Car Makes Noise When Turning: Causes and How to Fix It

Diagnosing car issues requires understanding some of the parts of your vehicle and how they could lead to a problem. When your issue is your car makes noise when turning, there is a whole range of things that could be the cause.

General Causes of Noises in Car When Turning

There are many reasons why your car makes noise when turning. Here is a look at some of the most common issues you may be experiencing.

  • Ball joints: will often cause creaking noises when you turn. This happens because they lose lubrication over time. You can listen to a bad ball joint here.
  • Jounce bushing: A worn-out jounce bushing can creak or groan when you turn. The part is on top of the struts in the front of your vehicle.
  • Struts and shocks: Natural wear will eventually lead to your shocks and struts wearing out. The first sign of an issue usually is noise when turning, but you will also notice some bouncing when you turn.
  • Power steering: A few issues with the power steering can lead to noises when turning. You could have a leak of fluid or a damaged rack. Your power steering pump may also be bad.
  • Steering column: If the steering column bearing wears out, it will produce a rubbing noise when you turn.
  • Sway Bar: The sway bar helps with stability, and if the link breaks or wears out, it will lead to a clunking sound when you turn.
  • Tie rod ends: The tie rods near your wheels can wear over time. If they get bad, you may hear a knocking sound when you turn.
  • CV joint: The CV joint can lead to crunching noises. You will usually hear it when turning while also accelerating.

Different Scenarios of Noises When Turning and Solutions

Noises when turning could come from various parts of the steering or suspension. It could also relate to your braking system. It often depends on the specific noise you hear and when it occurs.

1) Car Makes Noise When Turning Left or Right Only

If you only hear noise when turning in one direction, it could be worn parts on one side only. Often, the issue is on the opposite of the direction you are turning, but it could be on the same side. It depends on the part.

Solution

You should seek help from a professional for all the issues as many of the problems will require special tools or knowledge to avoid causing additional damage. In some cases, a part may be repairable, but most of these things wear out over time and require a complete replacement.

The one exception is the power steering fluid. If there are no other issues and the fluid is simply low, then you can add it yourself, but make sure to thoroughly check for leaks before doing so. Continuously allowing the fluid to get too low could damage the pump.

2) Car Makes Noise When Turning Right but Not Left

If you notice a noise only when turning right, there is likely an issue with something in the suspension system.

Solution

You should always have a professional handle suspension system issues unless you have experience doing so. You must ensure your vehicle is appropriately and safely lifted when doing this type of work. In addition, repair is usually not an option for these parts. They will require a complete replacement.

3) Car Makes Noise When Turning and Accelerating

What if you only hear a noise when you turn when you are also accelerating? This might be some issues with parts that won’t make a noise at other times.

Solution

For brake issues, CarPros explains that the chances are you just need new pads, which is something you can likely do on your own if you have mechanical aptitude. The wheel bearings are more complex and may require special tools, so you should take your vehicle to a professional.

4) Car Makes Noise When Turning and Braking

An issue that only happens when you turn and brake simultaneously helps to narrow down the situation. There are three most likely issues.

Solution

Most of these issues will require a professional with specific tools to fix. Brake issues may be something you can do, but if you don’t have experience, it is best left to the professionals.

5) Car Makes Noise When Turning at Low Speed

Low-speed noises and high-speed noises when turning are two very different situations, so be sure that you specify your issue happens only at low speeds. The following are things that you may deal with if your car makes noise when turning under 45 mph, according to AAMCO.

Solution

For both potential causes, you want to see a professional who can do a complete inspection to ensure the cause. A bad power steering pump may be something you can replace easily, but you should leave the CV joint to someone who has a full garage with the proper tools.

6) Car Makes Noise When Turning Steering Wheel All the Way

If you notice a noise when you turn your wheel all the way in one direction, the most likely cause is something within your steering. This is especially true if the noise happens when you sit still and turn the wheel.

Solution

You will need to do some inspection to troubleshoot the exact issue. Problems with a belt, low fluid, or bad pump can all produce the same types of noise, so you will have to look for clues as to the exact issue. You can probably fix these issues yourself if you have tools and mechanical experience.

Is It Okay to Drive a Car That Turns Noisily?

Some of the issues that lead to your car making noises when you turn are very serious. A bad CV joint, for example, is an issue you must take care of as soon as possible because it could lead to an accident. Some of the other problems could make your vehicle undrivable if you let them go.

You should think of odd noises as a warning sign that something needs attention. Do not ignore noises.

What Action Should You Take?

If you hear a noise, then you should investigate it right away. If you have mechanical skills, you can look things over yourself to see if it is an issue you can handle. Otherwise, you should see a mechanic as soon as possible.

Remember, you don’t want to let issues go too long. When parts wear out, they warn you through odd noises, but when they break entirely, it will usually impact your ability to drive your vehicle safely. It is best to be cautious and fix an issue sooner rather than later.

Author: DJ

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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