Car Noises When Turning: Diagnosing Steering and Suspension Problems

Car Noises When Turning

As a diligent car owner and enthusiast, you’re well aware that your vehicle’s performance is a symphony of mechanical interactions. However, when your car produces unusual noises during turns, it’s like a discordant note disrupting the harmony. In this guide, we’ll delve into the art of diagnosing and addressing these noises, focusing on both steering and suspension issues. By understanding potential causes, diagnosing steering problems, and tackling suspension challenges, you’ll ensure smoother, safer, and more enjoyable drives.

Identifying Potential Causes of Noises During Turns:

1. Worn CV Joints:

  • Description: Clicking or popping noise when turning.
  • Cause: CV (constant velocity) joints transmit power from the transmission to the wheels and can wear out over time, leading to noise during turns.
  • Diagnosis: Listen for a distinct clicking noise during slow, sharp turns, particularly when coming out of a parking spot.

2. Damaged Wheel Bearings:

  • Description: Grinding or growling noise that increases with speed.
  • Cause: Wheel bearings support the weight of the vehicle and can become damaged due to wear or improper maintenance.
  • Diagnosis: The noise becomes more pronounced as you drive faster and can also be audible during turns.

3. Faulty Power Steering Pump:

  • Description: Whining or squealing noise when turning the steering wheel.
  • Cause: The power steering pump generates pressure to assist in steering, and a malfunctioning pump can lead to noise.
  • Diagnosis: The noise is typically more noticeable when turning the steering wheel, especially at low speeds.

4. Malfunctioning Suspension Components:

  • Description: Knocking or clunking noises when driving over bumps or turning.
  • Cause: Worn or damaged suspension components, such as control arms or bushings, can result in noise during movement.
  • Diagnosis: The noise may intensify during turns or when driving over uneven surfaces.

Diagnosing and Fixing Steering Issues:

1. Check Power Steering Fluid:

  • Diagnosis: Whining or groaning noise during steering.
  • Fix: Open the hood and locate the power steering fluid reservoir. Ensure the fluid level is within the recommended range. If low, add the manufacturer-recommended fluid.

2. Inspect Power Steering Belt:

  • Diagnosis: Squealing or chirping noise when turning the steering wheel.
  • Fix: Examine the power steering belt for signs of wear, cracks, or looseness. If damaged, replace the belt following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

3. Examine Steering Column and Joints:

  • Diagnosis: Clicking or rattling noise during steering maneuvers.
  • Fix: Inspect the steering column and joints for wear, corrosion, or looseness. Lubricate components as needed or replace worn parts.

4. Check for Air in Power Steering System:

  • Diagnosis: Unusual noise and difficulty steering.
  • Fix: Bleed the power steering system to remove air bubbles. Consult your vehicle’s manual for specific instructions.

5. Verify Power Steering Pump:

  • Diagnosis: Noise persists despite proper fluid levels.
  • Fix: If the power steering pump is suspected, consult a professional mechanic for a thorough inspection and potential replacement.

Remember, your car’s steering system is intricate, and addressing issues correctly requires attention to detail. If you’re uncertain about diagnosing or fixing steering problems, it’s wise to seek assistance from a qualified mechanic. Their expertise ensures accurate diagnosis and appropriate repairs, allowing you to enjoy a smooth and reliable steering experience.

Diagnosing and Fixing Suspension Issues:

1. Inspect Ball Joints:

  • Diagnosis: Knocking or clunking noises, especially when going over bumps or turning.
  • Fix: Jack up your vehicle and visually inspect the ball joints for wear, damage, or play. Replace worn or damaged ball joints promptly to ensure proper suspension function.

2. Check Bushings and Control Arms:

  • Diagnosis: Rattling noises, particularly on uneven roads.
  • Fix: Examine bushings and control arms for wear or damage. Replace any components that show signs of deterioration to restore stability and reduce noise.

3. Examine Struts and Shocks:

  • Diagnosis: Bouncing or excessive vibration.
  • Fix: Test the struts and shocks by pushing down on each corner of your vehicle. If the vehicle bounces more than once, it’s time to replace worn struts or shocks.

4. Verify Sway Bar Links:

  • Diagnosis: Clunking noise when driving over bumps or during turns.
  • Fix: Check sway bar links for play or damage. Replace any damaged links to improve stability and minimize noise.

5. Inspect Suspension Springs:

  • Diagnosis: Uneven ride height, bouncing, or bottoming out.
  • Fix: Visually inspect the suspension springs for signs of sagging or damage. Replace worn springs to maintain proper ride height and suspension performance.

6. Test Wheel Bearings:

  • Diagnosis: Grinding or humming noise that increases with speed.
  • Fix: Lift each wheel and check for play or noise when spinning. Replace worn wheel bearings to prevent further damage and noise.

7. Seek Professional Help:

  • Diagnosis: If you’re uncertain about diagnosing or fixing suspension issues, or if the issues persist after your inspection and attempts at repairs.
  • Fix: Consult a professional mechanic for a thorough assessment and precise repairs.


As you navigate the world of car noises during turns, you’re effectively becoming a detective of your vehicle’s mechanical language. By understanding the potential causes, diagnosing steering problems, and addressing suspension challenges, you’re not only enhancing your driving experience but also safeguarding your investment. As you embark on the journey of diagnosing and resolving these issues, you’re contributing to the ongoing symphony of your car’s performance and ensuring that each turn is a harmonious part of your driving pleasure.