Popping Noise When Turning: What’s Your Car Telling You?

Any sound other than the familiar buzzing of the engine is not good news for car owners. What about a popping noise when turning the vehicle? Is it alarming? Does this mean you have to splurge money on a repair or replace a damaged component?

Well, any unusual sound from the vehicle is concerning. But, how bad is the single pop noise when turning? Let’s find out!

Popping Noise When Turning: The Possible Causes:

The loud popping noise when turning steering wheel seems to be coming from the wheels, but its root is the steering systemIt controls the movement of the wheels so that the vehicle can rotate on the road. So, it is likely to be the source of any problem related to the turning of the car.

The steering system is complicated and it takes the expertise of a professional mechanic to find out the problematic component that triggers the popping noise when turning. But, you can still check these parts that are most likely to be the starting points of that cracking sound.

pop noise when turning
Several components could be the possible reason. (Photo: Pixabay)

1. Cracked CV Joint

It could happen if you are driving a front-wheel drive car. The CV (Constant Velocity) joint near the front axle functions as the wrist of the steering system. It allows the shaft the flexibility required for running the suspension and the wheels. 

If the joint is broken or torn, there will be grease everywhere behind the wheels. It will cripple the axle’s operation and the result will be clicking noises at the time of turning. 

So if you are a front-wheel drive car owner, you may face front end popping noise when turning. A timely fix will help you save your car.

2. Worn Out Tie Rod

Cars can make a popping noise when turning because of an about-to-break tie rod, which could be dangerous if you don’t find out the trouble and take immediate action. 

Lift the corner of your vehicle while holding the wheel at 3 and 9 o’clock positions, and push and pull it. If doing so produces a popping noise in car, the problem is definitely with the tie rod.

popping sound when turning
Cars can make a clicking noise when turning because of an about-to-break tie rod. (Photo: Auto Trends Magazine)

3. Defective Struts

The struts help the suspension system to cushion the impacts of off-road driving. It also works with spring coils to decrease any incoming shocks. It is a vital part of the suspension system and protects the structure and cabin from shocks, bumps, and jerks. 

Bad struts will not only produce a popping noise when turning but also put the entire suspension system in jeopardy.

    SEE MORE :

4. Loose Hubcaps

Another possible reason why your car makes popping noise when turning is loose hubcaps. The steering system’s lug nuts have a cover on them (made of plastic or metal) known as hubcaps. 

If the nuts are loose, the hubcaps will constantly flutter and wobble, creating popping noises. However, the noises will be there whenever you are driving, especially when the car is speeding up, instead of just at the time of turning.

popping noise when turning steering wheel
Another possible reason for car popping noise is loose hubcaps. (Photo: Evgeniy)

5. Incorrect Tire Inflation

The popping noise when turning could be a regular occurrence when all the tires don’t have the same inflation. It makes the wheels yield a popping noise when turning left or popping on the right tire when driving

The good news is fixing this particular problem is easy and inexpensive. Just make sure that all tires have similar specs and designs, and that the air pressure in them is similar and appropriate.

What To Do If Popping Noise When Turning The Car

You should take your car to a trustworthy mechanic near you to figure out what happened, and what is the reason behind it. By that, professionals will fix the problem with the suitable method. 

Once it is determined which side the noise is emanating from, the CV joint located closest to the wheel will probably require service. This usually consists of replacing the entire drive axle which comes with new joints on both ends. 

An inspection of the CV joint boot on each side may also reveal the defective joint. CV boots are designed to retain the grease in the joint and keep contaminants from entering the joint causing damage. 

CV boots should be inspected at each oil change and be replaced promptly if cracked, torn, or missing. If caught in time, only the boot will require replacement which is more cost-effective than replacing the entire axle.

It is similar to other parts of the car which are related to the weird sound when turning the car. Make sure you always follow the maintenance guide, check the car, identify the problem, find the reason behind and try to fix it.

pop when turning steering wheel
You should take your car to a trustworthy mechanic near you to figure out what happened. (Photo: Live About)

FAQs On Popping Sound When Turning

We find out that there are many people having problems with a popping noise when turning the car. 

Moreover, people make a mistake when identifying the noise and the reason behind it. Here are some common questions that we received from readers. Check it out!

1. Why is my car making noise when turning left?

It is most likely a failing Constant Velocity joint (CV joint). A CV joint is a special type of universal joint that transmits the rotary power from a shaft through an angle.

 A failing CV joint can fail catastrophically. This can cause parts to fly around and damage other parts, potentially resulting in a loss of control as steering components get jammed by driveline parts and power fails to be transmitted from the engine to the wheels. It could also be a failing wheel bearing.

Bearings shouldn’t be noisy, but when they do begin to fail, the noise can change depending on how force is applied to the wheel and spindle.

2. Is it expensive to replace the CV joint?

A CV joint itself can cost between $95 and $210. Hiring a mechanic to perform a replacement will be between $165 and $800. The price mainly depends on whether you’re replacing a double or single axle.

3. Why is my steering wheel clicking?

If there is a clicking noise coming from behind your steering wheel that only happens when you turn, you may have a bad clock spring. 

The clock spring is an electrical connection that allows the buttons on your steering wheel, like your horn or cruise control, to work without having wires directly connected that could get twisted up when you turn your steering wheel.  

It’s a small spring on the wheel side that makes contact with an electrical race on the steering column side.  If this spring breaks or gets stuck it will click as you turn your wheel.

clicking noise when turning steering wheel
You may have a bad clock spring when hearing clicking noise when turning steering wheel. (Photo: Mechanic Base)

4. Can I replace a loose hubcap?

Yes, you will need to replace it. You may be able to find a replacement hubcap to match the other hubcaps on your car online, at a tire store that carries hubcaps, or at the dealership where you purchased your car. 

  • Pull up the e-brake and park the car somewhere flat and level. 
  • Turn one lug nut counterclockwise with a lug wrench to loosen it. 
  • Take 3 of the lug nuts off the hubcap, keep 2 nuts on opposite sides of the tire and remove the plastic washers from the lugnuts. 
  • Reattach the lug nuts, tightening them lightly & unscrewing the other 2 lugnuts to remove the hubcap. 
  • Place the new hubcap onto the bolts and replace the 2 lug nuts.
  • Remove the first 3 lug nuts, put the washers back on, and screw them in. 
  • At last, tighten the lug nuts with the crowbar to ensure a tight fit.

5. Why does my steering wheel make a rubbing noise when turning?

If you are hearing a loud rubbing noise when turning, the problem is likely coming from the upper bearing of the steering wheel column. 

Another possibility is that the cover on the back of a steering wheel can begin rubbing against the covers on the steering column. This issue is more common in summer, when the weather is warmer, causing car parts to expand due to the heat.

6. Why is there a ticking noise in my car?

Ticking noises usually don’t come from the steering system or steering wheel in your car.  Ticking noises are usually associated with your engine as many moving parts can tick inside your engine. 

Sum Up

It is all about the popping noise when turning the car. There are five common reasons behind that which you should check carefully. 

By taking your car to the mechanic, they will help you to diagnose your car problems and give you an efficient solution. Do not forget to read more about maintenance tips so you will know what to do when your car faces troubles.