Creaking Noise When Turning Steering Wheel: How to Fix?

Sometimes, you must have noticed creaking noise when turning your vehicle’s steering wheel or the sound like car creaks when turning that may cause serious issue or damage to your car if you will overlook such noises.

​Vehicle’s suspension system and steering is quite complex and connected in one way or more than that.

When you turn your steering then it engages with the steering rack that requires the belt and pump in good condition and struts receive additional stress when it’s turned.

You also need to take into the consideration the strain and stress placed on ball joints used to connect the suspension components and front steering.

All of these mentioned components must be smooth and free of the weight of the car comes in these parts when you turn the steering wheels in all the ways.​

Related: ​Car Jerks When Accelerating - How To Fix

When the components of the steering are about to fail, typically different sounds like a squeaking or creaking start coming out every time when you turn the steering wheel.

There are many reasons for such sounds. In the following article, we will address major types of sounds. You will learn how it occurs and how you can fix it by doing it yourself.

Common reasons for this to happen: ​

  • Low Steering Fluid
  • Belt Worn Out
  • Steering Components lost lubrication​

​How to Fix?

1) Low Steering Fluid

When your vehicle’s steering wheel squeaks when turned, low steering fluid can be a common reason for this issue. In order to fix this problem, you should first turn off the engine and open the hood.

  • Step 1​

​Find out the power steering fluid, it can be found in a cylinder reservoir which is located near steering pump. Cylinder may be made of metal or plastic. Remove cap of the cylinder.​

RelatedHow To Clean Cylinder Heads At Home

  • Step 2

​Check the level of fluid. If your cylinder reservoir is made of transparent material, you will be able to see the level of fluid but if it is made of metal, use a dipstick which is usually attached to the cap.

There may be the level indicator with “Min” and “Max” lines.

  • Step 3

​If the fluid level is at a low level or below it, add power steering fluid carefully into it. Ensure to fill the fluid incrementally to avoid overfilling the reservoir.

If you will overfilling it, that may start leaking so it is advisable to fill it up to little lower level than maximum line.

  • Step 4

​Replace the cylinder cap. You may have to screw or push the cap; it will be depended on the model of your car.

2) Belt Worn Out

​If you have noticed creaking noise when turning, it may be because of the failing steering belt or it has been worn out completely.

Follow the below steps to fix this issue.

  • Step 1

​First raise your vehicle using jack stand; disconnect the vehicle’s battery for safety purpose. Ensure to disconnect positive and negative battery cables before proceeding.

  • Step 2

​Remove lower engine cover. It will be depended on your car model; you will either require wrench or screwdriver in order to remove the cover.

  • Step 3

​Then locate power steering pump. Usually, in most of the car design, it is placed on the driver or passenger side of the engine compartment.

  • Step 4

​Find out pulley and loosen the bolts. If it is hard to lose due to corrosion, use WD 40 or other penetrating oil and let it soak for about 5 to 10 minutes before proceeding.

  • Step 5

​After removing bolts, remove the old belt as it has been worn out completely

  • Step 6

​Place new belt on the pulleys. Ensure to put teeth side down. Slide the new steering belt over the crankshaft pulley.

  • Step 7

​Then apply the pressure on power steering pump and tight the bolts. Once both bolts are properly tightens, you may release pressure from the pry bar.

  • Step 8

​The last step to replace all the parts which you have removed during this entire process.

3) Steering Components Lost Lubrication

If the steering components and a suspension lost lubrication, it could cause a breaking or squeaking noise.

It is very crucial to lubricate tie-rod end, ball joints, seals and universal joints and other all components which are connected to steering wheels.

Follow the below steps to lube all the components.​

  • Step 1

​Lift your vehicle by using proper floor jack. Put jack stand on its place. Ensure to check its weight capacity that can lift your vehicle. Set jack and secure the wheels.

  • Step 2

​Using cardboard or creeper, slide yourself under the car along with grease gun and clean rag.

  • Step 3

​Locate all the steering components such as ball joints, tie rods, and etc. and start greasing them.

Usually, it will take couple of good squeezes using grease gun. Put as much grease as needed. You may repeat the process if it needed.

  • Step 4

​Apply grease on the rear suspension components (Only if applicable). In many car models, there will be suspension components.

You should first check with your local parts professionals or you may also use online source to check whether your car have these components or not.

If your vehicle has these components, follow the same steps when your vehicle is lifting up.

  • Step 5

​Once you have lubed all the components thoroughly, wipe off excess grease from all the parts which are leaking or came out.

Now you may put off your car from the jack, remove jack stand and put back on the ground.

Related: How To Clean Steering Wheel​

Conclusion

A steering failure while driving can be unexpected and very dangerous for even the most experienced drivers. Being proactive can save you the potential danger and trouble of a complete steering failure.

A creaking noise when turning your steering wheel may be just a sign that your suspension system requires some lubrication.

But only lubrication doesn’t solve the creaking noise issues, you may proceed to other solutions as mentioned in above article.​

If you will overlook this issue, it can be something more serious. It may damage tie rod, failing strut/shock or power steering rack may also damage.​

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