Squealing Noise When Turning: Causes and Fixes

July 9, 2024

Experiencing the squealing noise when turning can be quite frustrating as it disrupts the driving experience and may indicate underlying issues with your vehicle. Understanding what causes these noises and how to address them can save you time and money. From noise issues linked to your power steering pump to potential problems with your tires and suspension, here’s everything you need to know.

squealing noise when turning
"Noises Off!" by Brett Jordan is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Power Steering Pump Noises

In some cases, a squealing noise when turning to the right can be associated with the power steering pump. Unlike typical belt squeals, this sound is higher-pitched and originates from the front driver's side wheel. Here are several potential causes and solutions:

  • Belts: If your power steering pump is not belt-driven, you can eliminate the possibility of the belt slipping. However, if a questionable accessory drive belt causes a squeal, it may indicate that it’s slipping at the alternator.
  • Fluid Levels: Low power steering fluid levels can result in noise. Always ensure your fluid levels are adequate.
  • Mechanical Issues: Bearing problems in the power steering pump or its drive motor can also lead to squealing. A professional technician should diagnose and address such problems.

Regular maintenance of the accessory drive system and ensuring the belt and fluid levels are in good condition can prevent such noises. If the problem persists, it’s best to seek advice from a technician.

Addressing the squealing noise when turning corners

A squealing noise when turning corners is often linked to tire issues like under-inflated or unevenly worn tires. Here’s what you need to watch out for:

  • Tire Pressure: Under-inflation is a common cause, making the tire more prone to damage and reducing traction. Regular tire pressure checks can prevent this.
  • Treadwear: Uneven treadwear can indicate alignment, wheel and suspension issues. Routine tire rotation and balance are vital for preventing uneven wear.
  • Wheel Misalignment: Misalignment can cause uneven tire wear and squealing. Differentiate between wheel alignment and tire balancing procedures to address the problem adequately.
  • Non-Tire Issues: Faulty wheel bearings, dry steering/suspension elements, loose wheels, worn brakes, and low power steering fluid are also culprits. Regular maintenance inspections of these components are crucial.

Tightening and Replacing Belts

If your vehicle's belts are worn, they may need to be tightened or replaced to eliminate the squeal. Maintaining proper belt tension is essential:

  • Adjustment: Adjust the tensioner pulley to tighten the belt.
  • Replacement: Replace worn belts. Even new belts may stretch and require re-tightening after the initial replacement.

Properly tensioned and maintained belts can prevent future problems and ensure a smoother, quieter driving experience.

Suspension and Coilover Issues

Squealing noises may also stem from your vehicle's suspension system. Issues like a loose spring on the coilover can cause disturbing noises:

  • Spring Adjustment: Tighten the coilover spring to see if the noise ceases.
  • Professional Inspection: If the issue persists, having a dealership inspect it for further potential repairs is advisable.

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