Why Does My Car Make Noise When Turning

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When driving your vehicle, you’re bound to experience a vast multitude of noises. Most of them are just regular sounds that are normal to witness while driving. However, there are some certain noises that you do indeed have to pay close attention to maintain a healthy vehicle along with a safe driving environment. When not paid attention to, these noises can be just the first step to bigger problems.

Generally speaking, many noises may come from the vehicle, but in this article, we will be focusing on the sounds only when turning. We will be going through several sounds that you may encounter and potentially what they could mean is wrong with your vehicle.

Distinguishing these sounds is very important for matters of safety and efficiency. Therefore, it is vital to know if your vehicle is making any type of unusual or abnormal sound while turning and what can be potentially done about it to save you your money and time in long run. 

Typical Car Noises when Turning the Steering Wheel

Some typical sounds that you will hear when turning the steering wheel include:

Clunking

Clunking is a very typical sound that many cars produce when turning the steering wheel. It’s not a good or bad noise, it just is. However, if the clunking noise occurs frequently and is accompanied by a shaking feeling in the steering wheel than you should be concerned.

Popping

Popping can be considered a warning sign or indicator for your vehicle. The popping noise is caused by very small breaks in the knuckle. The popping noise will occur during steering and usually occurs after a certain temperature drop or increase (depending on the weather).

Screeching

If there is a screeching sound coming from your vehicle while turning the steering wheel than you definitely need to check up on it. Usually, this sound is caused by the tires.

Creaking

A creaking noise is a little bit less harmless than the previous ones mentioned. Since a creaking sound usually, but not always, occurs when turning the steering wheel and may typically be a sign of wear and tear.

Clicking

It could be considered a good or bad sound, depending on the circumstances. If there is a clicking noise coming from your car while turning than it’s usually not of any concern however if clicking noise is usually accompanied by a shaking feeling in the steering then the balls joints may require inspection.

Squealing

A squealing noise in your vehicle is also not a good sign. However, you should be aware that there are two types of squealing noises. One which occurs while turning and one that occurs during a brake.

Whining

A whining sound is a sign of a loss in power steering. If this sound is occurring while turning the steering wheel than it is typically not a good sign and your vehicle may require an inspection.

Squeaking

When this occurs, it is also a sign of wear and tear. However, this sound occurs while turning the steering wheel and is usually not that severe of a concern.

Groaning

Groaning is also another typical sound that occurs during turning the steering wheel. It shouldn’t be any cause for concern as long as it isn’t accompanied by any internal problems in the steering.

Why a Car Makes Noise When Turning

Here are some potential circumstances that may cause the above-described sounds:

Low-speed noise

If you hear a sound similar to squeaking or a creaking, it is most likely the result of your car’s suspension. This noise will be more noticeable when you’re making low-speed turns, such as when turning into a driveway. These sounds are usually caused by wear and tear on your vehicle’s hardware, such as tie-rod ends and ball joints.

Normal-speed noise

If you hear a noise described as whining, screeching, or squealing, it is more than likely the result of your car’s wheel bearings. For this reason, you will most commonly hear these noises when turning at normal speeds (such as making a turn onto another street).

High-speed Speeds

If you end up hearing a loud popping sound while making a turn, it is the result of either the front or rear wheel bearings. Bearing pops are usually accompanied by shaking in your steering wheel, which is why you will most commonly hear them when turning at higher speeds.

Bad Ball Joints

Ball joints act as a pivot point in your vehicle, allowing its wheels to turn. When the ball joints start wearing down over time, they will begin to shake and clunk especially in not lubricated regularly. 

Although all elements of the vehicle’s suspension system wear down over time, ball joints tend to wear down more quickly than other components due to their location on your vehicle (being one of the most exposed mechanical parts).

Worn Out Jounce Bushing

The jounce bushings are small rubber pieces that cushion the suspension. When these bushings wear down, they will begin to cause noise and may even lead to your car’s ride becoming bouncy and unstable.

A loud pop can be a cause for concern if it is not accompanied by the normal noises related to turning the steering wheel or driving. However, there are rarely any serious danger for your vehicle with the noises listed above (unless they are accompanied by other external problems).

Bad Struts and Shocks

Struts and shocks are the main components behind your car’s suspension. Although they are important for keeping your vehicle’s tires on the ground, it is often these components that are to blame when you hear noises during a turn. If this occurs, be sure to have them checked out by an expert soon so you can get back on the road in no time.

Leaking Of Power Steering Fluid

In order for the power steering to work, you need to have power-steering fluid within your vehicle’s system. If leaking, this can cause sounds like a whining or groaning. This occurs due to a lack of fluid.

Damaged Power Steering Rack

If the rack and pinion is damaged, it will cause a popping or clicking sound during your turn. A noise like this can be caused by problems such as worn gaskets or loose bolts; if this occurs it is best to have the power steering system checked out immediately.

Worn Steering Column Bearing

The steering column bearing is located on the steering rack and if worn, will cause a squeaking, rubbing sound when it begins to move left and right. If your bearings are worn out (or if they are simply old), you will need to have them replaced for safe driving.

Bad Sway Bar Link

The sway bar link connects the suspension and stabilizer bars together. If there is a clunking sound while turning, you may want to consider having it checked. This is caused by the bushing of the sway bar link wearing out or breaking off altogether (which can be very dangerous).

Damaged Tie Rod Ends

If your tie-rod end is worn out it will cause a knocking sound when turning. If this occurs, try lubricating them to see if that solves the problem. If this doesn’t work, it may be time for a replacement.

Clogged Steering Reservoir Tank

This particular reservoir tank is located underneath the hood of your vehicle. If you hear a squealing noise when turning, it is likely a problem with your reservoir tank. If this occurs, be sure to check the return line and fill cap for any blockage before taking your vehicle in for an inspection.

Conclusion

A car making noise when turning is not something that should cause major alarm; however, it can be a symptom of serious problems in the future. It is best to have these noises looked at by an expert as soon as possible, so you can get back on the road and avoid collisions or accidents later down the road.

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