If you’ve been driving for quite some time, you may be able to diagnose what’s wrong with your car without even visiting a mechanic’s shop.
For instance, when your car makes noise when turning, you can easily conclude that the problem is from the engine and needs lubrication.
However, what happens when your car makes noise when turning right but not left? Find out in this article the different possible problems.
The Mechanisms behind your car Right & Left Turn
It is impossible to discuss what causes noise when turning without describing the actual mechanism of making a right and left turn.
The steering system is a car component responsible for converting the rotation of the steering wheel to the wheels, making it respond in a swiveling motion in a way that the rim turns in an intended direction along the road.
Generally, there are two types of steering systems – the rack and pinion system and the steering box.
Regardless of whichever comes with your vehicle, there is the need for an amount of steering effort to the wheels through a system of pivoted joints for movement.
Different sounds for varying speeds, how bad is it?
When you drive and you hear different sounds, you should take some time to analyze the situation. You should consider the sound at different speeds – normal, low, and high.
You might be able to figure out what’s wrong with your car with these noise variations.
Noise At Normal Speeds
If you are driving at normal speeds and you hear a knocking sound, squealing, screeching or whining noise when turning, you can assume the following issues.
- Low levels of power steering fluid
- Worn out or broken tie rod linking the steering gear and knuckles
- The hose connecting the gear and pump is broken
- Loose belt
It is important that you visit a mechanic immediately when you start hearing any strange noise.
Noise At Low Speeds
If you hear a creaking noise when you turn at lower speeds, your best bet is that there is an issue with either the suspension system or the power steering system.
Most of the time, broken suspension joints can make a car make a creaking sound.
In the other scenario, a damaged power steering rack or a bad belt can make a car make a whining noise. However, this sound mostly comes from the engine area.
Noise At High Speeds
If you notice your car makes noise when turning at high speeds, you can make your assumptions based on the following areas:
- Broken CV Joints – often makes clicking or crunching noise
- Bad Coupling – often makes the car turn wobbly.
- Damaged Wheel Bearing – often makes a humming noise.
If you don’t have this checked immediately, you may start experiencing uneven tire wear because of the stress on the bearings from the load carried while turning.
Possible reasons why a car might make a noise when turning
Now that you know the common car noises you are likely to hear when turning at different speeds, you can proceed to figure out the causes.
There are different things that could cause your car to make strange noises, they include:
1. Suspension Joints or Ball Joints
One of the major reasons why your car makes noise when turning is if there is a problem with the suspension joints.
Generally, the suspension system consists of different components responsible for car movement.
If any of the suspension components get damaged or broken, there is definitely going to be a problem with turning, especially if it’s the joints.
The suspension joints or ball joints connect the vehicle’s control arms to the steering knuckles to aid mobility. So, if there is a problem, you’ll likely start hearing a creaking noise.
2. Power Steering Pump
The Power Steering System comes with various components that also play different parts in making sure a car’s turning is as seamless as possible.
One of such parts is the power steering pump which pressurizes a fluid that allows the easy turning of the steering wheel.
If this pump gets damaged, you will likely hear a whining noise from the car’s engine.
3. CV Joints
The Constant Velocity (CV) Joints are also vital components of a car. They allow the drive shaft in the wheel to be able to transmit power over an angle at a constant speed.
If you start hearing a crunching or clunking noise from your car when driving, that means there is a problem with the CV joints.
And if you keep driving with a worn-out CV joint, it may eventually break and put the car to a halt.
4. Power Steering System
As aforementioned, the power steering assembly consists of different components that if any of them gets damaged or broken, can automatically affect driving – turning and cornering become hard.
5. Tie Rods
Another reason why you may have your car making noise is if you have damaged tie rod ends.
The tie rod is an important feature that makes the connection between a steering arm and a steering rack.
With the tie rod ends connected, the wheels will move wherever the steering wheel is turned.
If the tie rod end attached to any of the steering components breaks, then you will likely hear a knocking noise – often heard at normal or lower speeds.
6. Sway Bar Link
If you have a bad sway bar link, the chances of your car making noise is high.
The sway bar link is a feature responsible for reducing roll when turning a car. It is more of a stabilizer, as it prevents rolling.
If this link is broken or damaged, you will hear a clunking sound. You need to have it checked immediately because it is dangerous – your car won’t be stable.
The Jounce Bushing is another part of your car, also playing a part in making sure your car can turn smoothly.
It is positioned on top of the front strut, making it quite vulnerable. Over time, it gets dry, wears out, and cracks.
If there is a problem with your jounce bushing, you’ll probably hear a creaking or groaning sound.
8. Struts and Shocks
The struts and shocks are also reasons why your car could make unusual noises. They are important parts acting as shock absorbers for vehicles. They are durable, but as time passes, they wear out.
If you don’t change the struts and shocks when you notice the noise, your car may begin to bounce when you turn.
9. Clogged Steering Reservoir Tank
The Power Steering fluid needs a place to be stored, so there is the Steering Reservoir Tank to do that.
However, if this tank is clogged, it may affect fluid movement, as well as its quality.
Your car would make an unusual noise due to clogging.
10. Worn Steering Column Bearing
The steering column bearing might be another reason why your car is making a loud noise.
The rubbing of the upper bearing because it is worn out – sometimes, due to expansion under hot weather, causes noise.
11. Power Steering Rack
If the power steering rack gets damaged, you will also hear strange, creaking noise when moving at low speeds.
12. Power Steering Fluid
Your power steering assembly is unable to work without a power steering fluid.
It constantly needs to be lubricated by this fluid for smooth wheel turning.
However, if the power steering fluid is at low levels due to leakage, you are bound to hear a strange noise when turning.
Why is it so hard to narrow down the noise behind your right turn?
Considering the different factors responsible for the common car noises, it is agreeable that it can be difficult to narrow down the noise behind your right turn.
For all it is worth, the problem could be due to bad steering components, damaged struts, and shocks, or broken jounce bushing.
However, if you start noticing poor handling, hearing a whining sound, or loud bangs, you should consider a car schedule service.
Let a mechanic check out the different parts of your car and find out what’s wrong or causing the noise.
Frequently Asked Question
Why Is the Steering Wheel Vibrating?
Your steering wheel could be vibrating for any of these reasons.
If you don’t have it checked immediately, your car may develop issues due to excessive movement or even cause accidents.
If you are having problems with turning, your car presents some warning signs – one of them is making noise.
There are different types of noise you hear when turning a car and each of them has been described already above.
Look out for any of the signs (noise) above to determine what’s wrong with your car.
When you eventually do, ensure you get the problems fixed immediately for your safety.