Cars make all sorts of noises, and many of these are normal. However, if you’re hearing a squeaking noise as you turn, it could be a sign of a bigger issue and one you will want to get to the bottom of. If you don’t, you could find yourself in trouble on the roads, and paying a lot of money to get it fixed.
Taking your car to a mechanic is always a good idea if you suspect there is something not right, but if you’d like to work out for yourself why your car squeaks and would like a go at fixing it yourself, keep reading on.
Different Types Of Noises You Might Hear From Your Car
If your hearing a car squeaking noise when turning, you’ll want to know why so you can fix the issue properly. A car will make different noises depending on the cause. Many of these noises are also accompanied by squeaking sounds, so it is not always easy to figure out the reason. The mains causes and noises of a car are:
- Squeaking, creaking and clunking — this could be caused by poor car maintenance and general wear and tear to the suspensions and shock
- Whining, screeching and squealing — this could be caused by the power steering system and could indicate a bad pump, low power steering fluid or loose belt
- Crunching — this could be caused by the CV joint and could show it needs to be replaced
- Humming — this could be caused by the wheel bearing
- Ringing and grinding — this could be caused by worn break components
Why Can A Squeak When Turning Be A Problem?
A squeaking noise coming from your car is never a good sign, and could indicate there are issues with your car. As you can see above, if you hear a squeaking noise coming from our car, you’re going to want to work out what is causing the sound and what you can do to fix it. If you don’t, the part of the car that isn’t working properly and is causing the sound could get worse.
If you don’t fix issues with your car as they arise, then they can develop into bigger problems later on. You certainly don’t want your car to break down while you’re driving, so it’s always best to listen to any noise your car is making and ensure you get it checked out and fixed if necessary.
Causes Of Car Squeaking Noise When Turning
The main causes of a car squeaking when turning are low power-steering fluid, suspension losing lubrication, or your steering wheel is rubbing against its housing on the interior side of the trim. Let’s take a look at these in more detail, as well as some other common causes of squeaking noises below.
Low Power-Steering Fluid
Your car will need enough power-steering fluid to help you easily control the wheels. Power-steering fluid allows for a smooth and easy drive. When the fluid level is low, there won’t be enough to enter the steering system. Therefore, the steering becomes heavy and off-center, which causes steering problems and can then lead to noise being produced.
Loss Of Lubrication In Steering Or Suspension Components
If there is not enough lubrication in the steering or suspension components, you may find this to be the cause of a squeaking noise in your car. All moving parts of your car need lubrication, and if there is not enough, they can rub against each other, producing excess friction and pressure, which can lead to squeaking and grinding sounds.
Lubrication issues will need to be fixed as they can result in further problems and damage to the vehicle.
Steering Wheel Housing Rubbing Against Interior Side Of Trim
A major problem in hot weather, you may find that our car will make a loud squeaking noise as the steering wheel housing rubs against the interior side of the trim. This is because when it is warm, the steering metal material expands and closes up the gap between the interior trim. Therefore, they rub against each other and this makes it difficult for the wheel to turn.
Contamination Of Power-Steering Fluid
If your power-steering fluid is dirty or contaminated, it can’t lubricate the steering properly. This can then lead to squeaking noise as the steering wheel bearings wear out and become damaged.
Loose Or Worn Fan Belt
A loose or worn fan belt can cause a high-pitched squeal during acceleration. This usually happens when the car is warming up. A damaged belt may also affect the fluid pressure coming from the power steering pump.
If you continue to drive with a loose or worn fan belt, it can eventually snap. This will make it impossible to steer the vehicle and could be very dangerous.
Damaged struct or shocks will not be so effective in dampening the movement of the spring in your car and helping to prevent bouncing no matter what surface you are driving on. On uneven road surfaces or during maneuvers, the shocks are put under a lot of pressure. Over time, these can get damaged and make crunching sounds. If this happens, you shouldn’t continue driving and should get them checked out.
Misaligned Wheels or Under-Inflated Wheels
Wheels that are misaligned will not hit the road at the right angle and this can cause uneven wear. It can also produce a loud speaking noise against the road surface.
Under-inflated wheels are more prone to damage, and will lose traction. This can result in less resistance and road contact, which means they are more likely to squeak on the roads.
Worn Breaks And Alternator Pulley
If you’re constantly breaking hard, you might find that your breaks get worn out and starting making a squeaking noise. This is caused by worn break pads and so a screeching noise when you break is an indicator that you should change these.
An old or broken alternator pulley can also make loud and squeaking sounds when it needs to be replaced.
Failing Power-Steering System
A failing power-steering system is often the cause of squeaking. As we mentioned above, when there isn’t enough power-steering fluid in the system you may hear a loud noise, but there are actually many parts to the steering system that can become worn out or broken and produce loud sounds.
Some of the most common reasons for squeaking sounds in relation to the power-steering system are a malfunctioning power steering pump, a worn inner part of the steering rack, dirt and dust, a loose or damaged steering rack, or a cheap and plastic steering column.
Sometimes, your car isn’t actually to blame for the squeaking noise! You may find that on some surfaces you car doesn’t make a sound and on other it does. If this is the case, it may be the road surface that is causing the squeaking noise. A good set of quiet tyres can help with road surface noise.
How To Fix Car Squeaking Noise When Turning
Now you know why your car might be making a squeaking noise when you turn it, it is time to see what we can do about the problem. Take a look below at some of the best ways to fix common squeaks.
Refill Power-Steering Fluid
We mentioned above that your car will need enough power-steering fluid to help you easily control the wheels, and without it, a squeaking noise can be heard and the steering can become difficult. Refill with quality power-steering fluid if you are running low and it should help to fix the squeaking problem.
Change Power-Steering Fluid
You may have enough power-steering fluid, but it may be contaminated or dirty. Check the fluid and see whether you can see any dirt or debris floating in it. You should check and clean the fluid reservoir so you can be sure more dirt won’t enter the fluid when you refill it.
Fix The Suspensions
There are two options when it comes to fixing the suspension system. The first is a short-term option and involves soaking the suspensions with spray-on lithium grease. This grease will help to lubricate the suspensions and stop squeaking from happening. If the suspensions are rubber, use a silicone spray.
Using a spray is only a temporary fix, and if you want a permanent one, you’ll need to replace the damaged ones. If your suspensions are damaged, it is very dangerous to drive you car.
Fix Worn Out Or Broken Parts
Over time, parts of your car will become worn out and possibly broken. Parts such as the brakes, the alternator pulley, strut, belt and shock absorber may need to be replaced. While this can be expensive, it will be necessary to ensure your car is road-worthy.
Lubricate Moving Parts
Your car has many different moving parts and these parts need lubrication to work properly. Without correct lubrication you may find there are squeaking and creaking noises because of the friction.
These parts include universal joints, seals, tie-ends, ball joints, suspensions and steering wheel. Check each of these and lubricate them as necessary.
Inflate And Align Tires
Inflate your tires to the correct tire pressure and ensure this stays at the correct level by checking every time before you set off. If your tires are low or not at the right pressure, you may be more prone to a puncture or burst tire.
If your tires are misaligned, you should get a mechanic to check the ball bearing.
See A Mechanic
Some of these issues you may be able to fix yourself. However, if you are ever unsure, or the problem seems out of your depth, consult a professional. An auto repair shop will not only be able to find the source of the squeak but fix it for you too, so you can get back on the road.
Car Squeaking Noise FAQs
How do I identify the cause of the squeak?
Identifying the cause of the squeaking noise that your car is making can be difficult. There are so many different parts of your car that work together every time you drive somewhere!
The best way to identify the source is to listen to the type of noise that the car is making. It may be squeaking, but is there a crunching noise too? Or a hissing, whining or ringing noise? Different parts of the car will produce different noises.
Also listen out to when the noise occurs. If it occurs when the car starts, then it might be the fan belt. If you hear a squeaking sound when you push on the breaks, then it might be the break pads.
If you are really unsure of where the sound is coming from, take the car to your local garage.
When should I see a mechanic?
Cars are very complicated vehicles, and the chances are, if you’re reading this, you are not a skilled mechanic. If you know where the sound is coming from, you might be able to figure out how to fix the squeaking noise on your own. However, if you’re unsure, or can’t get to that part of the car, then it is time to see a mechanic.
You don’t want to end up doing more damage to your car by trying to fix it yourself, as you will end up spending more money than if you went to a car professional in the first place!
How can I stop the squeak from coming back?
Once your car has been fixed, the last thing you want is for the squeak to come back again! We recommend you regularly get your car serviced so a mechanic can spot any issues before they become a real problem. While getting your car serviced can be expensive, it much less pricey than waiting for your car to break and needing to get it fixed. Not to mention, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re driving a safe and smooth-running car.
Car Squeaking Noise Summary
If your car begins to make a squeaking noise, you’ll want to know why. We hope you have found this article helpful in identifying the source and helping you to fix the issue. With so many different parts to the vehicle, it can be difficult to know what exactly is malfunctioning and causing the noise, but you should be able to narrow it down.
Don’t ignore noises coming from your car as they arise — while it can be easy to bury your head in the sand, you may find yourself with a much bigger problem later on, and an expensive one! If you’re ever unsure, take your car to the mechanic and get a professional to look at it.