10 Reasons Your Car is Making Noises When You turn

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Is your car making noise when you turn? Are you not sure what you should do next? 

Trust me I know how you feel. Hearing strange noises when you drive is never pleasant. 

Don’t worry, I’m here to help. In this post, I’m going to go over the different things that can cause your car to make noise when you turn. 

Let’s get started. 

1. Bad Power Steering Rack

The power steering rack is responsible for converting the rotational motion of the steering wheel to conversion motion.

This allows you turn your vehicle with little effort.

With a bad power steering rack, you will likely hear knocking, grinding, or streaking when you try to turn. These sounds typically happen when you turn the steering wheel but typically stop if the steering wheel is not in motion.

If there is an issue with your steering wheel rack, you should have it inspected quickly. Over time this issue will only get worse and can lead to additional damage.

2. Low Hydraulic Fluid

Hydraulic fluid is designed to reduce friction when there is mechanical pressure or force.

To turn your vehicle, many mechanical components must work together to match the movement of the steering wheel. Hydraulic fluid helps reduce friction and makes it easy to turn your car.

When the hydraulic fluid is low, this can lead to grinding or squealing sounds when you try to turn your car. This is a sign that you are very low on the hydraulic fluid, and it’s causing the components to rub against one another.

This should be addressed. With continued metal-on-metal friction, you can damage or destroy more parts of your car.

3. Bad Struts and Shocks

The struts and shocks are one of the most common sources of issues for a car that is having issues turning.

Struts and shocks are designed to absorb vibrations and stabilize your vehicle as you drive.

Struts and shocks might begin to make noise when you turn on older cars. Since both struts and shocks have a long lifetime, it’s uncommon that they create issues on newer cars. Other than natural wear and tear, physical damage due to off-roading or some other direct contact.

Bad struts and shocks are likely to cause knocking or squeaking sounds. The good thing is that while replacing shocks and struts is not difficult and is relatively easy for professionals to determine if there are issues, and can be replaced in several hours.

4. Worn out Tie Rod Ends

The tire rod is a crucial part of your vehicle’s turning system. The tie rod is the connecting point between the steering jack and the steering knuckle.

This means that the tie rod acts as a pivot point that allows your steering wheel to turn the circular motion into translation motion to make the car turn properly.

You will likely hear clunky or cracking noises with a bad tie rod when you start to turn your steering wheel.

Compared to other issues, these noises are directly related to the steering wheel and can even be heard when the car is off, and you turn the steering wheel.

5. Bad Ball Joints

If you start hearing faint noises coming from near your tires, this is a sign of bad ball joints.

This noise is caused when the suspension goes up and down. The movement will cause the ball joint to rattle, which causes the noises.

One great way to determine if your ball joints are making this noise is to drive over a speed bump.

As your car goes over the sped bump, pay attention to determining is any clunking or metal-on-metal rubbing.

This is a clear sign that you need to inspect your ball joints further.

6. Bad Jounce Bushings

The jounce bushing or jounce is a part of the upward suspension kit on the front of a car. These bushings are typically found on top of the struts at the front of your car.

These bushings assist the suspension kit of your vehicle. They absorb bumps and help stabilize your car while driving.

Like other bushings, they need to be lubricated to work properly.

When these bushings become dry, and they can make creaking or squeaking noises when you turn. You may also hear these noises when you go over bumps or when your suspension kit is in use.

In some cases, the bushings can actually crack and begin to wear out. In contrast, it’s not common; people who off-road or drive in harsh conditions are more likely to experience this.

If the jounce bushings are damaged, they can make various noises depending on the damage, from whistling, cracking, to knocking.

7. Bad Wheel Bearings

Wheel bearings do two key things for your car:

They help your wheel rotate smoothly with as little friction as possible
They help evenly support the weight of your car.

Wheel bearings go bad over time, so it’s not common to need to replace them. It’s also more common in poor driving conditions or after direct impact.

Bad wheel bearings are unique because they make a distinct sound that is easy to identify.

With bad wheel bearings, you will hear a humming or growling noise coming from your car. When damage is to a particular side of your wheel bearing, you might only hear the sounds when you turn.

Over time, it’s common for this noise to be present as you drive. The sound also tends to get louder as you increase your speed.

If you do anticipate that you have bed wheel bearing, you should get your car repaired as soon as possible. Driving on a bad wheel bearing can lead to excessive damage and is also dangerous. In severe cases, your tire can completely separate from your car due to a bad wheel bearing.

8. Low Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid is crucial to reducing friction in your steering components. They allow you to drive your vehicle smoothly without any griding.

Unfortunately, if you are running low on power steering fluid, this can cause your car to make noises when your turning.

The sound is most likely from mechanical components grinding against one another. There are typically two reasons you have low steering fluid levels: a leak or natural evaporation, and you need to refill.

Steering fluid does not typically need to be added frequently. However, if you find that your steering fluid levels are reducing quickly, this is a sign that you might leak, and you should get that repaired.

You can check your power steering fluid levels under the hoot. It’s typically a small clear reservoir with a black cap that says power steering fluid or has a steering wheel on it.

After refilling your power steering fluid levels, you need to allow the fluid to reach all the necessary components. If the sounds does not go away right away, continue driving for around one day to allow the fluid to fill all cracks and crevices.

If several days have passed and your car is still making noise, then the power steering fluid is likely not the issue, or you have a leak preventing the oil from reaching the necessary locations.

9. Bad Power Steering Pump

A common reason that causes cars to make a whining noise is a bad power steering pump. This is linked very closely to having low levels of power steering fluid. 

The power steering fluid helps ensure that the power steering fluid is pump throughout the steering system. With a bad or faulty pump, even with a full power steering fluid reservoir, certain parts of your steering system might not have any power steering fluid. 

The most common sign of a bad power steering pump is when your steering system begins making noises. 

Your steering pump’s noises will depend on what part of the steering system does not have power steering fluid. 

Some common noises that you might hear include: 

  • Squealing 
  • Groaning
  • Whining

You will hear these noises when you turn your steering wheel. You can identify issues with the power steering pump because you will typically hear the noises as you turn your steering wheel. In some cases, you might be able to feel the friction in your steering wheel. 

Other signs of a bad power steering pump include a stiff steering wheel, and your steering wheel is slow to respond. 

10. Tire Rubbing Against Frame

If your tire is rubbing against your frame, this can also be why your car is making noise when your turning. This typically makes rubbing or groaning sound.

If you’ve recently changed your tires or rims, this can be the cause of the sudden rubbing.

Also, debris or dents in the frame are not causing your tire to rub against the frame when you turn.

This is typically not as worrisome as some of the other potential reasons on this list.

In most cases, you might only feel the rubbing on sharp turns or when making a U-turn.

If you begin to experience rubbing consistently when you are turning, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic. This can signify that you may be using incorrect size tires or of another issue cause your tire to move too close to your frame.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why Does My Car Make Noise When Turning My Steering Wheel?

First things first, a car making noise when its turning is not natrual. If your car is making noise when it’s turning, there is an issue that needs to be addressed.

The severity of the issue can vary greatly, but it still means there is an issue.

If you do hear noise when you turn, you should address the issue quickly. Issues with your steering or wheels can worsen very quickly and make your car dangerous to drive.

Noticing that your car is making noise when turning is not always easy. Typically the noise needs to be loud and clear to be easily identified.

Unfortunately, identifying the cause of the noise is even harder. But, don’t worry, there are some things you can look for to help you identify the cause of the noise.

Common Types of Noises When Turning the Steering Wheel?

The type of noise that your car makes when you turn is very important.

The type of noise can help you narrow down the issue. This is why it’s important to pay close attention to the noise your car makes.

  • Screeching
  • Popping
  • Clunking
  • Knocking
  • Creaking
  • Whining
  • Scrapping
  • Squealing

If you hear any unusual noise when you turn, you should get it checked out as soon as possible.

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