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8 Causes of Steering Wheel Makes Noise when Turning

October 31, 2017 | General Repair Info

When you’re driving your car and have to make a turn, you should not hear any noises as you’re turning the steering wheel. If you do hear noises, then there could be a problem with one of the many different components of your vehicle. Turning puts a lot of stress on these parts and if they become too worn out, then it will cause whining or groaning sounds to occur. This may seem like no big deal but you shouldn’t ignore these sounds. They could be an early warning sign of a serious problem that you need to take care of promptly before it gets worse.

The suspension system and steering system of a vehicle all work together to allow the steering wheel to turn the tires of your vehicle. In most economy cars, this would be its two front wheels. The turning of the steering wheel depends on there being plenty of power steering fluid and a healthy belt and pump. Then, your suspension system is put under pressure from the turning. The parts most affected include the control arms, steering knuckle, and ball joints.

Top 8 Causes

When there is a problem with a component in the suspension system or steering system, then it will have trouble supporting the vehicle’s heavy weight. They must also be able to move in the ways they’re supposed to. Although lubrication will help preserve their lifespan, these parts will fail eventually. The first warning sign will be noises while turning the steering wheel.

Below are the top 8 causes of these noises.

  1. Jounce Bushing is Dry – The front strut has something called a jounce bushing on the top of it. If the bushing becomes dry, then turning will create creaking or groaning sounds. These sounds will get worse the longer you wait to fix the problem.
  2. Bad Power Steering Rack – A whining sound while turning could be the result of a bad power steering rack. This whining sound will be most recognizable while driving at lower speeds. Sometimes a bad belt or vane pump could cause this too.
  3. Bad Struts and Shocks – Your struts and shocks will last a while in your vehicle but eventually, they will get worn down and go bad. You will first hear noises when you turn. If the parts are not replaced, the car will begin to bounce during these turns too.
  4. Bad Tie Rod Ends – When you turn a steering wheel, it is the tie rods which enable the wheels to move in response. If the tie rods or worn or damaged, then it will cause a knocking sound to be heard. This is especially the case when you turn at lower speeds.
  5. Bad Ball Joints – The steering knuckles and control arms are able to sustain movement with the help of ball joints. These joints need lubrication to prevent themselves from going dry. Once they do become dry, they will begin to make noise.
  6. Bad Suspension Bushings – Like all bushings, the suspension bushings will go bad after a while. All the wear and tear will cause them to break down and crack. This will result in a creaking sound as you turn the wheel.
  7. Power Steering Fluid Leaks – Power steering systems is using a specially formulated fluid to lubricates and transmits the pressure needed to move the steering smoothly. This fluid flowing from reservoir to the steering rack and pinion or steering box. If the power steering fluid leaks, it will produce noise especially when turning.
  8. Steering Reservoir Tank Clogged – Power steering fluid is fill up and stored in the steering reservoir tank. And generally, there is filter inside reservoir tank to keep the fluid clean. And if the reservoir clogged, it will produce noise when turning the steering wheel.

Read also: 5 Causes of Steering Wheel Shakes at LOW and High Speeds

How to Fix

The problem can be diagnosed in virtually any location. An auto professional will be able to check your suspension system and steering system to see what is causing the noises to form. Based on their diagnosis, they will recommend what needs to be fixed or replaced. Sometimes your suspension system might just require lubrication if the noises have not occurred for that long. But if some of the parts have actually been damaged, then they will need to be repaired or replaced at the auto body shop.

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