Anytime your car squeaks when you turn the wheel, you can probably feel your wallet start to cry. You may think that the problem with your vehicle could be costly. However, the most common causes may not be the case.
Typically, any noise coming from your car is related to your power steering system. A lack of fluid or something malfunctioning can cause a variety of different noises. You may also find the issue related to various car joints.
In the rest of this article, we will dig into the many causes of noise in your car. We will also differentiate squealing, grinding, groaning, or creaking noises.
What Do I Do If My Car Makes A Squealing Noise When Turning?
A squealing noise typically comes from one of the following situations:
- Low power steering fluid
- Failed power steering system
- Broken power steering pump
- New car noises
Below are some details for a squealing noise when turning.
#1: Low Power Steering Fluid
If you have a car with low power steering fluid, components in your system will begin to rub together. Low fluid is the most common cause behind why you hear squealing as you turn your steering wheel. When you hear this noise, pull over immediately and check your fluid level.
If the fluid level seems low, top it off until you reach the fill line. If your power steering fluid exceeds the fill line, some excess may end up spilling out as your vehicle begins to process the liquid.
#2 Failed Power Steering System
The second most common reason for your car releasing a squealing noise comes from a leak in your power steering system. The leak will cause your power steering fluid to run out rapidly, leaving the liquid on the ground. If you suspect this, check the area around your car where it rests.
Do not drive your vehicle if your power steering fluid is leaking, as you may permanently ruin the system. Failing to follow these instructions will require the complete replacement of your power steering system.
#3: Failed Power Steering Pump
The last component that may fail in your power steering is the pump. If your pump does not function, that means that fluid isn’t flowing into the channels they need to be. As a result, your dry steering system will start making noises until it is impossible to turn.
A failed power steering pump can also cause groaning noises. If you want to replace the pump yourself, check out the video below:
#4 New Vehicle Noises
When you purchase a new vehicle straight off the dealership, the steering wheel inside of your car may rub against the interior trim until it wears down. If you hear squealing come from your steering wheel (and not your engine area), this is likely why. Of course, this does not apply to older vehicles.
Hearing A Clunking Or Knocking Noise When Turning
If you hear clunking or knocking sounds, below are the most common reasons for this:
- Worn suspension joints
- Loose or broken tie rods
- Broken sway bar link
Below are the most common reasons for clunking or knocking noises when turning.
#5 Worn Suspension Joints
Worn suspension joints come with knocking, creaking, and clunking sounds when you drive at low speeds. Also, you may end up having a far more rough ride, making it a bit more complicated when driving in dangerous conditions.
If your vehicle is making this noise as you drive and turn slowly, you need to pull over ASAP. If your suspension system collapses, that will result in a costly fix that will break numerous parts of your vehicle.
#6 Loose Or Broken Tie Rods
An individual tie rod connects your wheels to your steering systems. If any of your tie rods break, that means that your car may eventually fail. Your steering wheel may flop in any random direction, causing you to lose control while driving.
Much like driving with worn suspension joints, it is perilous to turn with a loose tie rod. As a result, you should avoid driving at all costs if you suspect this being the issue.
#7 Broken Sway Bar Link
The sway bars in your car stabilize it. This feature is convenient during a hard turn, as the sway bars ensure that your vehicle will not tip over. Broken sway bars make handling more difficult, causing your car to have a higher potential of rolling over.
A broken sway bar can cause your car to be far more dangerous if you drive recklessly. Stick to areas of low-speed limits if you suspect your vehicle has these issues. Much like a broken tie rod, you should work to get your car to a shop as soon as possible.
Steering Wheel Makes A Crunching Noise When Turning
If your car sounds unusually crunchy, worn CV joints are the most likely culprit. Below are details behind why you would hear crunching noises.
#8: Worn CV Joints
Constant velocity joints, better known as CV joints, connect your drive shaft to your transmission. They deliver torque to the front wheels when you turn your vehicle. They have special grease inside of them that typically lasts very long.
If you find yourself driving along rough roads, there is a chance that your CV joints are in poor condition. Look underneath your car, nearby your tires, to see if the boot is damaged. If you see a greasy substance leaking from a rubber section, it is a sign that you need to contact a mechanic.
What Causes A Creaking Sound When Turning Your Steering Wheel
Creaking sounds are a sign of one of two issues:
- Ball joints
- Struts and shocks
Below are some details that cause this creaking sound:
#9: Worn Ball Joints
If you find that your car begins to veer without you touching your steering wheel, that’s a good sign that your ball joints need replacement. The creaking noise may also come with some vibrations, so it’s pretty easy to tell when your ball joints need replacement.
Given that total ball joint failure causes extreme damage to your car, you should not drive with failing ball joints. It can cause your vehicle to veer hard if you are traveling at high speeds.
#10: Worn Struts And Shocks
Another sign of worn struts or shocks is the feeling of your car bouncing against rough roads. This car problem can be confused with suspension system issues. Also, be sure to avoid bouncing hills. If you don’t, you risk your vehicle’s front end dipping low, causing damage to the front bumper and other vehicle components.
When driving with a broken strut, your passengers won’t appreciate the extra movement of your car. Also, you can undoubtedly expect damage to any of your front-end components.
How Much Does It Cost To Stop These Noises?
Below are pricing considerations that you should keep in mind depending on the issues listed above.
- The cost of power steering fluid should not exceed $10. However, a power steering flush can cost around $100.
- The power steering system and pump are together. As a result, Replacement can cost anywhere from $300 to $500.
- The suspension or ball joints cost anywhere from $50 to $500. Hiring a professional to make this repair can be over $2000.
- Tie rods should not cost any more than $120, with an extra $90 for labor costs.
- A sway bar replacement costs $150 with an additional $50 for labor. Expect double the cost if both the front and rear sway bars break.
- CV joints are relatively expensive, as you may end up paying a total of $400 with an additional $1000 for labor.
- Struts cost about $800 for the replacement of a set of four. Add another $400 to that total for labor costs. Replacing shocks can add another $700 to the whole.
Can I Stop The Noises Myself?
If your car makes noise while you turn, many of the issues that cause this can need professional attention. Replacing ball joints, struts, shocks, and your power steering system requires a high mechanical understanding level. Unless you have a firm understanding of your car, we do not recommend making any replacements yourself.
If your car makes noise when turning, you need to pull over as soon as possible. Any reason for your car making this noise can result in a high potential for new damage. Typically, this will eventually result in you being unable to turn your steering wheel.
In most cases, you can solve this issue by checking your power steering fluid. The system behind this will make squealing noises if you turn the car too hard. The squealing is a sign of unlubricated components rubbing together when they shouldn’t be doing this.
If you need to drive your vehicle, it is essential to keep to lower speed locations. You also don’t want to crank your steering wheel too hard, as that will cause a high potential for immediate damage. Whatever the cause may be, being attentive to your car’s noises will ensure you can repair this issue