Do you have a car that makes a squeaking noise when you turn? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone! Many drivers experience this issue. Largely there can be issues with three main systems if your car squeaks when turning. Which are:
- Power Steering System
- Suspension System
- Braking System
This blog post will discuss the more detailed causes of this problem and how to fix it. Keep reading to learn more!
Table of Contents
10 Reasons Your Car Squeaks When Turning (+Solutions)
Now that we know which systems mainly cause this problem let us see the components of each system and how they can cause a squeak when turning.
- Low Power Steering Fluid Level
- Malfunctioning Power Steering Pump
- Cracked Steering Wheel Housing
- Worn Rotors and Brake Pads
- Rubbing Against Interior Trim
- Worn Steering Wheel Belt
- Worn Out Wheel Bearings
- Dry Ball Joints
- Damaged Control Arm Bushings
- Bad Transmission or Engine Mount
Read on to dig deeper into each of these issues!
1. Low Power Steering Fluid Level:
Power steering fluid lubricates the moving parts in your power steering system. So, if there isn’t enough fluid, the parts will start to grind, squeak, and produce a knocking noise.
For example, the steering gear on your power steering rack can start to grind if there’s not enough fluid. Similarly, other parts like the power steering pump can also make noise if they’re not properly lubricated and there is a power steering fluid leak.
- The solution is simple – just top off the power steering fluid! You can usually find the reservoir near the engine bay (on the driver’s side). Just open it up and add more fluid until it reaches the “full” line.
- Make sure you’re using the correct type of power steering fluid for your vehicle! Check your owner’s manual or ask a mechanic if you’re unsure.
- At times power steering fluid is there, but it has become too dirty. In such a case, you need to flush out the power steering system and fill it up with fresh fluid.
2. Malfunctioning Power Steering Pump:
A malfunctioning power steering pump can cause a car squeaking sound while turning. This is because the pump is not providing enough hydraulic pressure to assist in steering.
As a result, the steering wheel will require more effort to turn. Or, in some cases, it might make a grinding noise or squeak. In either case, it’s not something you want to ignore! It will lead to the failure of power steering in your vehicle.
- If you think your power steering pump is going bad, the best thing to do is take it to a mechanic and have them diagnose the problem. They’ll be able to tell for sure if the pump needs to be replaced.
- In some cases, power steering pumps can be repaired rather than replaced. So, it’s worth getting a diagnosis before assuming you need a new one.
3. Cracked Steering Wheel Housing:
When the housing is cracked, it can cause the steering wheel to squeak when turning. The crack can cause the steering wheel to rub against the housing, creating a squeaking sound.
In addition, the crack can also allow dirt and debris to enter the housing, contributing to the squeaking sound.
- Mechanics might be able to patch up the crack rather than replace the entire housing.
- But, if the crack is big or in a difficult spot, they’ll probably replace it.
- Either way, it’s best to get it fixed as soon as possible, so you don’t have any steering problems.
4. Worn Rotors and Brake Pads:
Almost every time while turning the car, we apply brakes. If the brake pads and rotors are worn out, it can create a squeaking sound.
When the brake pads wear down, they can start to make a squealing noise. This is because the metal backing plate rubs against the rotor when you apply the brakes.
In addition, worn-out rotors can also cause a squeaking noise. This is because they no longer have a smooth surface for the brake pads to grip onto.
- If your brakes are making noise, it’s probably time to replace the pads and rotors.
- You might be able to get away with just replacing the pads, but sometimes you need to do both.
5. Rubbing Against Interior Trim:
Sometimes, the noise might not be coming from the steering wheel itself. It could be that the trim around the steering wheel is rubbing against something else in the car.
For example, if there’s a gap between the trim and the dashboard, it might cause a squeaking sound when you turn the wheel.
- The fix for this problem is usually pretty simple – just apply some lubricant to the area where the trim is rubbing. This will help to reduce or eliminate the noise.
- You can also try adjusting the trim, so it doesn’t rub against anything else in the car. But, depending on your vehicle, this might not be possible.
6. Worn Steering Wheel Belt:
If your car has a power steering belt, it could be the noise source. If the belt is worn out, it can start to squeal when you turn the wheel.
- The best way to fix this problem is to simply replace the belt.
- This is usually a pretty inexpensive repair, and it’s not too difficult to do yourself if you’re mechanically inclined.
- Of course, if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always take it to a mechanic and have them do it for you.
7. Worn Out Wheel Bearings:
Worn-out wheel bearings are a common cause of a squeaking sound while turning. When the throw-out bearings are worn out, they can’t properly support the weight of the vehicle, and the wheels can start to wobble. This can cause a squeaking noise as the metal rubs against the metal.
- First, you can try lubricating the bearings. This might help to reduce the noise, but it’s not a permanent fix.
- The only way to truly fix the problem is to replace the bearings.
- This is usually a pretty straightforward repair, but it can be time-consuming.
8. Dry Ball Joints:
The squeaking sound you’re hearing while turning is likely caused by bad ball joints. Ball joints act as the pivot point between your car’s suspension and its wheels, and they can wear out over time. When they do, they can cause various problems, including a squeaking noise.
- The best way to fix this problem is to simply lubricate the joint. You can use various lubricants, but WD-40 is usually a good option.
- If you can’t get the lubricant to stay in place, you might need to replace the ball joint.
9. Damaged Control Arm Bushings:
If you hear a squeaking noise while turning and you have an independent suspension, the problem is likely with your control arm bushings.
These bushings are located between the control arm and the frame of your car, and they help to absorb shocks.
Over time, they can start to wear out and fall apart. When this happens, they can cause problems, including a squeaking noise when you turn the wheel.
- You might need to replace the control arm bushing to resolve this noise.
10. Bad Transmission or Engine Mount:
If the mount is not properly attached to the frame of the vehicle. This can cause the engine or transmission to move around excessively, which can create a lot of noise.
Another way is if the mount is worn out and isn’t able to cushion the engine or transmission properly. This can also lead to excessive movement and noise.
- In either case, you must replace the mount to resolve the issue.
Tips to Avoid Squeaking Sound While Turning
If your car is making a squeaking sound when you turn the wheel, there are a few things you can do to try to avoid this problem:
- Inspect your car regularly to ensure there is no debris or damage to the suspension components.
- When taking sharp turns, go slowly and avoid sudden stops.
- Use a quality lubricant on your car’s suspension components to minimize friction and reduce noise.
- It is normal with your new car to have some suspension noise, but if it persists, have your vehicle checked by a professional.
- Go gentle on potholes and bumps to avoid damaging your suspension.
- Keep your car’s tires inflated to the proper pressure to reduce stress on the suspension and minimize noise.
If your car is making a squeaking noise when you turn the wheel, there are a few possible causes. The most common cause is worn-out suspension components. However, there are a few other potential causes, including dry ball joints and damaged control arm bushings.
In most cases, the problem can be resolved by replacing the worn-out part. You can also try lubricating the component to see if that helps. If you’re unsure what’s causing the noise, it’s best to have your car checked by a professional.
Do you have any tips to add? Let us know in the comments!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my car squeal on cold start?
There are a few reasons your car may squeal when you start it up on a cold morning.
- The most common reason is that the belts and pulleys that drive your engine’s accessories are cold and stiff, so they don’t turn as smoothly as they do when they’re warm.
- Another possibility is that your engine is low on oil, which can cause metal parts to grind against each other.
- If you hear a squealing noise that gets louder as you accelerate, it could also be a sign that your brakes need attention.
Is it bad if your car squeaks while driving?
If your car is making a squeaking noise while driving, it’s usually not something to worry about. It’s probably just the sound of your suspension components working as they should.
However, if the noise is accompanied by other symptoms like shaking or difficulty steering, it could be a sign of a more serious problem.
If you continue to drive with a squeaking noise, it could eventually damage the suspension components. So it’s best to get it checked out as soon as possible.
Can bad alignment cause squeak?
Yes, bad alignment can cause a squeak. If your car is out of alignment, it can put stress on the suspension components and cause them to wear out prematurely when you turn the steering wheel. This can lead to a squeaking noise when you turn the wheel. To avoid this problem, make sure to get your car’s alignment checked regularly.
Is it normal for your car to squeak?
It is normal for your car to make some noise as you drive. However, if the noise is excessive or other symptoms accompany it, it could be a sign of a problem.
Especially when driving a brand new car, it is common for your vehicle to squeak a little. This is often because new cars have stiffer suspension components which can make noise as they work.
How do you lubricate a power steering belt?
There are two ways to lubricate a power steering belt.
- The first is to use a belt dressing, a spray-on, or aerosol lubricant found at most auto parts stores.
- The second way is to simply apply some oil to the belt with a rag. If you choose to use oil, be sure to wipe off any excess so that it doesn’t get on your car’s paint or interior.
Why is my car creaking over bumps?
If your car is creaking over bumps, it’s probably because your suspension components are worn out. When the components are worn, they can’t absorb shock as well as they used to, which can lead to a creaking noise.