I have an issue that has been driving me nuts for a while; I’ve noticed the steering wheel of my car makes noise when turning it.
It’s not a squeaking sound but rather more like clicking and clacking.
This is happening even when the car is stationary with no one in it, so I wonder if there is something wrong with my tires or suspension?
After digging around and consulting with my mechanic, I finally was able to figure out the possible culprit in this case.
This article will focus on major causes and possible fixes to this common problem.
What Causes Noise When Turning Steering Wheel While Stationary
There are several possible causes of Noise When Turning the Steering Wheel While Stationary. They include:
1. Low Power Steering Fluid
You may be experiencing noise when turning the steering wheel while stationary if you have an insufficient power steering fluid level in your car.
The power steering pump is tasked with pumping oil from a reservoir to hydraulic cylinders that run through the rack and pinion assembly, which turns it into force for moving the wheels.
If there’s not enough fluid to lubricate these components, then they’ll needlessly wear out prematurely and make lots of rackets as they do their job.
You can check your manual or ask your service advisor at your dealership how much PSF (power steering fluid) should be in there, so you know if any needs topping up.
2. Low Tire Pressure or Worn Suspension Parts
The noise may be caused by low tire pressure or worn suspension parts.
To diagnose this issue, check the air pressure of tires to ensure they are at the correct level.
Additionally, perform a visual inspection for any broken, cracked, or bent metal pieces such as ball joints, control arm bushings (also called tie rod ends), shocks/struts, steering-column shafts etc., that could contribute to an excessive amount of vibration when turning sharply.
If all these items appear in good condition, there is likely some form of corrosion on one or more components within the steering system that will need professional attention from your preferred mechanic.
3. Faulty Struts/Shocks
There is an inherent design flaw in the strut/shock absorber system that affects many vehicles.
The issues are caused by a faulty mounting bolt connection to the top of each shock, allowing too much movement and resulting in noise when turning the steering wheel while stationary.
These problems can also be aggravated due to weather conditions or increased use on rough surfaces.
This problem was reported to Toyota as early as 2007 and was never addressed until they recalled certain models for this issue in 2014.
Clearly, not all affected cars were taken care of with this recall, so it’s important owners keep their eyes open for any signs of trouble ahead – big warning sign: uncomfortable bumps over minor obstacles such as light potholes may indicate the need for service.
4. Fluid Leakages
If you hear a hissing sound coming from the area where your wheels are, and it only occurs at certain times during turning, this indicates fluid leakages.
The most likely places for these to occur are in the power steering reservoir and hoses that carry hydraulic fluid to/from various components on your car’s rack-and-pinion system, as well as brake lines that could be damaged or have developed air bubbles within them from pressure changes over time.
Possible Solutions: Having a qualified technician diagnose leaks by inspecting all those connections and the power steering reservoir.
If your symptoms are indicative of fluid leakages, then you may need to have these repaired as soon as possible to avoid more serious damage being done to other components on your vehicle’s rack-and-pinion system or brake lines that could result in an expensive repair bill later down the line if left unchecked.
5. Worn Out Power Steering Belt
The power steering belt is the rubber or fabric that wraps around your vehicle’s engine shaft and connects to a pump on the other side.
Because of its position, it can wear out prematurely from friction with other parts in certain vehicles.
When this happens, you may notice an increase in noise when turning the wheel while stationary (e.g., at a stoplight).
The good news is that replacing this part typically just takes about 45 minutes.
If you are experiencing any additional issues such as difficulty moving left-to-right and right-to-left, chances are there could be another issue affecting how smoothly power steering works – one which will need to diagnose first before fixing anything else.
6. Damaged Suspension Bushings
Suspension bushing repair kits are relatively inexpensive and can be easily installed by a DIYer.
They come with the necessary tools required for installation, including grease to keep out moisture.
New bushings will eliminate any scraping or squeaking noises caused by worn suspension components. It should also make it easier when turning your steering wheel while stationary and driving on rough terrain like bumpy roads.
Aftermarket replacement parts may not last nearly as long and could create other problems down the line if they have been poorly made, so invest in quality USA-made replacements from brands such as Beck Arnley, Dorman Products, Gates Corporation, and Moog Incorporated.
How To Fix Noise When Turning Steering Wheel While Stationary?
-Locate the power steering belt. (It is usually located in front of the engine and should be either a serpentine belt or flat)
-Look for any cracks, breaks, or holes that may have occurred. If there are none, you will need to investigate further steps.
-Check all hoses and lines around it as well–if they’re cracked or leaking, this could cause your noise when turning the wheel while stationary.
If these fail, check if there is anything loose under the hood such as belts that may not be tight enough, which can make noises similar to what you describe when turning the steering wheel while stationary.
Tightening them up might do the trick.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.