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Traction Control Light On And Noise


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Hi everybody. I have a weird problem and I'd like to get your expert opinions on it.

I have a constant whining/whirring noise at high speed in my 00 IS200 Sport. Since yesterday, also, my traction control warning light (the light that blinks when the traction control cuts in) is staying on constantly, even though the traction control seems to be operating normally. There are no other warning lights on the dash.

I noticed the noise a while back but I assumed it was my brake disks rubbing off the pads since the front discs were warped. I changed the front discs and pads for mintex ones last week but the noise hasn't gone away. I'm fairly sure it isn't the brake calipers sticking because I got them checked out Saturday and the guy said they are fine.

The noise is very hard to describe and is almost subliminal. But it does get fairly loud after a while. It's definitely not from the engine because it keeps constant when free-wheeling.

Any ideas?


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OK, I'm an idiot. It's not the slip warning light that's on, it's the frickin rear light warning light. I called over to my mates house last night to take a look at his owners manual (anyone know where I can get one?) after I noticed the slip light coming on. In my defense, any time the slip light comes on I'm not usually staring intently at the dash!

Anyway, forget about the light.

The noise is still there and I have no idea what's causing it. I'm blue in the face from checking my calipers for heating up and I'm almost certain it's not the brakes sticking. What else could it be? Bearings? The diff? Gearbox? Is there anything I can do to diagnose it?

I'd really appreciate any suggestions or opinions, because I just seem to be going from one problem to another with this car (boot stuck -> keys -> radiator shroud -> warped disks -> unsettling noise....) and I really, really, really want to be able to take it for a proper long drive, finally.


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If the brakes are sticking then if you touch the centre of the alloy wheel it will be hotter than the other wheels.Its also worth checking if theres any small stones stuck between the disc and the dirt guard that could be making a noise.

It would also be worth having someone sat in the rear seats as you drive along so they can listen for noises at the rear of the car to see what side the noises are coming from.If the noise is there when cornering then it could be a wheel bearing.Is it just noise or is there any vibration as well?


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Thanks for your help guys, much appreciated.

The noise is only apparent when cruising at 60+ mph. It doesn't happen when cornering at low speeds, and doesn't change when cornering at high speeds. There are no vibrations of note. There is no change in the noise when braking, except that it disappears when you go under 50mph. The wheels all seem to be at roughly the same temperature after a drive. The same tyres have been on it since I bought the car.

I took it out last night with a mate to check out for the stuff you suggested. We reckon that the noise is probably coming from the back (he sat in the back seat for a bit), but it's very hard to pin down.

I bought the car with 83k miles on it and have very good reason to believe that the proper 80k service wasn't done. So I think changing the diff oil is probably a good idea anyway. The timing belt and pulleys were done at about 76k, so they should be OK.

What else should I do while I'm at it? Gearbox oil maybe? I'll do the basic stuff pretty soon (engine oil, filter), but I want to get the diff oil done quickly to at least rule it out as a reason for the noise.

Thanks again.

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i think i may have this slight whinning noise in the backround at all speeds let us know how u get on. thanks

Will do.

I'm won't get around to it until next Tuesday since that is the soonest my mechanic can get at it. I'm not driving it much and going well slow at the moment (plus I'm away in Edinburgh for the weekend!), so I shouldn't do too much extra damage. I tried to take a look at the diff oil level myself, but I can't get at it at all without getting the car up on a lift (it's a pretty low car to start with it and I have a body kit on it too).

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Well, we changed the diff oil tonight and there's no real difference. The diff was full of oil and the oil was clean when it came out. No filings or discolouration in the oil. So the diff is probably fine (whew!). What Johnny reckons (my mechanic buddy) is that it is probably the bearing at the front of the diff (I forget the proper name for it). He said that because you only hear the noise when you're coasting and not accelerating that it is probably this bearing is a little worn.

Does this make sense? Has anyone come across something like this before?

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Alright mate, the noise you are describing sounds like a wheel bearing, (If it sounds like a hum/whining). Usually they don't need replacing until they make noise around 30mph, so there is still a bit of life left in it, also it will be easier to tell once its more worn.

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