Wheel Squeal (What Causes Squealing While Steering)

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Wheel Squeal (What Causes Squealing While Steering)

When teenagers squeal at a concert, it’s usually a sound of joy. When your vehicle squeals when you are turning, it could be a sign of something dangerous.

When engineers designed your vehicle’s steering system, they intended it to work smoothly and silently. So, you know when you get a warning sign like a squeal or a squeak while turning, something is not right.

The noise could be coming from different sources. Power steering is used in virtually all vehicles today since, without a little help, you’d have to use a lot more strength to turn the steering wheel. While electric power steering systems are becoming more common, many vehicles use hydraulic systems where a belt connected to the engine drives a hydraulic pump to help you with steering.

If that hydraulic fluid is low, it can cause a squealing sound. You may have a leak somewhere. Or if the belt that drives the pump wears out, it may squeal when you turn the wheel. The pump itself can wear out after lots of use, too. Not only will you hear a noise, but the vehicle also becomes hard to steer.

Other things can stress your steering systems, like worn tie rods, ball joints, or shocks. So, if you hear a squeal or squeak when you turn, what should you do?

Since nearly all the symptoms point to something that could affect your steering’s function, it’s important to have a qualified technician at your NAPA AutoCare Center diagnose the cause and have it repaired. Your steering must be working correctly for your vehicle to handle safely. It may be as simple as adding power steering fluid or as complex as having to replace some suspension components. Either way, your safety and that of others around you depend partly on having your vehicle in sound mechanical condition. Not only will you be able to steer more precisely, but you’ll also be able to enjoy your favorite tunes without any audible competition!