Steering Wheel Noise

When you hear a new noise in your car it is a good idea to turn down the radio and continue driving normally to try and determine where the noise is coming from, when it occurs, and how to describe it to your mechanic.  Since the steering system in your car is connected to so many things, steering wheel noise can come from lots of different places.  To allow your front wheels to carry the weight of your car, turn, travel with your suspension and deliver power to the ground, there are lots of links and joints that can make noise.

Steering Wheel Noise:

  • Clunks
  • Creeks
  • Crunching
  • Clicking
  • Whining

Clunks

steering wheel noiseClunks are usually associated with worn ball joints.  If the clunk happens right when you turn your steering wheel it could be a bad tie rod end or other ball joints in your steering linkage.  If the clunk happens while driving over a bump it could be a ball joint connected to your steering knuckle.

Creeks

Creeks are most often associated with worn bushings like the ones connecting your control arm with your frame or on the shackles of a leaf spring suspension.  This usually is from dried, cracked or missing rubber bushings allowing metal on metal contact.  If the bushing is intact you may simply be able to grease the bushing and bolt to quiet things down.

Crunching

If you hear crunching from just behind your steering wheel you probably have a bad clock spring.  The clock spring in your car is an electrical connection that maintains contact even if one side is rotated.  It consists of a round contact pad on the steering column and a small spring on your steering wheel that makes contact.  If that spring is broken or damage it will crunch as it travels in a circle and should be replaced.

Clicking

CV Joint, steering wheel noiseIf you hear clicking sounds when turning come from out near your wheels it often is an indication of a worn CV joint.  A constant velocity, or CV joint, is a special joint in your axle designed to allow your front wheels to turn left and right as well as travel up and down with your suspension while still allowing power to be transmitted to the wheels.  When this joint wears out it will start to click when your wheels are turned tightly in either direction.

Whining

Whining is most often associated with a problem in your power steering system.  The most common problem you’ll find with your power steering system is a low fluid level.  You can check the fluid either by an indicator line on the outside of the power steering reservoir or by opening the cap and using the dipstick under the cap.  If you find a low power steering fluid level it would be caused by a leak.  The easiest and least expensive way to seal a leak in your power steering system is to use BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak.
BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak

 

 

 

 

You can also find BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak at local auto parts stores like:

  • AutoZone
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Bennett Auto Supply
  • CarQuest Auto Parts
  • NAPA Auto Parts
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Pep Boys
  • Fast Track
  • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts Specialists
  • S&E Quick Lube Distributor
  • DYK Automotive
  • Fisher Auto Parts stores
  • Auto Plus Auto Parts stores
  • Hovis Auto & Truck Supply stores
  • Salvo Auto Parts
  • Advantage Auto Stores
  • Genuine Auto Parts stores
  • Bond Auto Parts stores
  • Tidewater Fleet Supply
  • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts
  • Any Part Auto Parts
  • Consumer Auto Parts

Pictures Provided By:

ball_joints.jpg – By Denis_prof – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link
cv_joint.jpg – By Yanik88 – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link