6 Things To Do When You Hear A Noise When Turning Steering Wheel At Low Speed

What should I do If I Hear a noise when turning steering wheel at low speed? What can be the cause for a knocking sound in the steering wheel? Find out the possible causes in the article below.

The steering wheel controls the direction of a vehicle. It allows the driver to guide the vehicle on the road, i.e., turn left or right. Under normal circumstances, whenever you turn your car, it should not produce any sound. But if you hear clunking, knocking, creaking, or groaning sounds, you need to inspect your vehicle right away.

There can be numerous reasons for producing such a peculiar sound. For instance, the ball bearings may get damaged, or there may be power steering fluid leakage. You need to find out the root cause for producing such sound to take action accordingly.

The article lists possible reasons for clunking or knocking sounds while turning the steering wheel. So keep on reading the article for more information.

 

Noise When Turning Steering Wheel At Low Speed

 

Clunk Sound When Turning Steering Wheel

Do you hear a clunk sound when turning the steering wheel? If yes, then it can be a problem with the power steering system or suspension system.

You need to raise your vehicle to determine the possible reasons for producing clunking sound. I am describing below a few reasons that will help you know the exact reason your steering wheel is producing clunking sound.

#1. Worn Out Tie Rods

When your tie rods get damaged, the first symptom that you experience is clunking sound while turning the steering wheel at low speed.

A tie rod connects both the front wheels of your car, which enable good steering. But if your vehicle strikes a curb or pothole, it can damage the tie rods. You may continue to drive your car on a damaged tie rod for a certain distance, but if it fails, you need a tow to go back home or to the nearest mechanic.

A damaged tie rod puts uneven pressure on the four tires of your car. As a result, the tires wear and tear earlier. The increased wear and tear lead to poor alignment of your vehicle. Your vehicle will pull in one direction, leading to fatigue drive.

Solution

Inspect the tie rods, and if it’s damaged, replace them with new ones.

#2.Worn Out Sway Bars Or AntiRoll Bars

Imagine you are sitting inside your car, and it is taking a sharp turn. Your body will start pulling towards the outside of the turn. The same thing happens to all the components of the car. The part of the car on the outside of the turn will push towards the road, and the part which is inside the turn will rise. In other words, when the car rolls off the sway bar to some degree, then the tires on the inside will rise.

Rolling is not good. It exerts more weight on the outside tires than the inside, reducing traction. You will always want your car to remain flat during a turn so that weight gets distributed on your vehicle’s four tires.

Thankfully all the vehicles have a sway bar or anti-roll bar. It is a U-shaped cylindrical bar that connects the left and right sides of the axle. The sway bar prevents rolling by resisting the twisting force, i.e., it keeps all four tires to remain on the ground while turning sharply.

But if you hear clunking noise from the front wheel when turning, then the sway bar may be the culprit.

Solution

Inspect the sway bar; if it is damaged, you need to replace it with a new one.

 

Noise When Turning Steering Wheel At Low Speed

 

#3. Damaged Bushings

The suspension system in your vehicle has numerous bushings. They usually wear and tear with time. But if you are habituated to driving on unpaved roads, they will deteriorate more quickly. You may hear a clunking noise when turning the steering wheel because of worn-out bushings.

Solution

Inspect bushings, and if it’s damaged, you need to replace them with a new one.

 

You might like to read: Steering Wheel Hard To Turn When Cold

 

#4. Broken Ball Joints

Ball joints consist of a ball and socket similar to the hip joint in a human being. The front suspension of your car is very complex because it consists of links, joints, bushings, and bearings.

The ball joints maximize tires’ contact on the road, enabling a smooth and comfortable drive. It has a rubber boot which enables the grease to remain inside and debris outside.

If the ball joint starts to deteriorate or is not lubricated for long enough, you will hear a clunking noise when turning the steering wheel at low speed. 

Solution 

If the ball joints get damaged completely, then the front suspension of your car will collapse. So if you find the ball bearings on your vehicle are completely worn out, you need to replace them with a new one.

#5. Damaged Steering Rack

The steering rack or rack and pinion arrangement on your vehicle enable you to turn the wheels comfortably and convert the rotary motion of the steering wheel into linear motion, which is needed for turning.

The rack can get damaged with time or because of road debris, and you may hear a clunking noise when turning the steering wheel.

Solution

You need to replace the steering rack with a new one if you find it’s damaged or worn out.

#6. Broken Constant Velocity Joint

The constant velocity joints are located at each end of the drive shaft. But if it is broken, you hear clunking sound while turning the steering wheel.

 

You might like to read: Jeep Wrangler Noise When Turning Steering Wheel – What to Do?

 

Reasons For Knocking Sound When Turning Steering Wheel

#1. Damaged Power Steering Rack

The power steering rack plays a vital role in the ability to take a turn on the road. But if something is wrong with your steering rack or it’s damaged, you will hear a knocking sound when turning the steering wheel.

Solution

Replace the steering rack with a new one if it is damaged badly.

#2.Dry Jounce Bushing

The front struts in your vehicle have jounced bushing. It is lubricated during the time of installation. But as the time passes, it gets dry out, and you will be able to hear a knocking sound when turning the steering wheel.

Solution

Replace dry jounce bushing with a new one.

 

Noise When Turning Steering Wheel At Low Speed

 

#3. Failed Struts And Shocks

The struts and shocks may wear and tear with time, and you will hear a knocking sound when turning the steering wheel.

Solution

Replace struts and shocks with new ones.

 

You might like to read: Vibration In Steering Wheel When Turning Right

 

#4. Damaged Tie Rods

If the tie rods on your car get damaged, you will hear a knocking sound when turning the steering wheel.

Solution

Replace tie rods with new ones.

#5. Leaking Power Steering Fluid

Modern vehicles have power steering fluid, enabling a driver to steer the car without any problem or smoothly. When you turn the steering wheel, the vane pump draws power from the engine and pumps the pressurized steering fluid to the rotary vane and then to the double-acting cylinder and exerts some force on the piston. 

The piston pushes this fluid to the rack and pinion, multiplying the force. Consequently, you can turn the steering wheel smoothly.

But sometimes, the power steering fluid gets leaked out, and you find difficulty in steering the wheel. You may also hear a knocking sound while turning the steering wheel.

Solution

Fill the power steering fluid as necessary in your vehicle. There may be a problem with system lines, rotary vane, or pistons. So take your car to the nearest mechanic so that he will inspect your vehicle thoroughly and take necessary actions.

 

You might like to read: Headlights Dim When Turning Steering Wheel – What to Do?

 

Humming Noise When Turning Steering Wheel

#1.Worn Out Wheel Bearing

If the wheel bearing gets damaged, you hear a humming noise when turning the steering wheel.

#2. Broken Belt

A power steering pulley is used to drive the power steering pump on a car. If the pulley belt is damaged or slack, you hear a humming noise when turning the steering wheel.

 

Noise When Turning Steering Wheel At Low Speed

 

Reasons For BMW Noise When Turning Steering Wheel

  • Worn out ball joints
  • Damaged tie rods
  • Damaged power steering pump
  • Worn ball joints
  • Damaged suspension bushings
  • Dry Jounce bushings

A Few Final Words

No one wants to hear clunking or groaning sounds while steering their car. But if, unfortunately, you hear such a sound, you need to inspect your vehicle thoroughly. 

But if you don’t have mechanical skills or are not confident, take your car to the nearest mechanic. He will simply check and find out the root cause for producing such a strange sound and solve the issue.

Thank you for reading – we hope you enjoyed the article.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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