres carefully for any sign of uneven wear. If there is any, get an alignment done.

  2. Especially check for sawtoothing. If you have excessive sawtoothing that could be the reason for the noise alone and you should probably replace the tyre. We see this a lot in a friends shop especially with cheap treys and low care (driving with to little air etc.)

If tyres seem ok, get the car in the air and inspect brakes and wheel-hubs, as well as drive-shaft joints.


Using different brand of tyres on different axles do not cause a whine, which to me seems like a differential whine.Some tyres do make more noise than others but the noise is fairly distinctive.

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