8 Common Causes For Knock Sound When Turning Steering Wheel

There should never be any knocking sound when you turn the steering wheel in your automobile. The presence of a knocking sound as you turn the steering wheel might be an indication of a problem. Sometimes it’s nothing major, but sometimes it’s a major issue that needs quick attention. In any case, you need to be proactive and look into the knocking noise right away.

To learn more about the knock sound when turning steering wheel, keep reading this informative article.

Knock Sound When Turning Steering Wheel – Your Speed Matters

What’s wrong can become clearer when you crank the wheel faster or slower and listen for sounds. This clunking noise might be indicative of a problem, depending on whether it occurs at high, low, or average speeds.

Not checking anything out because you can’t always hear a sound is not a good idea. If you notice any strange sounds when you spin the steering wheel, you should get your car checked out.

Knocking Sound At Slow Speeds

If the noises only happen while going slowly, the fault is either with the power steering or the suspension. If you hear a knocking noise whenever you spin the wheel, it’s probably the power steering pump giving out.

The turning process is simplified by the presence of the power steering pump. This is because it aids in lubricating the steering mechanism.

A power steering pump is almost certainly the source of a noise originating from the engine compartment or the front of the vehicle. It is important to inspect and test the power steering pump, and replace it if necessary.

However, if the noises are more of a clunking nature, especially while turning at low speeds, the problem is probably with the suspension. Your vehicle’s suspension is what dampens the impact of road imperfections.

The suspension springs wear down with this stress over time. However, they are designed to break down over time to protect the more vital components of the vehicle. If you hear popping noises from the suspension as you turn, it’s time to have them checked out. The suspension springs go by a few different names, including shocks.

When you need to replace yours, choose the finest ones among the several types available; they are all rated for varying amounts of usage.

Knocking Sound At High Speeds

High-speed noise often originates from components like CV joints, bearings, or differentials. Which one it is may be determined by listening for distinctive sounds.

There will be a clicking or crunching noise coming from the CV joint if it is failing. The connection between the wheels and the axle is made at the CV joint. The popping may indicate a faulty connection. Replacement of the CV joint is necessary if it is damaged.

A humming or buzzing noise, on the other hand, is a sign that you need to inspect the wheel bearings. Wheels revolve freely due to the wheel bearings, which act as a cushion between the wheel and the ground. The wheel bearings carry the brunt of the vehicle’s weight when it turns, hence the noise is most audible while traveling at greater speeds.

Uneven tire wear and shakiness are two potential outcomes of ignoring a bearing issue. Because of this, you should replace the bearings if you think they could be worn out.

Bearings are inexpensive and easy to replace, so diagnosing the problem early can save you money.

Knocking Sound At Normal Speeds

When you turn the wheel at regular speeds and hear a knocking sound. It’s possible the electric steering system is at fault.

Particularly if the noise is coming from the front of the vehicle, the power steering pump is malfunctioning. However, it might also be due to a slipping belt or a lack of fluid.

If you’re experiencing a whimpering noise, you should check this out first. Even while the solution might be simple, it could also be a more involved process. A broken tie rod might be the problem.

The steering gears and the knuckles are connected by means of the tie rod. Therefore, they serve to link the steering rack to the actual steering arms. Clunking sounds usually indicate that one of the tie rod ends is damaged.

When a tie rod breaks, the steering becomes sloppy and loose. For the simple reason that the tie rod aids in keeping you in charge, difficulty in controlling the car is a direct result of a broken tie rod. Thus, fixing or replacing it is an urgent need.

8 Potential Issues To Look For the Knocking Sound

If you want to know the issue ahead of time, following common causes will help you identify the cause of clunking or knocking sounds you hear as you turn the steering wheel.

1. Worn Or Bad Tie Rods

Knocking noises while turning the wheel are caused by damaged or worn tie rod ends. The front wheels’ steering rack and knuckle are connected via the tie rod ends. In other words, the front wheels move depending on which way the steering wheel is turned.

The steering will seem hazy or sluggish if the tie rods are worn. When you spin the wheel, you’ll also hear creaking sounds. The tie rods are engineered to last since they take a beating from driving across uneven terrain.

2. Damaged Sway Bar Links Or Anti-Roll Bars

With the help of the sway bar links, you may make sharp turns without worrying. With the sway bars installed, the car will be less likely to lean to one side when the driver navigates a tight bend. A broken or damaged sway bar link might be the source of any rattling or clunking coming from the front of the car.

Damaged sway bar links or stabilizer bars can cause a mushy steering feel, sloppy maneuverability, and wheel play.

3. Bad Suspension Bushings

You should expect to find a good number of bushings under your car’s suspension. If you often travel on rough terrain, the bushings will eventually wear out and fail. The size and shape of the bushings depend on the suspension system.

The suspension bushings will eventually break due to general wear and tear. When you spin the wheel, you’ll hear a clunking noise from the bushings since they’re made of metal. If you run over bumps while turning the wheel, the sounds will be louder.

4. Broken Ball Joints

Ball joints that have been damaged in any way must be repaired right away. When the front ball joints fail, the suspension might potentially collapse.

Ball joints that are worn out or cracked may cause an automobile to make a variety of odd sounds during acceleration and turns. The front of the car may make clunking or grinding sounds, and the steering may feel heavy while turning. The steering wheel might even tremble in your hands.

5. Worn Out Shock Absorbers Or Struts

These days, gas-type shock absorbers are standard on most automobiles. Fluid-type hydraulic shocks are common on older vehicles and budget compacts. Bad struts or damaged shocks might be to blame for the rough ride and clunking sounds coming from the front of your car. Clunks and knocking sound might also be the result of worn or broken shock mountings.

Lifting the car allows you to check for signs of wear on the shocks, such as cracked casings or fluid leakage. Oil leaking from the shock body is a sure sign that they need to be replaced.

6. Broken CV Joints

In most circumstances, particularly if you buy a new automobile every four to five years, you won’t need to repair the CV joints. However, issues will arise if the CV joint’s protective boot has been compromised. Check the CV joints if you hear a knocking or grinding sound when you move the steering wheel (while parking or at low speeds).

7. Damaged Or Worn Out Steering Rack

If you hear a lot of cracking or clunking as you turn the wheel, it might be a sign of a broken steering rack. Leaks of red fluid indicate a problem with the power steering system.

Ensure there is sufficient fluid in the power steering system. There must never be a shortage of power steering fluid, otherwise, the whole system will be harmed. Inspect the steering rack for excessive play and damage if your car has electric power steering.

8. Clogged Power Steering Fluid Reservoir

In most cases, the reservoir tank includes a filter designed to maintain pristine fluid conditions. When the reservoir gets clogged, it makes a grinding noise whenever it rotates.

The Bottom Line

There are a wide variety of possible causes for noise when you move the steering wheel. An issue exists if you hear any noise at all when steering.

The reasons may include a loose belt, less quantity of power steering fluid, a suspension bushing that has become dry, or even more serious issues. As well as inspecting other potential culprits, taking note of your vehicle’s speed when the noise occurs may shed light on the issue.

See how the tires look and how they’re holding up, for instance. A faulty suspension, old wheel bearings, or broken struts might be to blame for uneven tire wear and noises while turning.

If you’re having trouble maintaining direction, it might be a faulty ball joint, sway bar, or tie rods. However, if you hear any squeaking or grinding when you crank the steering wheel, you should get your automobile inspected immediately.

Having read this, you should be able to fix the “knock sound when turning steering wheel” problem. You’re in luck since after reading this you’ll know what’s causing the knocking sound as you turn the steering wheel.

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