The Most Common Causes of Noise When Turning the Steering Wheel While Stationary

When moving the steering wheel when stationary, you may find it difficult to turn the wheels or hear a noise. The difficulty points to a more serious issue with your engine, suspension, or steering.

 Power steering lubrication is also required while turning the steering wheel. As a result, you may temporarily solve the problem by lubricating your car and avoiding the risk of essential components wearing out.

You risk causing accidents to yourself and other road users if you don't hire a professional to fix the problem or replace the damaged parts right away. The type of noise you hear when moving the steering wheel might help you and your mechanic identify the problematic parts. Search online for car service near me garage.

Depending on the problem with your engine, suspension, brakes, or steering system, you may hear a whining, grinding, clunking, chucking, or squeaking sounds.

The technical reasons of obstacles and sounds when moving the steering wheel of a stationary vehicle are discussed in this article.

When turning the steering wheel while stationary, what causes the noise?

The following are the main reasons why there is a noise when turning a steering wheel while stationary:

Inadequate Power Steering Fluid

One of the most common reasons of a whining sounds when moving the steering wheel when stationary is a lack of power steering fluid. The circular steering is connected to the gearbox by a metal rack in most cars with rack and pinion steering systems. This rack also features a tie rod to assist convert the steering's circular action to linear motion and decrease gear impact, allowing the wheels to move smoothly. The mechanism gets high-pressure fluid lubrication through two ports on the piston's flanks in order for it to function smoothly. The fluid not only lubricates the gears and column, but it also gives the piston a lot of power to move.

Poor Fluid Quality

When moving the steering wheel of a parked car, you may hear a harsh grinding in addition to the whining. This symptom implies that you're using the incorrect lubricant. Nowadays, most car manufacturers build vehicles that can only utilise particular lubrication based on the chemical compositions of the components and the unique minerals appropriate for lubricating them.

Fluid Leak

Leaking steering pumps are another typical source of unpleasant noises when driving. The extent of the whining, grinding, or clunking noise when moving the steering wheel while stationary in your car is determined by the size of the leaking power steering fluid. The poor lubrication capability wears the power steering belt, causing significant difficulty moving the steering column, metal rack, and gears, as in the instances above. Power steering leaks can be detected by looking for stains at the bottom of your parked car. However, the fluid stains might be from engine oil or brake fluids, so check the steering fluid reservoir levels first to rule out other automotive fluid leaks before looking for a full car service near me garage.

Faulty Steering Rack

A clunking sound while turning the steering wheel might indicate a more serious issue than a lack of steering fluid or a leaky steering system. A malfunctioning steering rack might occur as a result of an accident or because your car has not been maintained in a long time. When you turn the tyres from one end to the other, the clunking sound from a defective rack generally comes in pauses. Clunks that occur frequently suggest faulty installation or struts.

Faulty Struts

While your car's suspension fails, steering becomes extremely difficult, especially at low speeds or when the vehicle is stopped. To turn the wheels, the steering system relies on the vehicle suspension. As a result, defective struts and incorrect suspension put stress on the steering system, potentially causing mechanical damage. If your car makes a noise when turning right but not left, it means your ball joints are deteriorating and your tie rod end is worn out. The clunking sound is caused by the car's abrupt weight changes when its tyres spin.

Worn Out Drive Belt

If your drive belt is damaged or worn out, your car will likely make a harsh screeching or squeaking noise when you spin the steering wheel left or right at moderate speeds or when stationary. The engine and the power steering pump are connected by this belt. As a result, it requires sufficient lubrication from the power steering fluid to avoid wear and tear during vehicle operation.

Air bubbles, water, and contaminants in the power steering fluid - Any impurities or air in the power steering fluid decreases the fluid's capacity to properly lubricate the power steering system. As a result, when moving the steering wheel while stationary, mechanical elements of the system are subjected to strain, friction, and pressure impacts, which produce noise. 

Low Tyre Pressure

When moving the steering wheel left or right while stationary, low tyre pressure might create a clicking sound. Low tyre pressure leads to an imbalance in the weight distribution of the vehicle. As a result, when attempting to alter the tyre direction, the steering system feels pain, resulting in severe strain and noise. Using worn-out tyres or combining various tyre types might impact and create power steering difficulties, in addition to tyre pressure.

Malfunctioning Steering Pump

As previously stated, the steering pump is essential for generating enough pressure to sustain the power steering system. As a result, pump obstructions pose a serious threat to the steering system. Although broken pumps may not fully obstruct steering action, they can lead to other mechanical difficulties such as ripped steering belts, which can cause the entire power steering system to fail. When the wheel becomes difficult to direct and creates a clicking noise in the steering column when steered in a stationary position, you have a faulty steering pump.

If you come across any of the above symptoms, we recommend that you search online for a vehicle service near me garage and book your car in with a professional car mechanic to repair the issues.

How to Solve Power Steering Noise Issues

The first step in resolving your vehicle's irritating noises is to determine the source of the problem. For the most part, you won't need a mechanic. Unless they're too difficult, you can diagnose problems and have the satisfaction of fixing them yourself using a mechanical toolbox. If your power steering difficulties are caused by mixing and matching various tyres or using badly worn-out tyres, you don't need to call a repair. You may buy the tyres at your local tyre shop and request them to also install them.

You may also use a dipstick to check the amount of your power steering fluid and replace it without the assistance of a professional. The majority of whining sounds when steering your stationary automobile are caused by insufficient or inadequate steering fluid quality. As a result, the first thing you should do if you're having trouble steering or hearing an unpleasant sound from your car is to check the lubricant levels in your steering fluid.

During the day or at night, checking your power steering fluid should be simple, especially if you have a working underwood work light for appropriate vision. Place the deep stick within the reservoir after opening the power steering cap. Remove it to compare the oil levels to the calibration on the deep stick. Your power steering fluid levels are OK if they are within the MIN and MAX markings, and you should not have any steering problems.

If you have power steering noises yet your fluid levels are within the acceptable range, it's possible you used the wrong power steering fluid or the fluid is contaminated. In either case, cleanse the power steering system before refilling it with new fluid, as directed in the owner's handbook.

If you find your power steering fluid levels decreasing at an alarming pace, examine for leaks around the hoses of your power steering system on a regular basis.

When attempting to steer a stationary car, powerful screeches and loud clucks suggest a larger technical problem with your power steering system. Unfortunately, the source of these loud clunks is unknown. To choose which item to repair or replace, you may require a professional examination from a skilled technician. You may, however, minimise the noise by lubricating your car's mechanical parts. To totally eliminate the clunking sounds when steering the car, you'll need to repair or replace some of the following parts:

The power steering pump

Suspension joints


Ball joints

CV joints

Tie rods

The sway bar link


Request that someone start the engine and spin the steering wheel back and forth while you listen for screaming and clunking engine noises to determine which component needs to be repaired or replaced. Although most power system sounds and damages are caused by insufficient lubrication or road accidents, you must still take your car in for regular maintenance to avoid these issues.

Service maintenance is the greatest method to avoid serious steering issues since a problem with one part usually leads to a problem with another.


You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Articles