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Main Causes of Steering Wheel Makes Noise When Turning

Under normal circumstances, no steering wheel makes noise when turning. It will run smoothly when you turn a corner. However, if there is any problem with the engine or other parts, the car will make different types of noises. Remember that taking a turn involves the operation of many internal components. So, if any of them is worn out or damaged, you will hear the car makes noise when turning.

Car Makes Noise When Turning: The Main Causes

When a vehicle creates whining, groaning, or creaking sound at the time of taking a curve on the road, it indicates to something serious. Lubricating the parts could help temporarily but they are likely to fail eventually if you don’t work on a fix. Let’s check out the reasons for a steering wheel makes noise when turning:

At low speeds

steering wheel makes noise when turning
Power steering system or the suspension is the reason for creating noise at low-speed turning. (photo source: Getty Images)

If the car makes noise when turning at low speeds, look into the power steering system or the suspension.

If you hear creaking, popping, or clunking sounds, the possible culprits are broken or worn out suspension joints. They are supposed to wear out over time since they endure the impact of the bumps on the road and carry the weight of the vehicle. A damaged joint allows the suspension components to scrape the connecting point, which creates the sounds.

On the other hand, a whining sound could be the result of a damaged power steering pump. It’s definitely the pump if the noise comes from the front of the engine.

At high speeds

speed driving
Car makes noise when turning at high speed (photo source: Wallpapercave)

The problem is definitely with the CV joints, bearings, or differentials if a steering steel makes noise when turning at high speeds.

If the sound comes out as clicking or crunching, look into the CV joints. A bad coupling is a reason for your car making the commotion at the time of a tight turn. However, inspect the wheel bearings when the noise appears like humming. The bearings carry the load when a vehicle shifts its weight during a turn. Ignoring the problem will create uneven tire wear or even wobbling wheel if the matter turns serious.

At Normal Speed

car makes noise when turning
There could be many reasons for creating noises at a normal speed. (photo source: Bentley)

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Some bad components could create whining, squealing, and screeching sounds at the time of taking turns at a normal speed. A damaged part of the power steering system is the possible reason for such noises.

A low level of power steering fluid or a loose belt is a minor problem that you can fix easily. However, the system also has a belt that drives the pump on the front of the engine, a tie rod that acts a link between the steering gear and knuckles (the attaching point of the wheels), and the hoses that create a bridge between the pump and the gear. One or some of these components can break, crack, or wear out over time. When this happens, the warning sign will be the steering wheel makes noise when turning.

All of these problems will become serious if you ignore them continuously. So, take the car to an auto servicing whenever you hear something weird at the time of taking a turn.

The Causes Of Knocking And Clunking Noise When Turning 

Bad Tie Rods

tie rod
Tie rod is an important part of the car when turning (photo source: Blake’s Garage @ youtube)

Tie rods plays the key part in the system, they connect the steering arm to a vehicle’s steering rack. By doing this, tie rods will connect the tire direction with the turning of the steering wheel, which help drivers to control their car. However, when a tie rod end is loose or worn, car owners can notice immediately from a clunking noise.

More than that, worn tie rod ends also make turning more vague, and creaking noise when turning steering wheel. So if car makes noise when turning, tie rods are the part drivers need to check.

Bad Sway Bar Link

car makes noise when turning
If car makes noise when turning, you should check the anti roll bar link (photo source:

Unlike tie rods, anti-roll bar, or sway bar link takes responsibility of reducing body roll while turning or cornering. It also helps keeping the four-wheel vehicle to stabilize on the road, avoid rolling over when having a sharp turn. However, if your car make noise when turning, especially a clunking sound, the sway bar could have broken or damaged. And it needs to be fixed soon. Not only the knocking noise when turning steering wheel, your vehicle will also have difficulty handling. 

Bad Ball Joints

car makes noise when turning
One of the most important car part (photo source:

Lats but not least, ball joints are the parts connecting the wheel hubs to the rest of the suspension components.

For that reason, if a ball joint goes bad or fails, you may notice a creaking noise when turning steering wheel, which will be louder overtime. Depend on different cars, a few ball joints per wheel may not be load bearing. So if your car makes noise when turning, check the bad ball joints now.

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Causes Of Creaking Noise When Turning Steering Wheel

Dry Suspension Bushings

creaking noise when turning steering wheel
Car makes noise when turning can be caused by many problems (photo source:

Just like all other car parts, bushings wear out. And when this happen, they deteriorate, crack and create creaking noise when turning steering wheel. Drivers need to replace them fast to reduce the risk of accident.

Damaged Power Steering Rack

creaking sound
Creaking sound is not favored by drivers (photo source: Ultimate Power Steering AU)

Power steering pump, belt and rack are other car parts to talk a look when you having creaking noise when turning steering wheel. Since when these parts damaged or worn, they will create a creaking sound. Also, they will sound even louder during low speed turning, so car owners can notice very easily.

Worn Struts/Shocks

Struts and shocks are very helpful. However, if your car makes noise when turning and you can see fluid on the side of your front shocks, then we have bad news for you. Your shocks and struts are worn and they needed to be changed. Another thing to notice it the car movement: You will feel loose and bouncy when going over bumps.

Worn Ball Joints

Creaking sound is not favored by drivers
Ball joints are essential (photo source: Bullshitkorner @ Youtube)

Another essential part is ball joint, controlling the steering knuckles and arms. These ball joints allow drivers to control and adjust the movement of the vehicles. For that reason, they should be lubricated in order to perform their actions.

Yet, the grease will wear out sooner or later, and when this occurs, car makes noise when turning.

Damaged Tie Rod Ends

creaking noise when turning steering wheel
Tie rod ends usually responsible for creaking noise when turning steering wheel (photo source: Mercedes Source)

Last but not least, if your car makes noise when turning, tie rod ends are definitely the place to notice. When drivers turn the steering wheel, the whole system will move the wheels thanks to tie rods.

For that reason, creaking while turning is the obvious sign of damaged tie rod ends. Car owners can notice this very easy since the creaking noise when turning steering wheel can be heard even with low-speed turns.

  1. Sonia Cates says

    My mini van makes a whining noise when it is on it sound like when there us no power steering fluid. The wheel is not stiff. My mini van is a2006 Nissan Serena also I notice my airbag light on the dash board is on what can I do

  2. Roch says

    Just bought a Lexus LS460 2007. The dealer replaced the front wheel bearing as the car made a hovering noise 15 minutes into driving. This problem is now solved. I now hear noise from the steering wheel when turning the steering left or right. The noise is more obvious in the morning when I start the car to drive on. The noise is almost like having sand stuck in the steering. Any experience with such issues with Lexus LS460 ??

  3. Carol Brooke says

    Hi I have a Peugeot 207s 54 plate I am takingcar off drive and turning steering wheel slightly. It makes a rubbery sound .what is it please ..thank you

    1. Jo says

      :)I had similar problem once, was power steering

  4. Tonya Marsh says

    I just had 2 new cv axles put on my Chevy Tahoe andi still hear a slight clicking when i turn the vehicle to the left any suggestions

  5. Jan Sleichter says

    I have a mercury mariner and when I turn the wheel it makes a clicking noise what is going on is it dangerous to drive

  6. Jan Holloway says

    I have a 1998 Toyota Camry and when I turn my steering wheel either way it makes a sqealing noise but when I get out after driving 30 minutes I can smell burning rubber. What can be wrong.

  7. Rita says

    When I turn the wheel on my 2012 Honda Odyssey, it makes a popping noise. What could be the cause?

  8. angela watson says

    i have 2002 dodge grand caravan. when i turn steering wheel feeland hear a rubbing sound, sometimes steering wheel get tight what is this

  9. Stefan Bradley says

    It’s good that you mentioned how the ball joints in your car need to be frequently lubricated since they allow you to freely control the movement of your vehicle. My wife has just purchased a new car and has noticed that her vehicle makes a horrible sound whenever she makes a turn. I’ll see if I can find an auto maintenance company that can take care of that noise.

  10. Dave says

    This is all great information, but what could it be if the car is started, but not moving and you turn the steering wheel a little from side to side there is a knocking noise. When driving there is no noise at high or low speeds. Steering seems to be perfect when moving and turning. I can let go of the wheel and the car goes straight, no pulling.

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