Creaking Noise When Turning At Slow Speeds -Why – How to Fix it?

When you’re driving slowly and your car starts making weird noises, it can be annoying. The noise is not only annoying, but it could also mean that something is wrong with your car. So, why does your car creaking noise when turning at slow speeds?

Most cars make noise when turning slowly because their ball joints are broken, their CV joints are worn out, their power steering fluid is dirty, their belts are broken, they don’t have enough power steering fluid, or their pumps are worn out. Some simple fixes are to replace broken parts, add more fluid, or change out the dirty fluid.

As a driver, you need to know what could be making your car make noises so you can quickly find and fix problems. Also, who wants to drive around in a car that sounds funny?

Here are a few of the most common reasons why your car makes noise when you turn slowly:

There Is Damage to the Ball Joints

Creaking Noise When Turning At Slow Speeds Why - How to Fix it?

The steering knuckle and the control arm are connected by ball joints. When these joints are broken, the car can make a squeaking sound when it turns slowly.

This 2017 study says that damage to ball joints is caused by too much wear and tear. Damage can also be caused by accidents, the buildup of dirt, ice, or snow on the joint, and a bad installation.

There may be other noises, such as:

  • When you turn the wheel, the car jerks or shakes.
  • It’s hard to control the steering
  • Tires with uneven wear

The Joints On The CV Are Worn Out.

CV stands for “constant velocity,” and a CV joint is a type of joint that helps move power from the engine to the wheels. They are in the middle of the axle and connect the wheels to the transmission. If they get worn out, a car may make a clicking sound when it turns at low speeds.

Damage to CV joints is usually caused by driving on rough or unpaved roads, making a lot of stops and starts (like in city traffic), too much wear and tear, or bad installation.

Like damage to ball joints, damage to CV joints shows up in different ways. Damaged CV joints usually show signs like:

  • Slow turns make noise.
  • When driving, the car shakes. Changing gears is hard.
  • Tires that wear unevenly

The Power Steering Fluid Is Dirty۔

Power steering fluid helps keep the system that controls the steering smooth and lubricated. When the fluid is dirty or contaminated, the car may make a grinding or squeaking sound when turning at low speeds.

Most of the time, dirty or contaminated power steering fluid is caused by not doing enough maintenance or using the wrong type of fluid. Parts of the power steering, like seals, bearings, and gaskets, also leave particles in the fluid over time, which makes it dirty.

The power steering fluid is new is bright red. If the fluid is dark or has a brownish tint, it is probably dirty and needs to be changed.

The Belt For The Power Steering Is Broken.

Creaking Noise When Turning At Slow Speeds Why - How to Fix it?

The power steering belt helps the power steering pump get power from the engine. If this belt is broken or worn out, it can make a loud whining sound when the car turns at low speeds.

Most belt damage is caused by age, normal wear and tear, and bad installation. Also, if the belt is too tight, it may break from too much stress.

Some of the signs that you need to change the power steering belt are:

  • Turning makes a lot of noise
  • A belt that is broken or worn
  • When turning, the car moves slowly.

The Pump For The Power Steering Is Worn Out.

The power steering pump helps move power steering fluid around the system. When this pump is worn out, the car can make a whining sound when the steering wheel is turned slowly.

Power steering pumps usually break down because of age, lack of maintenance, or using the wrong fluids. Also, if the pump isn’t oiled properly, it can get too hot and break.

You may hear a whining sound, and you may also:

  • Not enough power to turn
  • It’s hard to control the steering
  • When you start the car, it makes squeaking sounds

Fixing a Car: Creaking Noise When Turning At Slow Speeds.

As with most common car problems, it’s important to always fix the problem that’s causing the noise. If you don’t, you could hurt the car even more and make the problem worse.

Here are some easy ways to stop your car from making noise when turning at low speeds:

1. Check the Ball Joints and Replace Them

If your car makes noise when you turn it slowly, check the ball joints first to see if they are broken.

To do this, do the following:

  • Put the car on jack stands and jack it up.
  • Take the wheel off.
  • Remove the bolt that holds the ball joint in place with a wrench.
  • Pull the ball joint out of its socket.
  • If you see damage to the ball joint, like rust, wear, or cracks, you should replace it.
    • Be careful: replacing ball joints is not easy and should only be done by an expert.

2. Get New CV Joints.

If the CV joints are worn out, you need to replace them to stop the noise.

To do this, do the following:

  • Put the car on jack stands and jack it up.
  • Take the wheel off.
  • Remove the bolts that hold the CV joint in place with a wrench.
  • Take the CV joint out.
  • Slide the new CV joint into place and put the bolts back on.
    • The next video shows in detail how to change your CV joints:

3. Replace the Dirty Power Steering Fluid

If the power steering fluid is dirty or contaminated, you can replace it yourself or have a professional do it.

Here are the steps you need to take to change dirty power steering fluid:

  • Park your car somewhere safe and turn off the engine.
  • Open the hood of the car.
  • Find the fluid reservoir for the power steering.
  • Pour out the old fluid for the power steering. A vacuum pump might be helpful in this case.
  • Fill the power steering fluid reservoir with new fluid. 
  • Put the hood back on and turn on your car.
  • This process is explained in more detail in the video below:

Note: Take your car to a mechanic if you don’t feel comfortable draining and refilling the power steering fluid. They can help you change the fluid and look for other problems that could be making the noise.

4. Replace The Power Steering Belt That Is Broken.

If the belt for the power steering is broken, it needs to be changed. The good news is that it’s not too hard to fix.

For this part to be replaced, you need the following:

A new belt

Get this B’laster Penetrating Catalyst from Amazon.com if you want an oil that goes deep into things. It’s made to loosen bolts and parts that have frozen, saving you time and trouble.

12 mm spanners: This TEKTON 12mm Combination Wrench from Amazon.com is a good choice. It’s nice and small, so it’s great for small spaces.

Sockets and extension Pliers

Once you have the tools listed above, do the following:

  • Stop your car and take the battery out.
  • Use the wrench to take off the lower splash guard on the car.
  • Find the pump for power steering and the alternator.
  • Oil the bolts that hold the tension pulley in place with penetrating oil.
  • Oil the bolts that hold the power steering pump in place with penetrating oil.
  • Use the wrench and extension to take off the bolts on the power steering pump.
  • Take off the old belt for the power steering and throw it away.
  • Put the new belt for the power steering on the tensioner pulley.
  • Wrap the new power steering belt around the other pulleys to put it in place.
  • Tighten the bolts that hold the power steering pump and pulley tensioner together.
  • Replace the lower splash shield and plug the battery back in.          
    • Watch this video to learn how to replace your power steering belt in detail:

Caution: If you’re not sure how to replace the power steering belt, you should take your car to a professional mechanic.

5. Add More Power Steering Fluid

If the level of fluid in the power steering reservoir is low, add more fluid. Make sure you use the right kind of fluid for the power steering.

Here are the steps you need to take to add more power steering fluid:

  • Park your car somewhere safe and turn off the engine.
  • Open the hood of the car.
  • Find the fluid reservoir for the power steering.
  • Fill the reservoir with the right type of fluid for the power steering.
  • Put the hood back on and turn on your car.

6. Replace the Power Steering Pump That Is Worn Out

If the power steering pump is worn out, it needs to be replaced so that your car doesn’t get any worse.

To do this, do the following:

  • Make sure to set the parking brake and park your car on a flat surface.
  • Find the pump for the power steering. Most of the time, it is near the front of the engine.
  • Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the tensioner on the pump.
  • Put the belt back on the pulleys.
  • Take off the screws that are holding the pump in place.
  • Put the new pump in place and tighten the screws.
  • Set the tensioner and the belt in place.
  • Turn on your car and look for any leaks.
  • If the pump is leaking, tighten the bolts until the leaks stop.

Conclusion

When your car makes noises while turning at a low speed, numerous various issues may be present. You can stop the noise and keep your automobile operating smoothly by looking over and fixing the damage.

Take your car to a professional if you’re not comfortable handling these repairs yourself. They will assist in identifying the issue and performing the required fixes.

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