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squeaking noise when turning at low speeds

Squeaking Noise When Turning At Low Speeds: 8 Possible Causes

Are you hearing a strange squeaking noise when you turn your car at low speeds? If so, there are a few potential causes that you should identify and take steps to fix.

The most likely culprit is your vehicle’s power steering system. The power steering belt may be worn and need to be replaced, or the pump may need some lubrication. Additionally, you may need to top up or change the power steering fluid. If none of these solutions fix the squeaking noise, there may also be an issue with the steering rack or suspension.

Most of these issues can be remedied fairly easily if caught early enough. Let’s look at some of the most common causes of this issue and how to fix them.

Low Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid
Photo by: Pixabay

One possible cause of the squeaking noise when turning at low speeds is that the power steering fluid has dropped too low. By utilizing hydraulic pressure, the power steering system allows for effortless turning of the wheels when you turn your steering wheel. The noise will occur as you turn if there isn’t enough fluid.

Check your power steering fluid levels and top up if necessary to fix this issue. You may need to flush out the system if it’s still happening after topping up the fluid.

Failing Power Steering System

power steering problems
Photo by: Envato Elements

Another potential cause of squeaking noises when turning at low speeds is a failing power steering system. Over time, components within the system can wear out or break down, leading to an inefficient operation and a loud squealing sound as you turn.

You should have your mechanic inspect and repair any faulty parts to fix this problem. If the power steering system is beyond repair, you may need to replace the whole thing.

Bad CV Joint

bad cv joint
Photo by: Wikimedia Commons

A bad CV joint could also be responsible for making a squeaking noise when turning at low speeds. A CV joint is an integral part of your vehicle’s suspension system that connects two rotating parts to move independently without binding up.

If these joints become worn out or damaged, they won’t be able to rotate freely, leading to a loud squealing sound as you turn the wheel. You should inspect and replace the CV joint to fix this issue.

Faulty Steering Wheel Column

faulty steering wheel column
Photo by: Wikimedia Commons

Another potential cause of this problem could be a faulty steering wheel column. The column helps support the steering wheel and allows it to move freely when you turn it left or right. If there are any loose components in the column or if it has become bent or warped over time, then it could lead to an increased amount of play in the wheel, which could result in an irritating squeaking sound when turning at low speeds.

In this case, you should inspect and replace the steering wheel column to solve this issue. It’s important to get this taken care of as soon as possible to ensure the safety of your vehicle.

Suspension Problems

Auto Suspension Spring
Photo by: Unsplash

Another common cause of squeaking noises while turning at low speeds is suspension problems. Due to regular use, suspension components such as control arms, bushings, or ball joints may become worn out over time. As these parts start to wear down, they will squeak when metal rubs against metal during turns or other maneuvers that involve the suspension system.

To fix this problem, you should have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic who can identify and replace worn-out parts in your suspension system. 

Loose Exterior Trim

loose trim
Photo by: Wikimedia Commons

Another possible cause of squeaking noises when turning at low speeds is loose exterior trim pieces on your vehicle. Trim pieces such as door panels or fenders can create a squeak while turning at slow speeds due to extra movement between these pieces as you drive around corners or curves. These trim pieces can work themselves loose over time due to vibrations from normal driving conditions, rattling around and making noise whenever the car turns.

To remedy this problem, check all trim pieces on your vehicle for anything that looks loose or has come undone from its place, and make sure they are properly secured before driving again. Inspect all exterior trim pieces regularly, tightening up anything that may have come loose over time

Tire Pressure

flat tire
Photo by: Pixabay

Tire pressure can also affect how smoothly your car turns at lower speeds. Ensure tires are inflated properly according to manufacturer specifications before taking off on a drive. This ensures optimal performance from all four tires, reducing vibration and preventing excessive friction from occurring – both of which can create irritating sounds while cornering slowly. 

If your tire pressure is too low or too high, adjust it accordingly and check it again when the car is cold for the most accurate reading. 

Brakes And Brake Pads

brake disk
Photo by: Pexels

Lastly, brakes and brake pads can contribute to those dreaded noises while taking corners slowly. Ensure brake pads are replaced regularly according to manufacturer guidelines – otherwise, worn-out pads may not grip firmly enough on rotors.

This leads to excess vibration amplified through other components like fenders or struts, creating an audible squeal each time brakes are applied softly around curves in roads.  


Is Squeaky Suspension Serious?

Yes, squeaky suspension can be a serious issue. It’s important to get it looked at as soon as possible by a qualified mechanic to prevent further damage or compromised safety.

Worn parts usually cause noises in the suspension system, such as control arms or ball joints. A qualified mechanic can identify which components must be replaced and take care of the issue.

How Dangerous Is A Squeak When Turning?

A squeak when turning can be quite dangerous, as it may indicate a serious problem with the steering column or suspension system that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

If the noise only occurs when turning at low speeds, it may be due to worn parts in the suspension system or loose exterior trim pieces. You should address these issues as soon as possible to ensure your vehicle’s safe and reliable operation. If these problems are left unresolved, they can lead to decreased performance and handling and compromised safety.


Sammy is a lifelong gearhead who's been wrenching on cars and bikes since he was tall enough to reach the pedals. These days, he spends his time writing about all things automotive, from new performance products to how to get the most out of your old ride. When he's not behind a computer, you'll find him at the race track or out on a trail somewhere.

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