Creaking Noise When Turning at Slow Speeds (Causes and Fixes)
I am a serial entrepreneur and a consumer advocate. When I’m not helping car buyers, I love working on ventures that have a positive impact.
If your vehicle starts making unusual noises while you're turning, it could indicate something is wrong with the car. It will likely worsen if you don't take immediate action to address the issue.
If your car is making noise when you turn at low speeds of around 1 to 45 miles per hour, the most likely cause is a failure of suspension joints.
Here are a few things that could cause a creaking noise while turning slowly and what to do to fix them.
Table of Contents
- How the Car Steering System Works
- Causes of Creaking Noise When Turning at Slow Speed
- Creaking Noise When Turning at Average Speed
- What to Do About Creaking Noise When Turning Your Car
- Best Car Deals by Category
How the Car Steering System Works
The complex components of your car's suspension and steering system are interconnected.
For example, turning the steering wheel activates the power steering system, which requires the belt and pumps to be in good condition.
Unfortunately, the system also affects the suspension by increasing the stress levels on the struts.
In addition, the strain and stress placed on the ball joints that connect the suspension and steering components can affect the steering knuckle and control arms.
The various parts of your car's steering system must support the vehicle's weight to move freely. This means they must be in good condition to prevent wear and tear.
Some parts with limited lifetime components may need to be replaced.
Causes of Creaking Noise When Turning at Slow Speed
There are several reasons for a squeaking noise when turning at a slow speed. One of the most common causes of this issue is the failure of worn-out suspension joints.
Over time, these joints absorb the impacts and stresses of the vehicle's daily drives.
So, if they're damaged, the sound produced by the suspension joint could be caused by clicking the connection point.
The power steering pump is vital to your car's steering system, as it helps push the correct amount of fluid into the gears.
Now, if the whining sounds occur while you're turning, it could be caused by a leak in the system. The noises could also result from the belt slipping into the defective steering pump.
However, this squealing noise might not be a symptom of a faulty steering pump but extensive damage to the entire steering system.
Creaking Noise When Turning at Average Speed
Besides creaking noise when turning at slow speeds, we also have creaking noise when turning at average speeds.
Below are the various causes:
1. Broken Steering Rack
The rack and pinions are the most critical components of your steering system. There are various moving parts, and it's not uncommon for them to wear out.
In addition, you might hear loud bangs after you turn if they're not working correctly.
If the problem worsens, you might feel it in the steering column. Even minor issues such as clicking noises can be heard underneath the steering column.
2. Worn Steering Column Bearing
If you hear a squealing sound while driving, it might be caused by a worn steering column bearing.
Excessive playing might also occur in the steering wheel, but this isn't always the case if you have a worn bearing.
If the issue persists, it might be caused by a worn bearing. A straightforward solution is to apply lubricant to the bearing.
3. Worn Ball Joints
The ball joints allow the wheels to move freely when there's movement in the steering system or suspension.
They are usually located on the control arms and tie rod ends.
If the ball joints wear out, they might get stuck in a single position or move excessively effectively, leading to loud noises.
4. Low or Old Power Steering Fluid
One of the most common causes of noise while steering is a power steering pump that doesn't have enough fluid.
This component is a closed system, so some noise is guaranteed if it leaks.
5. Bad Wheel Bearing
When you put pressure on the wheel's outer surface, it will start to get louder, which causes this sound.
6. Worn Struts or Shocks
Even though your suspension parts and not necessarily steering components, they can still cause noises when you turn the steering.
If your suspension mounts are loose or worn, it can cause the vehicle to make noises when you turn the steering.
Also, since your suspension is used as you turn the steering, it can still cause noises if there's an underlying issue.
It's also common for the springs to break around the shocks, creating a loud noise.
7. Damaged Tie Rod Ends
Your rack and pinion are connected to your tires using a tie rod.
If the end of this component gets damaged, it can cause the metal to bounce around as it hits the hub.
Therefore, you should replace this component as soon as possible, or you might cause more damage.
8. Worn Control Arm Bushings
Although your control arm is a part of the suspension system, it can still make noises if some of the rubber in its housing gets damaged.
When the control arms shift inside their housing while driving, you'll hear loud bangs as they move around.
If the issue persists, you might feel the entire vehicle shift as its weight hits the housing side.
What to Do About Creaking Noise When Turning Your Car
If you have a strange and unusual noise, it's essential to seek professional help. An auto mechanic can diagnose and solve the issue.
After inspecting the vehicle's suspension and steering systems, the mechanic will likely find the cause of the noise and recommend the necessary repairs.
Usually, the only solution is to replace the damaged or broken parts.
But before you make any repairs, make sure that you have a car insurance policy.
This will allow the insurance company to cover the expenses in case of an accident or breakdown.
The causes of the creaking noise when turning at slow speeds are numerous, but we now have some practical solutions to fix those problems.
Driving should be a fun experience; however, it is safer to act immediately if you notice anything wrong with your steering.