The Steering Wheel Makes a Sound When Turning

sound when turning steering wheel

Drivers prefer a quiet and comfortable ride. However, mysterious noises can distract drivers and disturb the driving experience. Motorists can experience such noises and sound when turning the steering wheel. These noises may aggravate due to multiple reasons. For instance, low or excessive power steering fluid, power steering pump failure or a bad steering rack can contribute to various steering wheel problems and noises.

Let’s understand the causes of the sounds while turning the steering wheel and learn to fix these problems.

Causes of Sound Coming From Steering Wheel

When you hear a sound while turning a steering wheel, you must immediately check for the causes behind it. Whether your car has an electric or hydraulic power steering, the knocking or clicking sound when turning the steering wheel indicates several problems in the steering system components.

Here are all the reasons why a car steering wheel makes noises while turning and their possible fixes.

Low Power Steering Fluid

low Power steering fluid level causing steering wheel noises
Leaking power steering fluid can cause noise when turning the steering wheel

Power steering fluid, one of the essential car fluids, provides hydraulic pressure to the steering system, allowing it to turn smoothly. When the fluid level is low, air may enter the system. That said, it causes the steering wheel to make a noise when turning.

A leaking power steering fluid can also be a reason behind different noises or a jerking steering wheel. If you suspect a low power steering fluid, check the fluid level and top it up if necessary. However, if you find a leakage in the steering fluid reservoir, replace it timely to avoid an uncomfortable driving situation.

How to fix it?

Locate the reservoir under the hood near the power steering pump with a cap on top of it. Check the fluid level. If the steering fluid level is low, add the recommended type of power steering fluid until it reaches the correct level.

Worn-out Power Steering Pump

whining noise when turning the steering wheel due to bad steering pump
If you hear a whining noise, it may be due to a faulty power steering pump that doesn’t supply sufficient pressure

The power steering pump is responsible for providing hydraulic pressure to assist with turning the wheels. If the pump is worn-out or failing, it may not offer sufficient pressure, resulting in noise.

When your car has a bad power steering pump, it may make different noises. For instance, whining sounds when turning the steering wheel is due to the lack of pressure supplied by the pump. A driver may notice whining noises at low-speed levels, i.e. when parking your car or driving at a slower speed and turning the vehicle.

Lack of lubrication can also result in grinding or groaning noises when turning the steering wheel. 

How to Fix it?

Diagnose the issue to confirm that the power steering pump is the issue. The pump should then be replaced, along with any other damaged parts. Refill the steering system with the appropriate fluid and bleed it to remove air. You can also follow the step-by-step guide to change the power steering pump.

Failed Steering Rack

steering rack failure
If the steering rack fails, drivers may hear a clicking or popping sound when steering their vehicles

The steering rack is an essential part of the steering system. It translates the rotational motion of the steering wheel into the lateral movement of the front wheels, allowing you to steer the vehicle.

When the steering rack fails, it can cause various symptoms, including a popping or clicking sound when turning the steering wheel. Other possible causes of clicking or popping sounds when turning the steering wheel include worn suspension components, damaged CV joints, or a low power steering fluid level. 

How to Fix it?

If you are experiencing this symptom, it is essential to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic to determine the underlying cause and ensure its timely repair.

Loose Steering Belt

drive belt causing a whining or squealing noise
A worn-out drive belt can also cause a slip and noise while turning the steering wheel

The steering belt, also known as the drive or serpentine belt, powers various components in the engine, including the power steering pump. If the steering belt is loose, it may slip when you turn the steering wheel, causing the steering pump to work harder and produce a whining or squealing noise.

The squealing sound while turning the steering wheel may become louder toward one side or when accelerating the vehicle. 

How to fix it?

If you suspect a loose or bad serpentine belt is causing the noise, you should have it inspected. The professional mechanic will help tighten the belt or replace it. It’s essential to address issues with the steering belt timely, as a loose or damaged belt can cause other problems in the engine and may even lead to a breakdown.

determine the cause behind sounds when turning the steering wheel
When you suspect a sound while turning the steering wheel, try determining the cause quickly to get a repair timely

Sounds when turning the steering wheel indicate a failing power steering system. These sounds may range from a low humming or whining noise to a loud screeching or grinding sound. Some common causes of these sounds include a worn-out power steering pump, leaking fluid, damaged steering components, or misaligned wheels. Therefore, you must the necessary fixes when the steering wheel makes a sound while turning.

When buying a used car for sale in the UAE, get the vehicle inspected to avoid such car issues. Besides, the causes behind noises when turning the steering wheel are minor car problems that can cause significant issues. 

Stay tuned to the dubizzle cars blog to learn more about different noises from the vehicle and their possible fixes.


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