7 Causes of Steering Wheel Noise when Turning


Have you ever heard 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 strange noises coming from your steering wheel is not a normal thing. A healthy vehicle will not produce any noises 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 of the many components of your vehicle.

The Top 7 Causes of Steering Wheel Noise When 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 strain and this strain can wear them down after a while. To pinpoint the exact cause of your noisy steering wheel, you should learn about the top causes first.

Read also: 5 Symptoms of a Bad Car Engine ECU and Replacement Cost

Below are the top 7 causes of steering wheel 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. They 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. Worn 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. Worn 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. Leaky Power Steering Fluid – Power steering fluid is essential for lubricating the steering rack and allowing the driver to turn the steering wheel smoothly. If there were to be a leak in the steering reservoir tank, 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. Not only will it be harder to turn the wheel, but you will hear noises as well.

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