Steering Wheel Noise

Noisy SteeringWhen you hear a new noise in your car it is a good idea to turn down the radio and drive as normal to try and determine where the noise is coming from, when it occurs and how to describe it to your mechanic.

This article will address the many sounds you may experience from your steering wheel, or when you are turning corners in general.  First, it is important to understand all the things happening with the front wheels of your car, or the “front end” as most mechanics will call it.  Your front wheels have to be able to move in all sorts of directions.  They have to be able to move up and down as your suspension travels.  If you are going over a speed bump, both wheels will move together, but if you are going over a pothole, one wheel needs to be able to jump down then back up while the opposite side wheel stays flat and level.  Also, your wheels need to be able to pivot along their axis to allow your car to turn, but not the same amount.  When you are turning, your outside wheel will roll in a wider radius circle than your inside wheel meaning when your turn your steering wheel it has to adjust each tire a different amount to make your turn smooth and quiet.  All this needs to happen while the tire is rotating at thousands of RPM and caring the weight of your vehicle on an uneven road.  Also, if your vehicle is front wheel drive, a shaft, or axle, needs to be connected to the center of the wheel to drive it along.

This monumental task is completed using lots of arms, linkages, very special joints and unique connections.  Even during normal driving all of these joints and moving parts will have a lot of pressure and go through a lot of motion to keep your ride comfortable.  All this pressure and movement can cause many of the parts to regularly wear out, especially if you drive on rough roads, often hit potholes or construction or just drive aggressively in general.  As these components wear down, they will usually warn you before they fail, you just have to know what to listen for.

The one noise you’ll hear even in new cars may be when your steering wheel is turned all the way to one side.  Your wheels have metal stops on them, sort of like the rubber stopper you have on the wall that stops your garage door from opening too far.  This keeps the steering linkage from over extending and makes sure your tire wont rub on the frame or body of your car when turned sharply.  When the wheel is pushed up against this stop, the power steering system will be working hard to push against it.  This usually creates a whining noise as the pump is working more than normal.  To solve this, once your wheels are turned all the way, stop turning your steering wheel.  If you start to hear this sound all the time, you likely have low power steering fluid, and possible a fluid leak.  If you discover a power steering fluid leak, use BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak to fix the leak.

Steering LinkageAnother noise you may hear coming from your steering wheel is a rattling, clicking or clunking.  These sounds are usually a symptom of worn joints in your steering linkage or front suspension.  There are joints in your steering column that allow the steering column to change directions from your steering wheel down to the steering box or rack and pinion.  These joints may have become worn or loose over time.  Also, after your steering box there are joints that connect your drag link or tie rods to the steering knuckle.  These joints also wear out with time.  The best way to test for any of these joints being bad is to turn the steering wheel back and forth slightly while your car is parked.  If you can turn the wheel a significant amount without the tires turning, or hear the same clunking or clicking noise these joints likely need to be replaced.  Lastly, the suspension joints or bushings may be worn on your actual control arms or suspension components.  These joints are more difficult to diagnose.  You often need to have that wheel completely lifted off the ground and a significant amount of pressure needs to be put on the tire or joint to test it for play.  These tests should usually be left to a mechanic with the proper tools.  All of these joints can translate clunks, clicks, or rattles into your steering wheel as you drive if they are worn out or in need of replacement.

Turning NoiseLastly, if your vehicle is front wheel, 4-wheel or all-wheel drive the noises you are hearing may be coming from the axles.  As we discussed earlier the front wheel needs to be able to move around quite a bit so the joints connecting the front axle to the front wheel are often complicated.  In all but some older 4 wheel drive vehicles this is done through a constant velocity, or CV joint.  The CV joint is a joint that allows the front wheel to pivot in all directions to a certain angle while maintaining constant axle speed.  Since the CV joint is constantly spinning and articulating they will wear out and need to be changed as part of your regular maintenance.  You can test a CV joint by turning your vehicle as sharply as you can and driving slowly in a circle.  If you hear crunching or popping coming from down by your wheel, you have a bad CV joint.  If you are hearing this noise during normal corning, or turning left or right from a stop sign you also need to replace your CV joints.  If you are hearing that same clunk or crunch during normal driving or are getting abnormal vibrations you should consider having your CV joints checked as soon as possible.

The front end of your vehicle is an impressive combination of arms, joints, linkages and bushings.  All of these components need to work together to make sure your vehicle can turn, stop and drive as you expect it to.  Making sure all these components are in good working order will keep you safe and can help reduce tire wear and road noise.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms check these components for wear or play as soon as possible.

Pictures provided by: dunlapautomotive.com, www.autoevolution.com and www.schoolbuspartsco.com

Related Posts

86 responses to “Steering Wheel Noise

  1. I have used Blue Devil rear main sealer on my 1988 Ford bronco 2 and it worked great.I still have a little left in the bottle about 2 oz. Can I use the rest of what’s left in the power steering system to stop it from leaking?

  2. I have a 2001Saturn. I have a real bad whinning in my wheels when I turn both to the left and the right also its whinning just when I’m driving straight not as bad as when I’m turning to the left or to the right tho. A mechanic said it was my wheel barriers. I had them replaced on the left hand side but are still having the whinning sound even worse now! Can u help me out with a little information on this thank you

    1. Peggy,
      Thanks for your question about your 01 Saturn. The noise you are hearing could very well be from a bad wheel bearing. Late 90s and early 2000’s Saturns are known to have wheel bearings go bad frequently so I don’t think you wasted your money having 1 replaced. You might consider replacing the wheel bearing on the other side as well to try and solve the problem. The other problem could be your power steering system. Your power steering pump will whine when it’s low on fluid, and even more so when you are turning the wheels. Try checking your power steering fluid level by using the dip stick under the power steering reservoir cap. If it is low, refilling your system should help quite down the pump. Also, add BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak with your new power steering fluid to make sure you don’t have a low fluid level again. You can get BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak at your local auto parts store, or online here: http://bit.ly/13eKpuJ.

  3. I have a 2005 ford focus that has recently started making a screeching noise as I turn left or right and sometimes even as I drive straight? Today it seemed as though the wheels were a little out of control as I was driving, it felt concerning and unsafe. Not sure how to explain…like maybe when you hydroplane while the weather conditions are wet. And it could be a possibility as it is raining in my area but I wasn’t really going over any build-up on the roads. Any ideas with the issues I have stated? Thanks in advance.

    1. Jenny,

      Thanks for your question about your Focus. I’m sorry it’s making funny sounds, but the way you described the noise, it sounds like your engine belt is squealing and based on the connection with your steering feeling funny, like the squealing issue may be coming from your power steering system.

      I would start by checking the power steering fluid level. The reservoir should be in the back on the engine bay on the passenger side. If you open the cap with your car off there should be a dipstick underneath the cap. If you have a low power steering fluid level, add the manufacturer’s recommended type of power steering fluid along with BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak to make sure you stop the leak and don’t end up here again.

      Also, even if you do fix the other problem, your engine belt may need to be replaced anyhow. For more information about your engine belt and why it squeals, try reading our article about that here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/engine-belts-squeal/.

      If you have any more questions, please leave us a comment on the bottom of the article listed above.

  4. I’m having a grinding/crunching noise in my 2007 Ford Escape. It happens any time I turn my steering wheel – with the car moving or stopped and with the car on or turned off. It’s not so loud as to notice over the radio or kids in the back but sitting in a parking lot with the car off and by myself, it is quite noticeable and does sound like a horrible grinding or crunching sound that seems to originate somewhere in the steering column and resonates up the shaft. It’s sort of high-pitched and definitely sounds metallic.

    I’ve seen “solutions” ranging from CV axles to worn bearings to lubricating the steering linkage to plastic rubbing on plastic around the steering column to just sell the darn thing! Any actual ideas as to where to start looking for the problem? I’m no mechanic but I, along with my dad who works at a parts place, have replaced the CV axle on the driver’s side a couple of years ago.

    1. Neal,

      Thanks for your question about your Escape. The grinding sound you are describing could very well be a problem in your steering column. Unfortunately steering columns are very different from vehicle to vehicle and year to year so it is difficult to identify the problem without actually looking at it. You should be able to see where the steering column comes through the fire wall and heads down to your steering rack. If there are any joints in that column that you can see and get to, you can try spraying them with some light oil, like WD-40, and see if the sound improves or changes. That would at least help you identify the problem.

      The other possibility is that you have a worn wheel bearing. Usually that will make a humming or grinding sound while driving, but in your case it may only be when stopped. For more information you can check out our article on bad wheel bearings here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/bad-wheel-bearing/

      If you have any other questions, please leave us another comment and we will get back to you.

  5. I have a 99 mercury cougar. Every time I turn my left front wheel makes a popping crunching noise and also sometimes when I hit my breaks as well. Any idea what it could be? And how long can I go without fixing it since I’m waiting on taxes to come in to get things fixed on my car. Thanks.

    1. Heidi,

      Thanks for your question about your Mercury Cougar. The sound you are describing sounds like a classic worn CV joint. As you read in this article, broken CV joints often crunch or pop when going around corners and the sharper you turn, the worse the noise will be. You often can drive for quite a while with a broken CV joint before it fails catastrophically. You should get it fixed as soon as possible since it is broken, and if it fails you will have to get your car towed. If the crunching or popping gets worse, starts to happen when going straight, or you start to get vibrations, you should have it fixed right away.

  6. I have a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe that when I turn left and right it makes a clicking noise would that be my cv joints

    1. Kimbel,

      That does sound like a CV joint problem. Unfortunately, there is no other way of testing the CV joints than turning in a tight circle and listening for the clicking or crunching sound. If you are hearing the clicking sounds it’s probably time to have your CV joints replaced.

  7. I plan to use your power steering stop leak Because I have had to replace my power steering fluid again in the past 2 months.

    I’m having a squeaky grinding sound when I turn my steering wheel left or right. I don’t know if this is connected to why I’ve had to replace the steering fluid or not.

    My truck is a 1998 Toyota Tacoma 4×4…..with almost 300,000 miles on it. It now has its 1st oil leak.

    The plastic parts have started to break down….such as door handles.

    Any ideas as to what might be making the squeaky grinding sound?

    1. Mary,

      Thanks for your question about your 98 Tacoma. If the squeaky grinding noise you are hearing changes with engine speed it would make sense that it is connected to your loss of power steering fluid and would indicate a bad power steering pump.

      From your description, it sounds more like the noise is coming from one of your steering components. There are a series linkages, arms and joints that connect the mechanism your steering wheel turns to your wheels. As your vehicle gets old those joints can start to wear down and dry out causing creeks, squeaks or clunks. For some ideas about how to identify a worn steering component you can check out our article about that here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/squeaky-suspension/.

      If you have any more questions, please leave us a comment on the bottom of that article.
      -BlueDevil Pro

  8. I have a 2002 ford taurus when I steer to the right and left my steering wheel makes a rubbing noise like my steering needs oiled.

    1. Diane,

      Thanks for your question about your 2002 Ford Taurus. From your description, it sounds like the rubbing noise is coming from inside your car behind your steering wheel. If this is the case, you should consider having it looked at by a dealership. The only way to check and see what the problem is would be to remove the steering wheel which includes removing the air bag and should only be done by a trained mechanic. Please let us know if you have any other questions!
      -BlueDevil Pro

  9. Hi, I have a 1993 Ford Aerostar with electronic 4-wheel drive. Today on my way home it started making a terrible clunking noise that I could feel through the floor board as well. It only happens when I turn to the left. Then it started making a chinking noise while driving straight. It got to the point that I parked it and called for a ride because I didn’t feel safe driving it. Any clue what it may be? Thanks.

    1. Dallas,

      Thanks for your question about your 93 Aerostar! You were smart to park your car when you did to make sure you didn’t do any further damage. The way you described the clunk it sounds like a drivetrain issue. Since it started only when turning left, it is possible that your front axle is causing the noise. On the 4 wheel drive system on your Aerostar, the front hubs are always locked meaning the axles are always spinning so if they are broken they will cause problems even if you are not in 4 wheel drive. The other possibility is that one of the u-joints in your driveshafts is starting to fail allowing the driveshaft to vibrate and clunk. You can check for this by holding the brake firmly and shifting from reverse to drive and back. If you hear clunking during while you shift you likely need new u-joints.

  10. After freezing temperatures I noticed a clicking sound in my 2007 mustang. It only clicks when I turn the steering wheel and it is not associated with the tires rotating. Could it just be cold or is something seriously wrong?

    1. Amy-

      We recommend first checking the inner & outer tie rods and also the ball joints. There is a possibility that it could be the steering rack bushings but I would check the other areas first.

      Thank you for your question!

      -BDP

  11. I have a 97 honda accord and every time i go left through a roundabout i hear a sort of crunching/grinding noise along with an often intense vibration. it only gets worse the sharper i turn left. doesnt happen when i turn right though. Wondering what the problem might be and how long i could wait before fixing it or if it should be done ASAP. Thanks in advance

    1. Noah-

      Thanks for your question about your Honda Accord! The sound you are experiencing sounds like a worn CV joint. When a CV joint is worn out it tends to crunch or click when going around corners, especially when turning sharply. Badly worn CV joints also can cause vibrations at higher speeds, even when going in a straight line. Based on your description of the problem, it sounds like your CV joints are badly worn so we would recommend having your CV joints replaced right away to make sure you vehicle is safe to drive.

      For more information about CV joints and the noises they make, check out our article about that here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/steering-wheel-noise/.

      Thanks!

      -BDP

  12. I have a 2007 pontiac g6 4cyl when driving I am hearing a whirring sound coming from the passenger side front end. My mechanic said the wheel bearings are fine, but it continues to make this noise while driving. I know I need to replace the front strut bearings & sway bar links. Could it be these 2 things making the noise? Also my car has 17 inch rims with low profile tires. If I want standard tires (not low profile) do I need to get a new rim as well or just new tires?

    1. Amy-

      Thanks for your question about your Pontiac G6! Usually whirring noises describe something that is rotating which doesn’t include your sway bar links or struts so it is unlikely that those are related. If the whirring is related to speed and not engine RPM then it is possible that it is your tire tread that is causing the noise rather than your wheel bearing. Try rotating your tires front to back and see if the noises goes away or at least moves to the back of your car. If the noise is consistent with engine speed, try checking out our article about noisy engine belts here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/engine-belts-squeal/ to determine where the noise is coming from.

      As for the tire size, there should be a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb listing the tire size that originally came on the car. It is best to stick to the stock tire size to ensure proper braking and speedometer operation. The 2006 G6 did have room for slightly larger wheels and tires so you probably do have some room to use a regular profile tire on your 17” wheels. You should always ask the tires shop that mounts your tires for advice with that as they are the experts.

      -BDP

  13. Hello, I drive a 2000 civic lx. I hit a curb on the left tire and had to do some maintenance to get the car to drive straight without pulling to the left and straighten up the camber. I replaced the crossmember because it was bent from hitting the curb and it solved the pulling and camber problem. In order to do that I had to remove the steering rack, so I replaced the inner and outer tie rods on it and put it back. Now I hear a terrible rubbing noise when I turn my wheel all the way to the left. Of course, I have to be in motion to hear it but I have yet to figure out what it is… Also I should probably note that when I re-linked the steering shaft to the to rack I did not have a partner to hold it for me so the steering wheel is turned to the right 60 degrees. Could this have anything to do with it? Thanks

    1. Tyler-

      Great job in getting things fix and your alignment straightened out, that will keep you safe and help save tire wear in the future. First, your wheel being turned 60 degrees to the right will not affect your steering in anyway so you should be safe there. For the rubbing sound you are hearing, the first thing we recommend trying is to get a professional alignment if you haven’t yet. Even if your wheels look straight, they may still be out of alignment causing them to rub on something when you are turning. This will also help you identify if there are any other things that are bent like the control arm, or your strut.

      The rubbing sound is most likely your tire rubbing on a suspension component that is out of place from your accident. First, start by checking the back side of your tire for wear marks and rub spots to give you an idea of where to look. You can also try turning your wheel all the way to the left with your car parked and looking underneath for a contact point. Lastly, don’t neglect checking the plastic shielding in your wheel well and under your car. Some of that may have come loose and be rubbing on the tire or ground while you are driving causing the sound you are hearing.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  14. Hello,

    I just had the front axle on my ’97 Chrysler Sebring convertible replaced. The garage had installed the wrong axle before which caused the ABS light to stay on. I also had the driver side control arm and something else (tie rod?) replaced. Now, when the car is moving and the steering is either straight ahead or to the right there is a whirring sound; it is silent when steering is to the left. The garage said it was probably “brake dust” when I stopped in and they could not hear anything because it was raining heavily at the time. Should I be worried? They did install the wrong axle after all! Thank you!

    1. Kelsey-

      If you are still hearing odd noises coming from your vehicle I would return to the shop to have the worked checked; especially in knowing the work was not done properly in the first place.

      Another option would be to have the problem diagnosed with a different certified mechanic to have it diagnosed. If it turns out to be related to what was repaired then I would take your Chrysler back to the original shop where it was repaired.

      Thank You!

      -BDP

  15. hello thanks for your sight great info on here i have a 2002 mercury mountaineer and when i turn to the left or right it makes a very loud poping noise and it feels like that something is catching to the point that it feels like something is going to snap the cv joints look fine the rubbers are still good on them and dont look like there leaking anywhere.it seems to be a lot worse when it is hot outside ,when it is cold it hardly does it at all worked on cars a lot over the years but have no idea what this may be .maybe low transfer case oil ,or brakes getting in a bind .any help app thanks

    1. Andy-

      Thanks for your question about your 02 Mountaineer! It sounds like you’ve already checked the usual suspects for problems like this, like your tie rods, ball joints and CV joints. If those all check out fine it could be a problem with your 4×4 system engaging which would cause turning to be difficult. The 4×4 module on the Mountaineer is known to have a few problems, so this may be causing the popping you are experiencing. To test this theory you can remove the fuses that control the 4×4 and go for a drive and see if it fixes your problem. If that does stop the popping from happening then you should have the 4wd module replaced. If that isn’t your problem, you can also try giving your local Ford dealership a call to see if your vehicle has any recalls or service bulletins about this problem as it seems to be relatively common.

      -BDP

  16. Hi i have a Suzuki Swift Style. Recently i have been hearing a knocking sound in my car whenever i am driving on a rocky road. Went to my mechanic, he made a necessary checks and it all boiled down to the shocks. After that, i am now hearing a sound when i am turning my steering wheel either right or left. What could be the cause.

    1. Janek-

      Based on how you described the sound and when it was happening, we’re assuming the noise you are hearing when turning your steering wheel is also a suspension problem. It may be worth taking your vehicle back to the mechanic that changed your shocks and make sure they were installed correctly and he didn’t overlook anything.

      If the shocks are good and you are hearing the noise while stopped and turning your wheel, it could be that your tie rod ends are worn out and need to be replaced as well. If you are hearing the noise while moving and it is a clicking or crunching noise, it could be that you need new CV joints. For more noises the front end of your car can make, and their causes, try reading our article about all the noises the front end of your vehicle can make here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/steering-wheel-noise/.

      Thank You!

      -BDP

  17. I have a 2010 Chevy Traverse. It started off making a whining hum when i took sharp right turns but now it seems to do this for most turns, left and right. Thoughts?

    1. Sheri-

      The most likely culprit is either bad bearings or the power steering pump. We recommend having these checked out by a certified mechanic.

      Thank You!

      -BDP

  18. Hello,

    I have a 2005 Chevy Aveo. I get a very loud, distinct humming (not grinding, screeching, etc.) when I move the steering wheel to the left while the car is in motion. It is very acute and seems to “rub” on something as the wheel/tire turns. Slightly back to the right and the noise is gone.

    Any ideas? It does not seem to be a CV joint or the wheel bearings, based on what I am reading.

    1. JDS-

      Thanks for your question about your Chevy Aveo. The humming noise you are describing sounds very much like a wheel bearing issue. Even if you check for wheel play by jacking the wheel off the ground and checking for a wobble the bearing may be just starting to go back. That would make sense for why you hear the noise in a corner, but in a straight line you don’t. If it is a wheel bearing issue it will get steadily worse until it makes the humming noise while traveling straight as well.

      The other possibility is that part of the plastic paneling in your wheel well or under the front bumper is rubbing on the tire or catching the air while you are cornering. You can check that by pulling on the plastic panel under the wheel well and under the bumper to see if any of it is loose. If you find loose panel you can easily secure it with sheet metal screws or zip ties to see if that was the problem.

      Thanks!

      -BDP

  19. I have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata that, while turning the steering wheel left or right, the column clicks very badly. If I go over a bump or railroad track it clicks/rattles very badly. We had the CV Joints replaced on both sides last year, So I know this can’t be the problem. Can you give me any idea what the problem can be? Thank you.

    1. James-

      Thanks for your question about your 2011 Sonata. The first thing to do would be to check and see if your car is still under warranty as the dealership may be able to fix the problem at no cost to you. Also, the clicking you are hearing seems to be a relatively common among Sonatas around your year so you may also consider calling the dealership to see if there are any recalls or service bulletins out for your vehicle and the steering system.

      If the noise is coming from directly behind your steering wheel then it could be the clock spring. The clock spring is an electrical connection that connects the buttons on your steering wheel and airbag while still allowing the wheel to spin. When this goes bad it can cause clicking or crunching when you turn the steering wheel.

      The other possibility is that the problem is coming from the electric assist motor for your power steering system. It is located on your steering column by the firewall. If this motor is going bad or the connections have gotten loose it could cause the clicking you are hearing and would come from lower on the steering column. Unfortunately this style of power steering is relatively specific to Hyundais so it still may be a problem only a Hyundai dealer can help you with.

      -BDP

  20. I have a 2011 Ford Fusion. I have been hearing a popping noise the last few days when I turn but no vibrations. I figured it was the CV joint but now I don’t hear the popping noise anymore. I turned sharply into parking spots at my apartment to try and see if I could hear the popping noise but there was no noise whatsoever. Would it just stop making the noise like that? I

    1. Holly-

      Thanks for your question about your Fusion. It is odd that a noise like that would simply stop all of the sudden, but it usually indicates the problem wasn’t a huge issue yet. Most of the time intermittent popping sounds are more of a suspension issue and whatever broken part was causing the problem has found a place to settle for the time being. If the noise starts again after an aggressive maneuver or large bump it would make sense that it was a suspension component that was causing the problem.

      You are on the right track for checking your CV joints. It would be smart to keep taking sharp turns in both directions to check for CV issues to make sure that isn’t your problem. If turns stay quiet, checkout our article on suspension noise here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/squeaky-suspension/.

      Thank You!

      -BDP

  21. I have a 2004 Chevy Cavalier, and I have heard that roaring whine from the driver’s side while that you have mentioned could be a power steering problem. I am going to get that checked, but at the same time, when I am traveling on the Interstate at speeds of 55-65 mph, I can also feel a slightly rough ride, coming from the same wheel. That roughness increases as the speed increases. I didn’t think a low power steering fluid level could cause that, so I wanted to check with you to see If you had any ideas. I have considered bearings, but a mechanic told me they seemed fine (though I will definitely get a second opinion on that, if you recommend it). It doesn’t seem to have the tell-tale grinding or popping of a CV joint, but I am still allowing for that to be a possibility as well. Please share any suggestions?

    1. Gene-

      Thanks for your question about your Chevy Cavalier. It sounds like you’re on the right track with getting things checked. Whining noises are usually power steering problems but the sound would change with engine speed not vehicle speed so you should hear the same whine driving slowly as you do on the highway. The roaring sound, especially at highway speed is usually a good indication of a failing wheel bearing. If a wheel bearing is in really bad shape, you can jack that particular wheel the ground, grab it at the 12 and 6 o’clock position and try to push and pull it. If you can wobble the wheel, or feel any play, the bearing is bad and should be replaced soon.

      If you don’t get crunching or clicking while turning sharply then your CV joints are likely fine. The other possibility to consider is that you may have uneven wear on your tires. If you haven’t regularly rotated your tires the tread can wear unevenly causing a rough ride, vibrations and a lot of road noise. You can easily check to see if this is the problem by rotating your tires front to back and see if the sound changes or moves to the back of your car.

      Thanks!

      -BDP

  22. Hello.
    I’ll greatly appreciate an advice that could narrow the search for what causing snapping/ popping sound which seem to coming from steering wheel when doing low speed left, right turn, roundabout etc. Its almost guaranteed to happen when weight of the car shifts to the front.Like pressure that builds in steering column , snaps, realises. One click each side of the turn. No free play , steering is tight itself. No other suspicious noises. Silent when rotating being parked.cv joints seem to be all right.Car is Subaru Impreza 2004 with 86000km on it.
    Any advice will be appreciated.
    Cheers

    1. Egor-

      Thanks for your question about your 2004 Subaru. Based on your description of the popping sound and the steering feel, it seems most likely that the problem is either coming one of your strut mounts or a sway bar end link. Your strut mounts could be worn and as you turn and brake you load up your front suspension causing the popping sound as things shift. Unfortunately the upper shock mounts are difficult to inspect without removing the struts. The other possibility, and maybe more likely problem is that your sway bar end links are worn and in need of replacement. Your sway bar is not loaded or under stress unless your vehicle is cornering or on uneven ground. Turning one way may be enough to cause the end link to shift causing a clunk, then turning back will cause it to clunk again. Your sway bar is not connected to any steering components so it will not affect the steering feel.

      It is also possible that one of the universal joints in your steering column needs to be lubricated or replaced but that would usually make your steering feel loose as well. You can check the universal joints in your steering column by following the column up from you steering rack and watching the joints for play as a friend turns the steering wheel side to side.

      Thanks again and please let us know if we can answer any further questions!

      -BDP

  23. We know that it is easier to turn a vehicle that is not equipped with power steering when the vehicle is in motion therefore it would stand to reason that turning the wheel while parked or at a stand still would place more stress on the joints and other components resulting in premature wear. Is this correct?

  24. I have a 2000 accord LX V6 with 103,000 miles, and I have been noticing a rough ride lately. I thought it was my worn tires, so I had them replaced but the ride stayed just as rough. My steering also seems to go a tad squirrely every now and then, particularly through curves/turns. Along with the ride, it also makes a lot of what I thought was tire noise, but now am thinking might be bearing noise. I also noticed that one tire in particular was worn really messed up, while the rest were worn evenly. I do drive a bit aggressively, and the roads around here are horrible, so it would make sense if the bearings are failing.

    1. Melissa,
      You may have a bad wheel bearing, but usually those hum when they go bad and there is little to no noticeable difference in ride quality. For a quick read on bad wheel bearings, check out our article about that here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/bad-wheel-bearing/.

      In your case, we would recommend checking your shocks and your front end alignment. If your alignment is off it can cause your tires to wear differently and possibly even some extra road noise. This is especially important with new tires because a good alignment will help them to last longer. The other thing to check would be your shocks. If they are in need of replacement they could be causing your squirrelly steering and your rough ride. Shocks also tend to go bad more quickly in areas that have very rough roads.

  25. Hi. I have a 2002 Ford Escape that when I turn the steering wheel, moreso going to the left than the right, I hear what I can best describe as the noise when you rub two balloons together; rubber moving on rubber. I haven’t noticed any trouble steering or drifting, and this noise seems to be worse when the car has been sitting for a while and it’s dry outside. I keep checking the fluid level and it’s fine and I also had the ball joints replaced a few months ago. Any suggestions?

    1. Kathy-

      Thanks for your question about your 2002 Ford Escape. The problem you are experience isn’t uncommon on Ford trucks. There are friction surfaces right behind your steering wheel that help turning the steering wheel feel smoother. These surfaces sometimes need to be lubricated to keep them quite and the wheel turning smoothly. This issue shouldn’t effect drivability or be dangerous, just annoying.

      The Ford services manuals specify a particular type of lubricant to be used on those surfaces and lubricating them requires the removal of your steering wheel and air bag which can be a tricky operation. If you don’t feel comfortable working around an air bag, you should take your Escape to a dealership or trusted mechanic to do the work.

      -BDP

  26. I have a vibration sound in the steering wheel when going over a bumpy road. The sound is like a lower vibration and was wondering what it could be.

    Also, I hear a vibration noise coming from the dash on the passengers side as well and am not sure what that could be.

    I have a 2011 Toyota RAV4. Thanks

    1. Harris,

      Thanks for your question about your RAV4. With so many vibrations coming from different places, it sounds like you may need to replace your front shocks to smooth our your ride. Try reading our article here about suspension and shocks here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/squeaky-suspension/. If you have any other questions please leave us a comment on that article.

  27. I have a 2008 Town & Country Limited, and it makes a combination screech + popping noise (loud) when turning hard in either direction. My first thought was CV joints, but my mechanic says they are fine. He says it’s just a lot of pressure build up in the power steering and it’s harmless, but I find it annoying and would like to do something about it. Also, the van makes a low wah-wah sound while idling, which I figured was low power steering fluid. The Limited trim doesn’t have a user-serviceable reservoir, and the mechanic assures me the power steering fluid is not low. There are no apparent fluid leaks. Any idea what these issues might be?

    1. Robbie,

      Thanks for your question about your Town & Country. Usually popping noises associated with steering indicate a joint is broken somewhere, usually a tie rod end, and in need of replacement. The screeching is probably from your engine belt and could just be an indication of an overworked power steering system due to the broken joint or a clog in the system. It also may be in indication that belt is worn out and in need of replacement. Check out this article to learn more about belt noises: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/engine-belts-squeal/

  28. I have a 97 acura tl 3.2 when sitting stationary and slightly rock the steering wheel back and forth it sounds clunky. My power steering fluid leaks slightly could it be because of that? Maybe not enough pressure if it’s low.

    1. Charlene-

      Yes, if the power steering fluid level is not where it should be you can experience several noises and symptoms. We recommend adding 1/3 of a bottle of BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak and then refilling the power steering fluid to the proper level (using the factory recommended fluid).

      Thank You!

      -BDP

  29. I have a 2000 Chevy Tracker, RWD, I was making a right turn on a type of ramp going up to get to the Mall. Going MAYBE 15 miles an hour. I hear a LOUD POP. Now when I make right turns or sometimes just while driving, I hear small pops. It’s coming from the front passenger side of my vehicle. I was told it couldn’t be a CV Axel since its a RWD and the noise is coming from the front. If I take it easy on turns it usually wont pop, but I also can’t drive my car like that forever obviously lol. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!! 🙂

    1. Jenn-

      If your truck is real wheel drive then it doesn’t have an axle in the front or CV joints so the pop you are hearing must be coming from a suspensions component. If you haven’t, check out our article about suspension noises here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/squeaky-suspension/.

      Identifying where your popping noise is coming from can be difficult as it will be hard to duplicate while your car is parked. Since you hear the noise louder when turning you might start by checking your sway bar end links. The other most likely possibility would be one of the ball joints on your control arm. If you are looking under your car look for torn rubber, torn boots and exposed joints. You can also try securing your Tracker and jacking the front passenger side wheel off the ground. Making sure your car is very secure, try pulling and pushing on the wheel in different directions and see where it moves to help you figure out what might be loose and causing the pop you are hearing.

      Thank You!

      -BDP

  30. Thank you so much for your help

    I happen to hear a noise which is hard to explain. It is somewhat of a plastic noise. For example when you open and close your coat zipper fast. Very similar to that noise. Or for instance when you rub both of your tennis shoes rubbers together which makes a funny squeaky noise.

    I have an Honda Accord 2003 Ex-L V6 with about 160k. I brought it to the mechanic already and they couldn’t find the noise. They tracked the noise to the lower part of the front car which looked l ike it came from the 3 small metal hoses which go from left to right on the lower chassis of the car.

    I hear it mostly there when we open the hood. I started to hear it as if it came from the steering wheel. Now I’ve changed the tensionner which was cracked and also belt and the noise was still there. I’ve changed the steering pump with a friend and the noise looked l ike it dissapeared again. Though after a week or two, it came back. From what we checked then, the oil levels were g ood. Now I’m not sure where it comes from since I don’t see a leak.

    Could it be that something went in the power steering fluid? They did two steering fluid replacements and added something too. Can it come from somewhere else?

    Thank you again for your help. This noise is driving me nuts at times and I’m not sure what more to change. Somehow it looks l ike my gas is used much faster when I turn on the A/C if that helps find what is causing this.

    1. Also, I wanted to add

      I hear this noise when I turn the steering wheel right or left. Not on a straight line.
      Thanks again.

    2. Arturo,

      Thanks for your question about your Honda Accord. Based on the location and the sound you are describing it sounds like the sound is coming from your power steering cooler. Your power steering fluid is pumped from the pump down to your steering rack and then sent through the 3 small metal hoses in front of your car that you described to be cooled before it returns to your power steering fluid reservoir. Since these metal tubes have a small diameter and tight bends it is possible that there is air caught in those lines or a small clog causing the noise you are hearing as fluid is pumped past.

      If everything is working fine in your car it may not be worth changing anything else, but if you really can’t stand the noise, the next best thing to do may be to replace those power steering cooler lines on the front of your car and add new power steering fluid one more time making sure you remove all the air by filling the reservoir and continually turning the wheel from lock to lock.

  31. I hav 2008 Saturn aura Xe..I am experiencing the same sound when i turn both sides..it is the situation when i turn my steering slowly…if the speed is more than 20mph there is no sound..Pls suggest me what to do?. if it is because of brakepads or something else i can change. I changed the front shocks recently..Before then too i heard the same sound ..what will be the reason?

    1. Chak,

      Thanks for your question about your Saturn Aura. If the noise you are hearing is a whining noise, then the sound is coming from your power steering pump. It is an indication of a low fluid level, a clog, or a bad power steering pump. If you find a low power steering fluid level, use BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak (available here: http://store.gobdp.com/power-steering-stop-leak-00232/) to seal the leak.

      If the noise you are hearing is a clunk or a squeak, check out our article about how to diagnose suspension noises here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/squeaky-suspension/.

  32. I have a 2003 Chevy Impala. I just had the front hub assemblies changed the other day due to a whining/humming noise that was very annoying. It starts getting loud around 20-30mph and increases in sound up until normal road noise drowns it out. Even after having the hubs changed the sound remains. Is it possible that my CV axles are bad too? They don’t click when turning at low speed however. Thanks in advance for any assistance you may have.

    1. Joshua,

      It is possible that the noise you are hearing is coming from your CV joints. Try checking them for a torn boot or looking for where grease has been spun out of one. If you have a torn boot but it hasn’t been for long, the lack of lubrication in the CV joint could be causing the hum you are hearing. The other possibility is that the sound is actually coming from your tires. Try having them rotated front to back and see if the noise changes. Not rotating your tires often enough can cause poor tread wear that can make a lot of noise while driving.

  33. I have a Mitsubishi Galant 2001. When I am driving and I turn the steering wheel, I hear a clicking sound. I does not happen when the car is off. Can you tell me what may be wrong?

    1. Olivia-

      Thank you for the question about your 2001 Galant. The clicking sound you hear when turning is probably an indication of a bad CV joint. Usually a broken CV joint is described as a click or a crunch while turning. Sometimes broken CV joints can last a long time after they start making noise but if they fail it can damage other components and leave you stranded so it’s best to have that replaced as soon as you can.

      Thank You!

      -BDP

  34. Hey, I was wondering. I’ve read several of other people’s questions and I kind of feel bad for asking the same one, but I have a 08 pontiac g6. When I turn left or right my where’s make a clicking noise, not multiple clicks. Just one, when the wheel is turning back straight. So would that be the cv joints? If not then any guesses on what it might be? I plan on trying the driving in a circle test when I head out for the day. Whatever it may be would it be possible to just give a average price on what it may cost for it to be checked and or replaced? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Jacob

    1. Jacob-

      Hopefully the circle test gave you some more information, but your problem doesn’t sound like a CV joint. CV joints will click with the rotation of your tires, not your steering wheel and will get faster with vehicle speed. The click you are describing sounds more like a suspension issue. The noise could be in indication you need new tie rods, lower ball joints or even shocks. If you haven’t yet, check out our article about suspension noise here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/squeaky-suspension/.

      Unfortunately it is very difficult for us to give pricing suggestions for your problem as prices can change dramatically based on the model G6 you have, what part of the country you live in etc. We do recommend getting a price quote from a few different garages before you have work done, and check the garages for online reviews before you decide.

      Thanks!

      -BDP

  35. I have a 2011 Toyota Corolla and I recently started hearing a noise in my steering wheel. It sounds like rolling gulf balls, and it occurs when I turn the wheel to either side or while doing a 3 point turn. I have also heard the noise rolling away from the steering wheel when I accelerate the car from a stopped position. Any idea what could be causing this noise?

    Thank you!
    Michelle

    1. Michelle-

      The noise you’re describing is kind of hard to pin point, but we have a few ideas. First if the noise is coming from right behind you’re steering wheel it may be the clock spring. The clock spring is an electrical connection that allows your wheel to spin while still keeping electrical contact with the buttons on the steering wheels. If this is broken it can often crunch or crackle as you turn the wheel. There are also a few joints in your steering column that may be causing the noise but they’re hard to get to without removing a lot of components inside the car, so you may be better off having a dealership check those. You may also consider checking under your car for loose plastics, wiring or cables that may be moving around when you mike tight turns or accelerate.

      Thanks!

      -BDP

  36. My 2002 Ford Escape XLT just recently began “groaning” when I turn the wheel left. Not right. Could be stationary, could be driving – but only at low speeds. Power steering fluid seems to be at the level recommended in the Ford manual. Any thoughts?

    1. Annemarie-

      Thanks for your question about your Ford Escape! The groaning you’re describing actually sounds more like a suspension issue rather than a power steering issue. To start, try reading our article about suspension noise here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/squeaky-suspension/. Based on your description it sounds like the groan is most likely coming from lower ball joint or shock mount on the side you are turning toward when you hear the groan.

      -BDP

  37. I have a 2003 Honda Accord V6. Recently got into a car accident. Hit A curb with the passenger side front wheel, which caused the lower control arm to break and the axel pop out. Fortunately, I was able to replace both parts. upon completion however, when I turned my car on and drove it, I heard a loud hissing sound as well as a grinding sound coming from under the car on the driver side. From Inside the car I hear the hissing sound coming from the steering wheel column by the pedals. After driving it for a couple hours listening to all the noises in silence I noticed my power steering went out. It was very difficult to turn left and right, but softened up while car was in motion. any input is greatly appreciated! Thank you for this resource!

    1. Mike,

      Thanks for your question about your 2003 Accord. First, the problem with your power steering sounds a lot like you have a leak in the system. If it worked for about an hour then stopped, even if it softens up after building some speed, it is an indication that it’s out of fluid. You can try sealing your leak using BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak (available here: http://store.gobdp.com/power-steering-stop-leak-00232/) then topping your reservoir off with the correct type of power steering fluid.

      As for the hissing and grinding sound you’re hearing those could be coming from a variety of places. If you hit a curb hard enough to break your lower control arm and spring a leak in your power steering system it is possible that some other things are out of place in your front end as well. You could start by having a front end alignment done to make sure your wheel is aligned where it is supposed to be and not rubbing on anything. Hissing sounds usually are associated with vacuum leaks, but there shouldn’t be any vacuum lines running by your pedals or steering column. The other possibility is that some of the plastic shielding pieces under your car are actually dragging while you’re driving. You can check these pieces by giving them a good tug from underneath. If any are loose you can use zip ties to secure them to see if your sound goes away.

  38. I bought a used 2002 volkswagen passat 6cyln. Ive only had the car for almost 2 1/2 months. Just yesterday leaving work I noticed my steering wheel felt weird. Then I noticed everytiMe I turn right the steering wheel turns way more then it use to. Its gotten loose as well. One of my axel boot he said was broken so I replaced it. Its still doing the same thing. Sometimes coming out of a turn going straight the vw symbol on steering wheel is not straight but more to the left or right then ill slightly move it back straight. Its just very loose. I didnt hit a pot hole or anything I only work about 15 minutes from so I dont drive a lot. Is my car safe to drive to work until I find a good mechanic. Oh and one more thing when I brake the noise is extremely loud I have to gently hit the brake a far distance back before reaching a stop for no noise to come if I abruptly brake it sounds like big rocks grinding in a blender. Can you please help me.

    1. Syeda,

      Thanks for your question about your 2002 Passat. We don’t recommend driving your vehicle until you can get these problems looked at. The noise you hear while braking indicates its time for new brake pads and rotors and if you drive on worn ones for too long it can be unsafe and cause a lot more damage. Also, the loose steering you’re describing sounds like it might be time for some new steering components, at least tie rod ends but with as much play as you’re describing maybe even more. Once you replace those, a front end alignment will get everything back to normal and your car back to being safe.

      Thanks again for your question!
      -BD Auto Pro

  39. Hi,
    I have a 92 model Honda CRX del sol. Sometimes I hear a rattling sound while driving and turning, mostly to the left. This usually occurs while passing speed bumps or just bumps in the road. At first I assumed the sound came from the exhaust line but not anymore.

    Any ideas?
    Thanks

    1. Jan,

      Thanks for your question about your 92 Del Sol. The sound you’re describing does at first sound like a loose exhaust system. You can try to prove that wrong by grabbing the end of your tailpipe (while the car is cold) and shaking it back and forth and up and down. If you can hear the rattle when you do that then you’ve found your problem and are probably in for a trip to the welder.

      If you’re sure that isn’t the problem you most likely have a loose suspension component somewhere. For more information about noisy suspension components, check out our article about that here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/squeaky-suspension/.

      Thanks again for your question,
      -BD Auto Pro

  40. Hello there. I have a 2011 Subaru Forester with 19K miles. It started to make a grinding noise when I make sharp left turns at low speed such as a 3-point U-turn. At a slightly faster speed at about 20-25 MPH, if I rock the steering wheel so the car moves along gentle S curves, I can also hear the grinding noise but it is very faint. What could this be? Thanks in advance.

    Ken

    1. Ken,

      If the noise you’re hearing only happens while your car is rolling and is coming from the front end somewhere, then our best guess is that you have a bad CV joint and will need to replace an axle. This is a relatively common maintenance item on all Subarus. You can check this for sure by turning in a very tight circle and listening for clicking, crunching or grinding. There is also a slight chance that its simply a little brake noise, so try checking out our article about that here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/squeaking-brakes/.

      Thanks again for your question!
      -BD Auto Pro

  41. Hi I’ve a 2000 Chevy Camaro and just had the poser steering pump replaced because it was leaking the fluid. The replacement did not lasted three days and it did the same exact thing. I took it back to the place where it was install and they told me that I got a defective one and they installed a new one. However, now when I turn it making a grinding noise like it does not have any fluid. There is power steering fluid in the reservoir. I took it back where it got installed and they told me that there is bubbles in the system and that it happens when all the fluids gets flushed out and the bubbles will work them self out. Is this a normal procedure? I’m afraid to drive the car like that because I do not want to cause damage to the gears if its not getting fluids. Could it be that when they placed the seal on the pump they put to much glue and the fluid does not flow properly? Please advice, Thank you so much, Mj

    1. MJ,

      Thanks for your question about your Chevy Camaro. It is normal for power steering systems to take some time to work all the bubbles out of the system. You can expedite the process by turning your steering wheel all the way to one side, then the other multiple times with the engine at a high idle. Make sure to keep you power steering fluid reservoir full during this time as well, otherwise more bubbles will enter the system.

      It is unlikely that the new pump is restricting flow, but it is possible that the defective pump introduced wear products into your power steering system that are now clogging your power steering rack causing the noises you are hearing. If you suspect this is the case, you can try flushing your power steering system to remove the wear products and get things flowing like normal again.

      Thanks again for your question!
      -BD Auto Pro

  42. 2003 Ford Mustang- On hot days when making left or right turns, I hear clicking sounds until I drive straight ahead and the clicking stops. The clicking sounds are coming from outside the car. Also from inside the car I can feel a thumping sound coming from the floorboard, driverside and passenger side when driving. What might the problem be. Midas could not figure it out TWICE!!! already. Any possibilities would be appreciated.

    1. Tanya,

      Thanks for your question about your Mustang. If the clicking sounds are coming from the rear of the car, then our guess would be that you have a bad bearing in the rear differential of your Mustang and it might require a rebuild. The other possibility is that you have a bad wheel bearing, but its kind of a long shot. Try reading our article about bad wheel bearings here: https://www.gobdp.com/blog/diagnosing-electrical-problems/. If that doesn’t sound like the problem, you might consider taking your car to a rear end specialist or a Ford dealer.

      Thanks again for your question!
      -BD Auto Pro

  43. I have a 2003 ford mustang, when making l/r turns I hear a clicking sound outside the car. I can hear even more on very hot days than during the night also can feel a bumping sound coming from the floorboard when driving. What might be my problems.

Comments are closed.