Table of Contents
- The most common reason for a car creaking when turning
- Not the fluid, maybe the pump itself…
- Cause #3, suspension issues
- The final common cause of a creaking car- wheel bearings
- If you hear weird sounds, get your car checked out.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the possible reasons why my car is creaking when I turn?
- Is it safe to drive my car if it’s creaking?
- What are the consequences of driving my car if it’s creaking?
- How can I fix my car if it’s creaking?
- How much will it cost to fix my car if it’s creaking?
- Is there anything I can do to prevent my car from creaking?
If you’re driving along and suddenly start hearing a creaking noise every time you turn the wheel, it can be pretty alarming…. But don’t worry; in most cases, it’s not a huge problem and can be easily fixed. In this post, we’ll explore some of the common reasons why your car makes creaking noises when turning the wheel which will help you better understand what might be going on with your car ( and fix the issue)
The most common reason for a car creaking when turning
Alright, let’s get down to it and get the biggest cause of sounds which is… dun dun dunnnnn… low power steering fluid levels. Over time you will lose a big of this fluid, which is common, as this fluid is tasked with lubricating the power steering system and allowing it to remain supple for smooth maneuvering. Thankfully, checking and maintaining one’s power steering fluid levels is relatively simple.
Most modern vehicles come with a dedicated dipstick to monitor levels. At the same time, older cars simply require you to check under the hood. So if you have been hearing a creaking sound that kind of came out of nowhere, just remember not to check this fluid as this is the culprit most often.
Not the fluid, maybe the pump itself…
Hydraulic power steering is a common cause of creaking in many cars, and if you’ve checked your levels and they seem fine, it is time to move on to the next possible cause. And this could be the power steering pump on its last legs. When the power steering pump wears out, it can produce a faint sound as you turn your car. This is due to the system’s high-pressure fluid being compressed through small components.
Unfortunately, these sounds will become more noticeable over time, so it pays to have your power steering pump checked as soon as possible if you hear creaking sounds when turning. Not only will this prevent any further damage from occurring, but it also ensures that you are driving safely and efficiently.
This issue kind of goes hand in hand with the first one is that if you continually let your car run dry it could cause undue stress on the pump itself. So, if you keep an eye on your fluids, you should be able to avoid both of these issues.
Cause #3, suspension issues
Many car owners are familiar with creaks and rattles coming from inside their vehicles when they turn. In most cases, this noise can be attributed to the power steering system ( or fluid ), but if it isn’t one of those causes, then we move on to the next issue… which could be worn-out suspension components.
Over time, your car’s shocks will gradually lose effectiveness, leading to those dreaded creaks whenever you make a turn. This can be even more noticeable when the road surface is bumpy or uneven.
Fortunately, replacing these components is a pretty straightforward procedure that any decent mechanic can perform quickly and easily. You can even do this at home if you have lifts or a way to get all your tires off the ground…. safely. There are a couple of different aspects of the suspension that could cause this issue so you might have to troubleshoot a couple of things but hopefully, this fixes your issue.
The final common cause of a creaking car- wheel bearings
The last cause of creaking sounds when you turn your car is going to be related to your wheel bearings. Wheel bearings are important for running the wheel smoothly and providing support on both sides of the axle. So they are a pretty big deal, and you don’t want them to fail.
When wheel bearings become worn or loose, metal can rub against metal, causing a creaking noise that often worsens when turning. If you ignore the alerts that these sounds are giving you, the problem can lead to further wear, and instability of the wheel while driving.
Leaving this issue also will increase your risk of getting into an accident. So, make sure you get your car checked out if you start hearing these sounds, as it just makes sense to; you want to be safe on the road, right?
If you hear weird sounds, get your car checked out.
Weird sounds are kind of like a warning sound, and when you hear creaking or metal on the metal you don’t want to ignore it. Don’t put off getting your car checked out by a mechanic because it will keep you safe on the road and can even help in other ways.
Depending on the noise and how urgent it may be, it’s best to take your car in for service as soon as you can. An experienced and knowledgeable mechanic will be able to identify the source of the noise and provide the necessary guidance moving forward. Ignoring a creaking noise can lead to much bigger issues that could cost you considerably more money in repair and future maintenance services.
If you hear a creaking noise when turning the steering wheel, a mechanic must check it out as soon as possible. We’ve gone over the top reasons for sounds to start appearing out of nowhere, and they are all pretty straightforward as far as how to fix them. So if you start hearing these sounds, use our checklist and rule out the common causes right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the possible reasons why my car is creaking when I turn?
Possible reasons why a car can creak when turning could be due to a variety of different factors. The most common cause is low power steering fluid levels, which can lead to worn-out components in the power steering pump. This can cause the pump to make noises when turning the wheel as it struggles to move the wheels and handle the force.
If the power steering issue isn’t the cause of the sounds, we suggest you take a look at your suspension system. Suspension components such as shocks and struts may become worn with age and begin to creak or rattle when turning.
Worn-out wheel bearings can also be another source of creaking noises as they are essential for keeping the wheel running smoothly and supporting it on either side of its axle; loose or worn bearings will create noise when friction occurs between them while turning.
Lastly, faulty steering rods or tie rods can also be a factor if they become bent, misaligned, or broken, which can lead to unusual noises when you turn your vehicle’s wheel.
Is it safe to drive my car if it’s creaking?
It CAN be safe to drive your car if it’s creaking. However, it is highly recommended that you have the issue checked out as soon as possible. This is because it can go from ok to not ok ( or safe) to be driving if the part that is under stress fails.
What are the consequences of driving my car if it’s creaking?
Driving a car that is creaking can be dangerous and cause further damage if left unaddressed. The most immediate risk is the potential for instability of the wheel or suspension components when driving, as the creaking noise often increases when turning.
This could cause a loss of control, leading to accidents and injury to yourself or other drivers on the road.
Another risk is further wearing of the wheel bearings; when metal rubs against metal due to loose bearings, it can cause friction and heat build-up in addition to the creaking noise. So like most things, it is easier to prevent a total failure by fixing a small issue before it gets to be a huge problem.
How can I fix my car if it’s creaking?
You will first have to identify the cause of the sounds and then fix that issue. Easy right? The first thing we would look at would be the things that we list in our guide, as they are pretty straightforward to fix.
How much will it cost to fix my car if it’s creaking?
The cost to fix a creaking car will depend on several factors, such as the severity of the issue, the type of car and model, and which specific components need to be replaced.
Generally, it can range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. For example, if the power steering fluid levels are low, then replenishing them will usually cost around $50- USD 150.
Because there is such a range of the cause of these sounds its impossible to give a ballpark figure as each issue has a pretty different price range. You can’t say that swapping out some fluid is in the same area as changing your front suspension.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my car from creaking?
As the two main causes of this sound is related to keeping your power steering fluids topped up to the right level, it is pretty straightforward as far as preventing this issue from happening.
With the suspension issues, it comes down to wear and tear, so there isn’t much you can do to prevent it other than use your car… but that’s not really an option..