(Updated on March 10, 2021)
Have you ever noticed strange noises as you turn the steering wheel of your car? These noises might not seem like any big deal if you don’t notice anything functionally wrong with your car. But you must realize that an unusual sound coming from your steering wheel is not a normal thing.
A healthy vehicle should not produce any noise from the steering wheel. However, if you do hear these noises as you turn the wheel, you shouldn’t ignore them for too long because they could mean something is wrong with one or more components in your vehicle and will continue to get worse unless you address the problem.
See Also: Reasons Your Steering Wheel Shakes
Top 7 Reasons a Steering Wheel Makes Noise While Turning
The noises that come from your steering wheel can likely be attributed to a problem within the steering system or the suspension system. Each time you turn the wheel, the components of these systems are put under stress and this strain can wear them down after a while.
To pinpoint the exact problem area of your noisy steering wheel, you should learn about the top causes first. Below are seven of the most common reasons your steering wheel makes noise when turning.
1) Dry Ball Joints
Ball joints are responsible for allowing the suspension control arms and steering knuckles to move smoothly. It is important that these joints are lubricated or else they’ll go dry and create lots of cranking noises as they’re in use.
Ball joints are in use each time you turn the steering wheel.
2) Clogged Reservoir
Each vehicle has a steering reservoir tank which stores the power steering fluid. The fluid is kept clean by a filter which exists in the tank. If this filter were to get backed up with debris, then the reservoir tank would get clogged.
As a result, it wouldn’t be able to provide the steering system with clean power steering fluid. This will create noise each time you turn the steering wheel.
3) Bad Tie Rod Ends
The tie rod ends help move the wheels as the steering wheel turns. If you have worn out tie rod ends, then knocking noises will start coming from the tie rod ends each time you turn the wheel.
4) Worn Out Shocks
Shocks are what help absorb the vibrations and bumpiness that comes from driving. If the shocks were to ever go bad or get worn out, the vehicle would bounce around a lot more and cause noises to form each time you turn the steering wheel.
5) Bad Suspension Bushings
Suspension bushings will not last forever in your vehicle. Once they start to go bad, they will break apart and eventually form a crack.
You will know when this happens because each time you turn the wheel, you will hear a creaking sound that you’ve never heard. This means you need to replace the suspension bushings.
6) Faulty Power Steering Rack
The power steering rack is responsible for supplying the steering rack with hydraulic fluid each time you turn the wheel. If you have a bad power steering rack, then the steering rack won’t get an adequate supply of this fluid.
This will cause a whining sound to generate each time you turn the wheel. You will hear this sound the most when you’re turning at low speeds around corners.
7) Low Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid is essential for allowing the power steering pump to lubricate the steering rack and allowing the driver to turn the steering wheel smoothly.
If there were to be a leak in the reservoir tank or hydraulic lines, then there wouldn’t be enough power steering fluid going to the steering rack and providing the kind of pressure that is needed for you to turn the wheel smoothly.