Why Does My Car Squeak When Turning?

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 4 days ago

5 min read

  • Advice
  • warning
Fitting Tyre

WhoCanFixMyCar explain why your car might be squeaking when you turn the wheel

There are three common culprits that could be making your car squeak when turning: power steering failure, low power-steering fluid, or friction between the steering wheel housing and the interior trim.

This guide discusses all the possibilities and how much they are likely to cost to repair.


Five reasons for squeaking when your car turns

Types of noises and their potential problems

What is power steering?

Five reasons for squeaking when your car turns

1. Power steering failure

Power steering is designed to reduce the effort needed to turn a car. It consists of a pump, hoses, steering gear and various additional components, some of which require lubrication.

Image of steering components against white background.

When steering components lose their lubrication, work themselves loose or break, the result is often an unpleasant squeaking or squealing sound when you turn the wheel.

The average price of a power steering repair is £97.11 when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.

2. Low power steering fluid

When the fluid that powers and lubricates the power-steering system is too low, components rub against each other, creating squealing noises when the steering wheel isn't centralised.


Check the fluid level and replenish as needed. If the fluid is contaminated or dirty, this can also cause issues; it should be replaced every 40,000-80,000 miles.

Suspension components that aren't properly lubricated can have a similar effect.

3. Rubbing against interior trim

If you’ve got a new car, squeaking may happen when the steering wheel housing rubs against the interior trim. In hotter weather, the materials expand, filling all the gaps and making noises. The best way to resolve this is to pop into your local garage or body shop.

4. Worn steering wheel belt

The steering wheel belt is attached to the power steering system. You can usually find it at the front of the engine; its purpose is to operate the hydraulic power steering pump. Older steering wheel belts sometimes become loose or worn, creating a squeaking sound - eventually, they can snap, which is why you shouldn't ignore the problem.

5. Suspension issues

The suspension system is one of the most common causes of squeaking. The sound usually comes from two components rubbing against each other without any lubrication; the tie-rods, steering linkage, ball joints or bushings are usually to blame.

Suspension repairs

You can find out more about how your car's suspension works here.

The average cost of a suspension repair booked through WhoCanFixMyCar is £153.91.

Types of noises and their potential problems

  • Creaks, clunks and squeaks: Any of these sounds indicate worn shock absorbers and suspension. They also indicate dry bushings, ball joints or tie rods. 

  • Metallic grinding or ringing: These noises are usually from suspension components or wheel bearings.

  • Crunching when turning sharply: This noise suggests your 

    CV joint needs replacing.

  • Hum: A hum often indicates that the wheel bearing needs to be checked out by your local garage.

  • Screeching, squealing or whining: These sounds may indicate an issue with your power steering system, such as a loose belt or low power steering fluid.

What is Power Steering?

The power steering system consists of three main parts:

  • Pump - this component is driven by the belt on the front of the motor.

  • Steering gear – tie rods connect to the steering gear and the knuckles, where the wheels are attached.

  • Hoses - connect to the pump and gear.

As with anything in life, general wear and tear can affect the efficiency of the power steering system.

Steering in a right-hand drive car

Not sure about what’s causing the noises in your car? WhoCanFixMyCar can help you find a garage that will fix your problems and get you on the road again.

If you have any other issues with your car that you'd like to try to diagnose yourself, check out our guide on self-diagnosing car problems. The more you know about how your car works, the better.

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