Car Making Noise When Turning? Uncover the Reasons and How to Address Them

AutoCar Making Noise When Turning? Uncover the Reasons and How to Address Them

Have you ever been driving and heard a strange noise when turning your car? It can be scary and confusing. But don’t worry! Let’s talk about why this happens and what you can do about it.

Cars are complex machines with many parts. Sometimes, these parts wear out or break, and therefore generate odd sounds. It’s important to pay attention to these noises. They can tell you if something is wrong with your car.

Ignoring these sounds can lead to bigger problems. It might even be dangerous. 

There are several reasons why your car might make noise when you turn. Let’s look at some of the most common causes.

Tire-Related Issues

Car tire

Sometimes, the noise comes from your tires. Here are two main tire problems that can cause noise:

Tire Tread Wear

Tires have grooves on them called treads. These help your car grip the road. Over time, these treads wear down. As a result, your tires might make a squealing noise when you turn, especially true if you turn quickly.

Low Tire Pressure

If your tires don’t have enough air, they can also make noise when you turn, which might sound like a squealing or scuffing noise. Low tire pressure can also make your car harder to steer.

Power Steering Problems

Your car’s power steering system helps you turn the wheel easily. When there are problems with this system, you might hear noises. Here are two common power steering issues:

Low Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid helps your steering system work smoothly. If this fluid gets low, you might hear a whining noise when you turn. The noise often gets louder when you turn the wheel all the way to one side.

Worn Power Steering Pump

The power steering pump moves fluid through your steering system. If the pump wears out, you might hear the sound like a high-pitched squeal or a constant droning noise when you turn.

Suspension and Steering Components

Your car’s suspension system helps it drive smoothly. The steering components help you control where the car goes. Problems with these parts can also cause noises when you turn. 

Worn Ball Joints or Bushings

Ball joints and bushings are parts that help your car’s wheels move up and down and turn left and right. When these parts wear out, they can make a clunking or knocking sound when turning.

Loose or Damaged Tie Rod Ends

Tie rod ends connect your steering system to your wheels. If these are loose or damaged, you might hear a clicking or popping noise when you turn. You might also feel a rattle when you go over bumps.

Seized Strut Bushings

Strut bushings
Image source

Strut bushings are part of your car’s suspension system. They can get dirty or rusty over time, and thus might make a popping or crunching noise when you turn. At the same time, you might also notice that your steering feels stiff or inconsistent.

Damaged CV Joints

CV joints are part of your car’s axles. They help power get from the engine to your wheels. If a CV joint is damaged, you might hear a popping noise when you turn, and the noise often gets louder when you turn sharply.

Brake-Related Concerns

Noises when turning can also come from your brakes. Here are two common brake issues:

Worn Brake Pads

Brake pads help your car stop. When they wear down, they can make a grinding noise when you turn, especially if you’re also braking at the same time.

Caliper Issues

Brake caliper
Image source

Brake calipers squeeze your brake pads against your wheels to make your car stop. If a caliper gets stuck, it can make a scraping or grinding noise.

Diagnosing the Problem

Now that we know some common causes of car noises when turning, let’s talk about how to figure out what’s wrong with your car.

Listening to the Sounds

The first step in diagnosing the problem is to listen carefully to the noise. Different problems make different sounds. Here are some things to listen for:

  • Squealing: It might mean low tire pressure or worn tires.
  • Whining: It could be a power steering problem.
  • Clunking or knocking: It might be a suspension issue.
  • Grinding: It could be a brake problem.
  • Popping: It might indicate damaged CV joints.

Pay attention to when you hear the noise. Does it happen when you turn left, right, or both? Does it happen at low speeds or high speeds? All of this information can help you or a mechanic figure out what’s wrong.

Test Driving the Car

Sometimes, you need to drive your car to hear the noise. Find a safe place to drive where you can turn your car in both directions. Try turning at different speeds. See if the noise changes when you go over bumps or when you brake.

Be careful when test driving your car. If the noise is very loud or if your car feels unsafe to drive, stop driving and call a tow truck.

Visual Inspection

Probably, you can see what’s causing the noise. Here are some things to look for:

  • Check your tires. Look for uneven wear or low pressure.
  • Look under your car for any leaks.
  • Check your power steering fluid level.
  • Look at your brake pads through the wheel spokes. If they look very thin, they might need to be replaced.

If you’re not sure what to look for, it’s okay to ask for help. A mechanic can do a thorough inspection of your car.

Addressing the Issue

Once you’ve figured out what might be causing the noise, it’s time to fix it. Some problems you might be able to fix yourself. Others will need a mechanic’s help.

DIY Steps for Minor Issues

Here are some things you might be able to do yourself:

  • Check and adjust tire pressure
  • Rotate your tires
  • Add power steering fluid
  • Check and tighten loose parts

Always be careful when working on your car. If you’re not sure how to do something, it’s better to ask for help than to risk making the problem worse.

When to Consult a Professional Mechanic

Some car problems are too complex or dangerous for most people to fix at home. You should see a mechanic if:

  • The noise is very loud or happens all the time
  • Your car feels unsafe to drive
  • You’ve tried simple fixes and the noise is still there
  • The problem involves brakes, steering, or suspension

A professional mechanic has the tools and knowledge to fix complex car problems safely.

Preventative Maintenance Tips

The best way to deal with car noises is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some tips to keep your car running smoothly:

Regular Tire Inspection and Maintenance

  • Check your tire pressure every month
  • Rotate your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles
  • Replace your tires when the tread gets low

Scheduled Maintenance for Power Steering and Suspension Systems

  • Follow your car’s maintenance schedule
  • Have your power steering fluid changed when recommended
  • Get your suspension checked regularly

Timely Repairs to Avoid Further Damage

  • Don’t ignore strange noises or feelings when driving
  • Fix small problems before they become big ones
  • Keep up with regular oil changes and tune-ups

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