If your car squeaks when it turns or makes a squealing noise when you turn the steering wheel, there are a variety of causes. The most likely causes for a squeaking car are; suspension losing lubrication, low power-steering fluid and the the steering wheel housing rubbing against the interior trim.
Car Squeaks Reason 1: Suspension and Steering
When a suspension and steering component has lost its lubrication, it will squeak or squeal when the steering wheel is in motion. If the tie-rod ends, seals, ball joints and universal joints are not lubricated, they dry out. This causes less than desirable noises. A local garage should be able to source this issue and fix it.
Car Squeaks Reason 2: Low Power-Steering Fluid
When the fluid that powers and lubricates the power-steering system reaches a low level, squealing noises will happen for as long as the steering wheel is not centralised. Check the fluid levels and replenish them if necessary. Should the fluid be contaminated or dirty this could also cause issues. If adding fluid doesn’t resolve the problem then book your car into your local garage.
They will work their magic to fix your steering issue. This is the most common problem.
Car Squeaks Reason 3: Driving on Certain Surfaces
Sometimes your car tyres may make undesirable noises when they meet certain surfaces. Unfortunately, there is very little you can do when this happens. So stick up the volume on the radio and keep driving!
Car Squeaks Reason 4: Rubbing Against the Interior Trim
If you’ve got a new car, squeaking and squealing may happen when the steering wheel housing in new cars rubs against the interior trim. In hotter weather, the materials expand therefore filling all the gaps and making noises. The best way to resolve this is to pop into your local garage or body shop.
Types of Noises and Their Potential Problems
If you’re still unsure of whether the noise is a squeak, squeal clunk or hum then we’ve put together the types of noises and what they could be.
- Creaks, clunks and squeaks: Any of these sounds indicate wear and tear and worn shocks and suspensions. They also indicate dry bushings, ball joints or tie rods. These types of noises are accompanied by poor car maintenance and vibrations.
- Metallic grinding or ringing: These noises are usually from worn brake components.
- 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 as soon as possible.
- Screeching, squealing or whining: Most of the time, these problems indicate an issue with your power steering system, from a loose belt to a bad pump or low power steering fluid.
What is Power Steering?
A power steering system is a simple system in a car. Consisting of three parts;
- The pump is driven by the belt on the front of the motor.
- The steering gear – tie rods connect to the steering gear and the knuckles which is where the wheels are attached.
- The Hoses connect to the pump and gear.
As with anything in life, over time general wear and tear can affect the efficiency of the power steering system. The seals containing the power steering fluid will wear down, causing small leakages, therefore causing the power steering pump to whine and squeal when you turn the wheel.
If you’re not sure about what’s causing the noises in your car, WhoCanFixMyCar will help you find a garage that will fix your problems and get you on the road again.