Why does a car whine in reverse?

A car makes a very dinstinctive noise in reverse, we explain why

2y ago

When you put a manual car into reverse gear, there's a very definitive 'CLAT' as you clink the gearstick into place. And as you set off and start gathering pace with your arm around the back of the passenger seat, you'll all know that whine the transmission makes that grows as engine speed increases.

Why does the 'R' cog actually make that distinctive wail once up and running? My engineering geekiness is here to enlighten you about the ins and outs of reverse gear!

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Comments (11)

  • I'd whine too if someone was making me go in reverse lol

      2 years ago
  • The original Mini made a racket when going forward. So i assume they had straight cut gears?

      2 years ago
  • Idk why but this is weirdly interesting...

      2 years ago
  • So there's a little racecar in "wagonR" xD

      2 years ago
  • Fernie, nice work! Love the explanation. Now, can you tell me why tyre tread design hasn't been optimized after 100+ years of tyre manufacturing? Grip, wear, and noise seem like they coulda been optimized by now, eh?

      2 years ago