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Car Squealing When Turning: 8 Causes

Symptoms of a failing transmission.

If you are dealing with car squealing when turning, then you have one of the following problems:

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  1. Low power steering fluid
  2. Bad CV joints
  3. Friction in the steering wheel
  4. Worn out steering wheel belt
  5. Failed steering column
  6. Suspension system problems
  7. Issues with the interior and exterior trims
  8. Troubles with the ball joints

When your vehicle makes any weird noises, it is a sign that there is something wrong going on. That's why it's never a good idea to ignore any sounds coming out of your car. The more you drive your car, the more you realize what's not normal versus what's just OK.

One of the very common noises you might deal with is car squealing when turning. It could indicate something severe going on inside your car when this happens. That's why you should immediately consider all potential culprits.

The good news is that when this happens, there are specific potential culprits you should familiarize yourself with to narrow down the list and get directly to repair options and repair costs.

This article walks you through eight potential causes for car squealing when turning. It also highlights the different repair options and costs to prepare you for what to expect next.


Car squealing when turning: 8 reasons

If you notice that your car makes squeaking noises every time you turn, it is most likely a problem with the drivetrain system accurately; however, what exactly in the drivetrain should you focus on to fix the issue? Well, typically, when your car squeals when turning, you're dealing with one of the following eight problems:

1.    Low power steering fluid

One of the first and most common reasons for car squealing when turning is when you don't have enough power steering fluid. This fluid is responsible for providing the power steering system with the required hydraulic power to make you control your vehicle and turn it when you need it. Furthermore, the power steering fluid also lubricates the internal moving components within the steering system.

Low power steering fluid might result in these squealing noises and can damage the internal components within your steering system, which means very expensive repairs.

Repair options

If you confirm that the squealing noise is happening because of a low power steering fluid, your mechanic needs to perform a thorough inspection. First of all, you would expect that the mechanic needs to top off the power steering fluid. Next, however, he needs to determine why in the first place, this fluid dropped. Sometimes it could be an internal or external leak that needs to be taken care of before topping off the fluid.

Repair costs

If your mechanic confirmed a power steering fluid leak, repair costs should range between $500 and $650. This is not a cheaper fare, especially if the leak is severe. However, sometimes it could be a very simple minor leak that should not cost you as much, but in the same place, it could be a major leak in an expensive vehicle which means way more money on the repair.

2.    Bad CV joints

The second potential culprit for the squealing noises when turning is an issue with the CV joint. This joint connects the steering system to the wheels, and it's typically a very durable joint that does not go bad very fast. In general, most automotive experts recommend replacing the CV joint from 300,000 miles which is pretty long until you get to this point.

However, there are some instances where the CV joint might get damaged prematurely, so you'll have to take care of it immediately. Failing to replace the CV joint results in a very difficult situation where one of your reels might pop out of your car as you're driving.

Repair options

If the mechanic confirms that the CV joint is not in good condition, you'll have to replace it to get your vehicle going again and prevent catastrophic outcomes.

Repair costs

Unfortunately, CV joint replacement is font cheap, and it should cost you somewhere between 941 dollars and 1017 dollars. This is a huge payment, especially if your car is not very expensive. Therefore, you might consider evaluating the situation and confirming whether you want to pay this money or sell the vehicle instead.

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3.    Friction in the steering wheel

Certain manufacturers confirmed that some of their vehicles might have issues with the steering wheel itself on some rare occasions. This is because there might be insufficient lubrication getting to the wheel, and this happens when you notice the squeal noises occurring only inside your car towards where the steering wheel is setting.

Repair options

Unfortunately, if you are dealing with steering wheel friction, there is no accurate solution for fixing it because it has to do with how the vehicle was designed. Therefore, the only solution for you is to go back to the dealership and have them detect the problem to confirm what's going on.

Repair costs

Since it's hard to tell what is going wrong with the steering wheel friction, it is sometimes unclear how much it will cost you. Still, in general, many manufacturers will decide to recall some of their vehicles with steering wheel friction fixing the problem on their own without needing you to pay anything out of your pocket.

4.    Worn out steering wheel belt

Sometimes the steering wheel belt might be a culprit to cause the squealing when turning. The belt is expected to fail as in ages, and it's not surprising to deal with these problems as your vehicle gets older.

Repair options

You'll need to replace the steering wheel belt immediately to fix this problem. Otherwise, the problem could get more complicated and result in other problems that will cost you a lot of money.

Repair costs

To replace the steering wheel belt, expect to pay somewhere between $90 and $200. This is not an expensive repair as the other problems we indicated in this list. Therefore, if all you're dealing with has to do with the steering wheel belt cover, you're in good condition because all it takes is just a couple of hours from the dealership to get the vehicle to work again. However, you don't want to ignore the problem for a long time because otherwise, you'll see some additional consequences that you're not ready for.

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5.    Failed steering column

The steering column might fail to cause weird squealing noises when turning on rare occasions. However, this is not very common, but when it happens, it will be associated with other more clear symptoms like the intensive vibration every time you drive your car or whenever you're trying to turn.

Repair options

Obviously, to fix the problem of squealing noises when turning because of a bad steering column, you must inspect the column and replace it.

Repair costs

To fix this problem, and once you confirm it's related to a bad steering column, you'll have to replace it immediately. The column costs you somewhere between $500 and $1500 which is again one of the expensive repairs that you should think twice before you end up paying this money or selling the car instead.

6.    Suspension system problems

If you confirm that your problem is not related to the steering wheel or the CV joints, you should look at the suspension system. Sometimes, if the suspension system doesn't have sufficient lubrication or if it's very old, you'll start hearing weird and other noises as you drive straight, not only when you turn.

Repair options

Suppose you didn't confirm a single potential culprit for these noises. In that case, you might want to give your vehicle a quick tune-up where the mechanic takes A thorough inspection and lubricate the entire system to confirm that everything looks OK.

Repair costs

The repair for this problem is not very expensive and should cost somewhere between $40 and $150. However, it's not guaranteed that you will fix the squealing problem once you do the tune-up because you need to determine the culprits if there are any major issues in other systems that require some parts replacements rather than a simple tune-up.

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7.    Issues with the interior and exterior trims

If your car squeals when turning and you notice that the issue is happening from the inside or the outside, it could be a problem with loose interior or exterior trims. Loose trims can make the metal components grind against each other, and grunting noises appear to you as some squealing or probably rattling noises in some instances.

Repair options

If you're dealing with squealing noises because of loose internal trends, it can be tricky to find how to resolve the issue. However, you don't necessarily need to go to the mechanic to fix it because you can try doing simple tricks independently. For example, if you can locate the squealing noise in the inside, you can press on the panels or the windows or probably the doors to see if the noise goes away or at least changes.

For situations where the squealing noise happens because of an external trim loss, you can consult your mechanic and get some powerful adhesive to eliminate this noise. Otherwise, your mechanic should have better ideas about what needs to be done, especially if you can't resolve the issue independently.

Repair costs

There's no specific cost for fixing most trims because it differs significantly depending on how severe the problem is and where exactly the most areas are. Therefore, if you want to estimate how much to expect, you'll have to consult a professional service.

8.    Troubles with the ball joints

Finally, bad ball joints might also result in vehicles squealing when turning. Typically, this is almost the last potential option for this squealing noise because it is a severe scenario, and if it's ignored, you can deal with tons of complications that will cost you a lot of money.

When the ball joints are not in good condition, they will show these spilling noises and make some other symptoms to make it very obvious for you so you can take care of the problem.

Repair options

If you are lucky, the squealing noise might be happening because of insufficient lubrication with the ball joints, and once you detect the problem early, your mechanic can apply some grease to lubricate the bulls.

On the other hand, if the problem was ignored, you can get open where you have to replace the ball joints completely, which is not a simple repair or something you can do on your own.

Repair costs

Although the ball joints are a critical new car, the good thing is that they won't cost you a lot of money to replace them. Typically, it should cost between 20 to $80 per ball joint.

Remember that ignoring the problem can easily lead to thousands of dollars in repair. Therefore, whenever you notice squealing noises, you must take your vehicle to the repair shop and have the mechanic confirm what's going on before ignoring the problem for a long time.

Car Squealing When Turning

Final thoughts

If you're dealing with a situation where your car squeals when turning, it's important that you take the issue seriously because it can be linked to critical components in your car. Early detection helps you resolve the issue at the lowest repair costs possible.

This article highlighted eight potential causes for cars squealing when turning. We highly encourage you to consult with your mechanic immediately and replace the faulty components as soon as possible to prevent catastrophic outcomes that might require very high repair costs and impact your safety.

If you go to a point where repair costs pile up, you must evaluate the overall condition. Before spending a penny, if you realize that repair costs are close to 75% or more from your vehicle's value, it is better to sell this car and buy a better one. If you're looking for someone to purchase your car with a mechanical or any other problems, you can always reach out to Cash Cars Buyer!

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  • Describe your car’s type and condition
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