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12 Reasons Your Car Makes Noise Turning

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Strange car noises can be worrisome not to mention embarrassing. There’s nothing like volunteering to drive a group of friends and having your car squeak and squeal the entire way. Cars are especially prone to making noise when you round turns. If this is the case,  it is likely either your power steering or your suspension that is giving you problems here

Common Car Noises To Hear When Turning The Steering Wheel

 A car in proper working order generally won’t make any noise at all, but older vehicles tend to have their quirks and can sometimes be noisy without cause. Noises you may hear include, popping, clunking, but more frequently you will hear squealing, creaking, groaning, screeching and whining. 

Some of these issues can be solved with a quick DIY project, but others will require a somewhat expensive trip to the mechanic. It’s important to get whatever noises you here checked out by a mechanic when they first begin. Ignoring these can lead to more serious issues and more costly repairs in the future. 

The common noises you may hear include:

  • Clunking
  • Popping
  • Creaking
  • Squealing
  • Groaning
  • Screeching
  • Whining

Common Causes Of Noisy Turning

There are many reasons that your vehicle may be making noise, and without a mechanical diagnosis from a trained professional we can only guess. However statistically speaking there are causes that are more likely than others. These are the most likely culprits to your noisy turning radius: 

Suspension Joints

What: Suspension joints are found in just about every modern vehicle on the road. They are a crucial piece of the suspension system and one of the pivot points that connect the control arms to the steering knuckles or spindles. 

Noises: These noises are often heard at lower speeds when involving the suspension joints. This is usually due to not being able to hear the noises over the moving vehicle. Noises include: creaking, clunking, and popping. 

Power Steering Pump

What: The power steering pump is in the system driven by the movement of the crankshaft by means of the pulley and the belts. In modern vehicles, the power steering helps drivers to maneuver the car by changing the steering direction to that directed by the steering wheel. 

Noises: Heard at low speeds when the engine is making less noise, issues with the power steering pump tend to produce a whining noise. 

CV Joints

What: CV joints also known as constant velocity, are used to connect your vehicle’s transmission to the wheels. They are part of the driveshaft and are used on fwd vehicles predominantly. They are sometimes used on other drivetrains such as AWD and RWD. 

Noises: The CV joints will produce a crunching sound when their integrity is compromised. This noise is predominantly made at higher speeds. 

Power Steering System

What: The power steering pump is the system driven by the movement of the crankshaft by means of the pulley and the belts. In modern vehicles, the power steering helps drivers to maneuver the car by changing the steering direction to that directed by the steering wheel.

Noises: This can be tricky depending on what exactly is wrong. Generally the power steering system causes either a loud screech or a whine as you turn the car. 

Cure: In some cases, all that is required is topping off the power steering fluid. Many times this will be a serious mechanical repair. 

Power Steering Leaks

What: The fluid in your power steering systems use a liquid lubricant designed to allow the pressure needed to maneuver the steering properly. Fluid travels from the fluid reservoir through the steering rack, pinion and steering box. When the steering fluid leaks out, the steering system will make noises as it is improperly lubricated. 

Noises: Low fluid level will typically produce a grinding noise and may give you trouble turning and require more effortful turns of the wheel. 

Tie Rods

What: Answer: Another part of a vehicle’s steering, the tie rods are responsible for tying the steering rack onto the steering arm. The steering arm is attached to the wheel.

Noises: If you are hearing a clunking sound it is likely your tie rods that are loose or dismembered. Though at other times the noises that may be made by tie rod issues include knocking, or creaking. 

Steering Column Bearings

What: The steering column bearings are part of the steering column. The steering column varies from vehicle to vehicle, but it typically is made up of a column tube fixed to the car body with steering and transmission shafts. The steering shaft will be supported by two bearings at the top and the bottom of the column. 

Noises You may hear a rubbing noise which will indicate the upper bearing is making contact with the back of the steering column

Clogged Steering Fluid Reservoir

What: The fluid in your power steering systems use a liquid lubricant designed to allow the pressure needed to maneuver the steering properly. Fluid travels from the fluid reservoir through the steering rack, pinion and steering box. When the steering fluid leaks out, the steering system will make noises as it is improperly lubricated. The reservoir will have a filter which can become clogged.

Noises: Low fluid level will typically produce a grinding noise and may give you trouble turning and require more effortful turns of the wheel. 

Sway Bar Link

What:Sway bar links connect the outer end of the sway bar to the suspension component. The sway bar smooths the motion transfer between the sway bar and the control arm.   

Noises: If you’re currently hearing a knocking noise your problem could be the sway bar llink. 

Ball Joints

What: A component of the front suspension, ball joints provide pivoting movement  between steering knuckles and control arms. 

Noises: The noises you will hear when the ball joints need repairing will be creaking which will get louder over time. 

Bushing

What:  The bushings of your car are small suspension components used to cushion vibrations and reduce friction between the metal parts of your vehicle. 

Noise: When the bushings of your suspension go bad you may hear a creaking sound which will take place as you turn the wheel. 

Struts And Shocks

What: the shocks and struts of a vehicle stabilize the vehicle which gives the driver control in turning, breaking and accelerating. Shocks are especially important when driving over rough or uneven surfaces. 

Noise: If you are experiencing an elevated level of bounce in your vehicle while driving, it is likely that the struts and shocks of the car need replacing. You may also hear creaking or popping as you go over bumps and as you turn. 

Turning Noises Explained

Whining Noises: The Why

Whining noises when turning your steering wheel at a low speed generally indicate that you have an issue with your power steering pump, other issues with your power steering system. It can in some cases be a sign that your suspension needs some TLC as well though. 

Popping Noises: The Why

When you hear a popping, clunking noise when it usually means your suspension needs to be looked at. Specifically the joints and bushings may need replacing. 

Clicking Noises: The Why

Typically with clicking noises, it is the CV joints, bearings or differentials that are causing your problem. 

Humming Noises: The Why

If you are hearing a humming noise, especially at higher speeds, it is usually a sign that a wheel bearing is on its way out and may need replacement. This is a mechanical failure that is especially dangerous and shouldn’t be neglected. 

Screeching, Whining And Squealing Noises: The Why

These three noises are usually indications of a power steering system issue. The issue itself may vary, like the noise from loose belts to lack of fluids or a clogged filter. 

Scraping Noises: The Why

If you are hearing a scraping noise while driving, this is typically an indication of parts rubbing together. Generally these are the plastic parts on your vehicle in your wheel well. These pieces can be improperly secured making this scraping issue a problem that happens infrequently. 

Rubbing Noises: The Why

Rubbing noises generally point to an issue within the steering column. Typically it is the upper bearing that gives car owners the most trouble when it comes to rubbing noises while steering. 

Ticking Noises: The Why

If your car is making a ticking noise, it is advisable to get it to a mechanic as soon as possible. Ticking sounds are usually made by the engine block not the steering parts of the vehicle. 

Need Help Fixing Your Repairs?

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We hope this article has answered all of your questions regarding odd car noises while turning, and that you feel more prepared to take handle this situation now and in the future. Consider protecting your vehicle with an extended warranty plan from Protect My Car. In addition to warranties, Protect My Car also offers insurance and maintenance plans and can negotiate the best prices on repairs with mechanics.

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