Here's Why A Car Squeaks When Driving And Turning

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A squeaking car could be a sign of something more serious than just an annoyance

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Whenever you get behind the wheel of your car, you should be listening carefully to the way it sounds and the way it feels when you start it up and start driving. Any unusual noises your car makes whilst you are driving are a strong indication that something is wrong and that you should probably get your car checked over by a professional.

Mechanical issues can result in a variety of unusual noises, but squeaking is fairly common. Squeaking can be a result of some minor problem initially, but if left unchecked, a potentially small issue could turn into a far bigger and more costly one down the line. Knowing the reasons why your car could be squeaking whilst you're driving or turning can give you an idea of what needs to be looked at, which may just save your mechanic some time and you some money.

Car Screeching Land Rover

Reasons Your Car is Squeaking While You’re Driving

If your car squeaks when you're driving, these are some of the potential issues that may be causing it.

If your car makes a squeaking noise when driving slowly or braking:

  • Brakes: Poorly fitted brake pads or discs could result in a squealing sound, or if they are worn down, you could hear a metallic squeak while driving slowly. If you hear a squeak when braking, rusty brake rotors, new brake pads, or dust on the brake discs could be why. Have a professional look at the entire braking system, including the calipers, just to be safe.
  • Suspension - Your car's suspension system is made up of various components, including springs, shock absorbers, tie-rods, seals, ball joints, and universal joints. Without proper lubrication, these can dry out and become prone to metal-on-metal friction damage, which translates as a squeak as you drive.

If your car squeaks when it's first turned on or if your car starts screeching upon acceleration:

  • A loose or worn fan belt can cause a high-pitched squeak that is closer to a squealing sound if the rubber is slipping on the pulley. Replacing the fan belt should solve the problem. Other belts could also be the cause; it could be the serpentine belt, cambelt, accessory belt, or even a pump pulley that is worn or loose.
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Reasons Your Car Makes A Strange Noise When Turning Left or Right

These are the potential problems your car may be affected by if your car squeaks when turning left or right:

  • Steering - If there's squeaking coming from the front driver side of your car when the car is turning, it could be coming from the power steering system. Power steering squeal is a sign that the fluid is running low or is contaminated. Whatever the case, if your car squeaks when you're turning the wheel, you'll have to tend to the problem as soon as possible.
  • Interior trim - Something else that could be the cause of a squeak, particularly with brand new cars, is the actual interior trim. The squeaking from the steering wheel could be caused by plastics or trims rubbing against each other. High temperatures can cause the metals and other materials to expand, tightening the gaps and causing squeaks as the parts rub against each other.
  • Suspension - If your car creaks when you're turning, it could also be because of bad CV joints in the suspension. This could be a result of wear and tear or a lack of lubrication. Even friction between the wheels and the housing could cause a squeak, especially if you have lowered the suspension or modified your car in ways that cause the wheels to rub against the arches or other components in the suspension setup. This is more likely on cars that enthusiasts like to modify such as Nissan 370Z or even Chevrolet Camaro models.
  • Tires - If your tires squeal when you're turning your car, sometimes it's as simple as certain road surfaces that cause your tires to squeal when you turn. Otherwise, it could point to wheels that need alignment, the tread on the tires being worn or uneven, or your tires being underinflated. You can extend the life of your tires by rotating them every now and again, but you should be sure to regularly maintain them nonetheless.
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FAQs

Is every squealing, screeching, or squeaking from my car worth fixing?

If your car is making an irregular noise, then it is generally worth getting fixed - not just for the reprieve from the annoying sound, but also for your safety. The only squeaking you don't have to be concerned with is when the squeaking is coming from your tires on smooth surfaces that are quiet on normal tarmac, or brakes if they are new or certainly still in good condition. If this is the case, the squeaking is likely just coming from dust that has settled between the pads and should resolve as you drive.

Is fixing a squeaking power steering system and suspension expensive?

The cost of repairs to either the power steering or suspension system will depend on your car and the extent of the problem. You'll have to take your car in to a professional for an accurate estimate, but the longer you leave the problem, the worse it is likely to get. Remember to check if your repairs are covered under warranty. Find out more about your car's suspension here.

Will a squeaking car impact my insurance?

Most insurance companies uphold regulations that include that you regularly maintain your vehicle. A squeaking car clearly indicates that something requires attention, and if your insurance company puts your car through an inspection, squeaking certainly won't benefit you. Additionally, squeaking or other noises could prevent your car from being cleared as roadworthy for registration and licensing. This is just another reason why it's so important to get whatever the issue is attended to as soon as possible.

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