Are you having this problem that whenever you make a turn, your steering wheel starts squeaking? It’s a pretty noticeable and right in the eye kind of deal. And at the same time, it’s very annoying too. Imagine this, you are out with someone in your car, and every time you turn, there is a squeaking sound from your steering. Sounds embarrassing, right? While the problem doesn’t look that severe, it’s pretty troublesome for sure. So, if you have similar kinds of issues with your, this is the place for you to be. Here, I will tell you why your steering wheel squeaks when turning and how to fix it. Once you go through the whole thing, I am pretty sure you will have a solution to your squeaking wheel problem.
Without wasting further time, let’s get going with it.
Why Does Steering Wheel Squeaks When Turning?
Steering wheel squeaking while turning is a pretty common issue in many cars. The most common cause for this problem is low lubrication in the steering and suspension system. Luckily the solution to this one is also pretty easy. Just lubricate them.
However, some other reasons can cause this issue. And solving those may require professional help. So, you can’t take this problem lightly.
Steering Wheel System: How Does the Steering System Work?
To understand all the technicalities, I am about to explain here better, I recommend knowing how the system works.
So, here’s how it works –
Usually, there is a shaft that rotates with the steering wheel. Whenever you move the wheel, the shaft will also move. This shaft is connected to a pinion which you can typically find on the top of a rack.
As the shaft rotates, the pinion also does the same; this, in turn, leads to the rack getting a linear movement on the tie rod. There is a connection between the tie rod and steering arm, which turns your car wheels.
Now, this is the basic working mechanism of a steering system. Connected to this is the functionality of a suspension system, so I suggest taking a look at how that works as well.
What is Suspension System: How Does a Suspension System Work?
The suspension system and steering system are connected in their working mechanism. If you didn’t know, the purpose of a suspension system is to eliminate the force impact your car would have while you drive.
For example, whenever you are driving on a bumpy road, it should typically damage your car. But due to the suspension system, it can’t. Why? You will get that answer from the working mechanism of a suspension system. Here’s how it works –
A suspension system usually receives all the force your car gets while driving. Then, it turns that force into heat and dissipates the force completely. Usually, two parts do this job on a suspension. The spring holds up all the energy from the force, and the dampers convert that into heat.
Now, the question is, where does the steering wheel come into all of this? Well, your steering wheel gives the suspension system all the direction it needs. Because the suspension has a lot to do with keeping your car wheel on the ground when you drive on a bumpy road, so, you can say they both are very closely related.
Causes of Your Car Steering Wheel Squeaks When Turning.
Before we get into all the fixes to the problem, let’s check out the reasons first. Sure, you can go ahead and get your car checked out right away when you face this issue. But if you know the reasons, you can fix yourself and save up some money maybe.
Here are the reasons your car steering wheel might be squeaking –
1. Failure in the Power Steering System
Usually, there are three parts of a power steering system. It has hoses, a pump, and a steering gear. Whenever one fails to work correctly, that affects the performance of the power steering system.
Because of that failure, you will get noises from the pump when you turn your steering wheel. Also, the steering gear is a significant part of the steering wheel, which also causes a sound.
2. Low Fluid in The Power Steering
The function of a power steering fluid is to keep the power steering lubricated. So, when there is no or low fluid in your power steering, it can cause squeaking sounds every time you turn. I mean, it’s pretty simple to understand as most mechanical devices requiring lubrication follow this same method.
Now, the real concern here is why there is low fluid. Is it because you haven’t changed it for a long time, or is it because of leaking? If the reason is leaking, then you will need to consider this matter a bit seriously. If the fluid is contaminated somehow, that can also cause the squeaking noise on your steering wheel.
3. Worn Out Wheel Belt
If the wheel belt of your steering wheel wears out, gets damaged, or loosens, then you may face the squeaky sounds coming from it. This is can also be very dangerous because this issue can lead to the wheel belt snapping. That eventually makes the steering wheel completely useless. So, if that happens, you can get into serious accidents while driving your car. This is a problem you should get checked and fixed as soon as you can.
4. Issues With the Ball Joints
Do you experience some vibration along with those squeaky sounds when you turn? If so, then this can be the reason for them. When the ball joints or bushings have issues, they will create this squeaky noise from the steering wheel. At the same time, you will feel a little vibration that distinguishes this cause from the other ones.
5. Lack Of Lubrication in Suspension and Steering
Usually, the power steering fluid focuses on lubricating the pump in the system. But it would help if you had lubrication for the other moving parts as well. Parts like the tie rod, ball joints, bushing, or maybe even the seal need some lubrication. The lack of lubrication in these parts will lead to squeaking sounds when you turn your steering wheel.
6. Problems With the Suspension System
Aside from the lack of lubrication, there are several other problems that you may have with your suspension system. Now, these problems are typically severe issues like damaged parts or broken parts. In that case, you will be facing more expensive repair work on your car. Also, you have to do it quickly because this can lead to more significant dangers.
These are the typical causes of the problem we are discussing here today. However, these can be signs of other issues as well. But if you have a squeaking problem, you can consider one of these reasons to be the cause of your issue.
How Do You Fix a Squeaky Steering Wheel?
Now, let’s get going with the real deal here. There are several things you can try out to fix the problem. And they aren’t that difficult either. Here are the things that you can do.
Refill Power Steering Fluid
The first thing to do is, refilling the power steering fluid. This is the easiest solution you start with. Also, it doesn’t cost too much either. Get a good-quality power steering fluid for your car and refill it. Ensure to lubricate the power steering pump properly, which should get you rid of this problem.
Lubricate the Important Parts
Besides the power steering fluid, you also have to think about the other parts. Lubricate all the parts like the seal, bushing, tie rod, ball joint, and so forth. Just lubricate any moving part you have in the suspension and steering system. You can take expert help on choosing the lubrication product for the best results.
Replace All Damaged or Worn-Out Parts
If lubrication doesn’t help that much, then you have to check out the damaged or worn-out parts. Usually, you are bound to change any part that is damaged. Otherwise, you can’t even drive your car properly. However, the case is a bit different from the worn-out part.
A mistake many people repeat is that they wait for the worn-out parts to be completely damaged. You should avoid that mistake at all costs. As soon as you see a part worn out, you have to replace it.
The parts you should be replacing are your suspension, steering wheel belt, ball joints, bushings, steering column. Besides these parts, you don’t usually get to see other worn-out details that much.
Now, let’s face some facts. While you can determine what the problem is, it’s better to let the professionals fix it. Here’s why –
When you try to fix any problem with your car without proper knowledge, you can damage it further. Sure, you can try out lubricating the parts by yourself. But when it comes to repairing or replacing the parts, lean towards professional mechanics. Because that’s the best solution for you in any scenario.
Knowing these causes helps you define the problem more accessible to the mechanic. This saves up a lot of time and hassle for the mechanic to figure out the issue. Also, you get to be more aware of the condition of your car when you know the reasons for this issue.
So, from now on, you won’t have to say, “Why does my car squeak when turning and going over bumps?”.
How Dangerous is a Squeak When Turning?
Typically, it’s not that dangerous to hear a squeak when you are turning the steering wheel. As you already know, this can happen from lack of lubrication which isn’t that big of a deal. However, if the reason is damaged or worn-out parts, then it can be pretty dangerous.
Because in that case, your steering wheel may completely fail at some point while you are driving. And you can pretty much assume how deadly that can be for you.
That’s why, if you notice the same squeaking noises after lubricating all the parts, it’s best to stop driving your car until you get it fixed. Trust me, you don’t want to risk your life while driving a car with a faulty steering wheel.
The Cost of Repairing the Steering and Suspension System
Here’s the thing, it depends on the parts and labor cost mostly. For example, if you want to replace the complete suspension system, the cost can go somewhere around $1000 to $5000. The amount depends on the replacement parts’ quality, brand, model, and labor cost.
However, if you have to just replace the struts on the suspension system, you will have to pay between $100 to $900 for the part. And then add another $200 to $300 for labor cost. As for the shock absorber replacement, it’s between $150 to $600, excluding the cost.
Now, if you need to repair the power steering fluid mechanism, the cost will be around $600. This is the cost to repair the whole thing. But if you need to replace an individual part, then the cost is way less than that.
This is why knowing the reason for steering wheel squeaking helps a lot as you know what part is having problems.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding steering wheel squeaking noises-
Q1. How Do I Stop My Steering Wheel From Squeaking?
A) There are several things you can do. First of all, you can try lubricating every moving part of your steering system and suspension system. This is the most common issue and solution to squeaking. Aside from that, you can opt for replacing any damaged or worn-out parts.
Q2. Does the Squeaky (Steering) Wheel Get the Grease?
A) Yes, when you use some white lithium grease around the shaft and the boot, the squeaky noise from the steering wheel goes away.
Q3. What Are the Causes of Screeching Sound When The Steering Wheel is Fully Turned?
A) There are different causes of this screeching sound. One is a lack of power steering fluid. Another one is the belt tension. When the power steering fluid is at a low level, you will hear a screeching sound while turning the wheel. Also, if the wheel belt tension is slipping while your steering pump is at max, you will have this sound.
Q4. How Often Do I Need to Check My Suspension or Steering System?
A) The best practice to check your suspension or steering system is after every 50000 miles of driving.
Q5. Which Preventive Measures Can I Take to Stop the Steering Wheel Squeaks When Turning?
A) The first thing you can do is lubricate all the parts regularly. The next thing to do is opt for regular maintenance checkups from the mechanics. Doing these two things can prevent this issue from ever occurring.
Q6. Is It Safe to Drive My Car If the Steering Wheel Is Making Noises When Turning?
A) This mostly depends on the reason for the noise. If the noise is there because of low lubrication and dried-out components, then driving is safe. But if the parts are damaged or worn-out, it can be risky to drive your car in that scenario.
To sum up, if you notice the steering wheel squeaks when turning, you should look up the components first. Check if the parts are all dried out or not. Dried-out parts will just mean that it needs some lubrication which is a pretty easy solution to the problem.
But if the parts aren’t dried out or the sounds don’t go away after lubrication, goes for professional help. Don’t let the problem persist because it can lead to a bigger issue. Also, avoid driving until you get this problem fixed.