Causes popping noise when turning the steering wheels

Although the wheels appear to be making a loud popping noise when rotating the steering wheel, the steering system is actually to blame. It manages the wheels’ motion so that the car can turn on the road. Therefore, it is likely to be the cause of any issue with the car’s turning.

When you turn the wheel to the right or left, there is a loud popping noise. A worn part associated with your suspension system is likely the cause if you hear a popping noise when turning. As the axle bends with the wheel, the bearings in worn CV joints may pop in and out of position. The rotation of worn strut mounts is hard; they bind and then release in turns. The steering column’s damaged joints and bearings also cause this. The ball and the cup become apart as ball joints and tie rod ends corrode. When you adjust the steering angle, these components collide with one another.

Well, in this article, we’ll be discussing the causes, diagnosis, and solution of popping noise when turning the steering wheels.

Popping sounds when turning

So, let’s dive in!


Causes popping sounds when turning

Finding the defective component that causes the popping noise when turning requires the knowledge of a qualified mechanic because the steering system is complex. However, you can still inspect the areas that are most likely where the cracking sound originated. The following are the causes of popping sounds when turning;

Steering column problems

Driver input is sent from the steering wheel to the steering gear through the steering column. The steering column is connected to the steering gear via a coupling system, which can be either flexible or of the joint type. A shaft inside the steering column revolves around support bearings. A popping sound while turning could be caused by problems with the steering column or coupler system.

Loose hubcaps

Your automobile may also create popping noises when turning if your hubcaps are loose. Hubcaps are covers for the lug nuts on the steering system that are constructed of plastic or metal. The hubcaps will frequently flutter and wobble if the nuts are loose, making popping noises. The noises, though, won’t only be present when turning; they’ll be present whenever you’re driving, especially when the automobile is speeding up.

Worn-out ball or tie rods

The steering and suspension system depends on ball joints and tie rods. The steering knuckles, which are connected to the wheel/tire assemblies, can pivot when you spin the steering wheel thanks to the ball joints. The steering knuckles get motion from the steering gear through the tie rods.

A ball-type socket with a stud is attached to each tie rod and ball joint, and it fits into the appropriate component of the steering system. When the joints wear down, they could make a popping or clunking sound.

Incorrect tire inflation

The unusual noise that occasionally occurs when turning could be caused by the tires not all being inflated to the same tire pressure. The wheels make a popping noise when turning to the left or when using the right tire while driving.

The good news is that resolving this particular problem is straightforward and reasonably priced. Ascertain that the specifications, style, and air pressure of each tire are the same.

Cracked CV Joint

If you are operating a front-wheel drive vehicle, it might occur. The steering system’s wrist is the CV (Constant Velocity) joint, which is located close to the front axle. It gives the shaft the pliability needed to drive the wheels and suspension.

Grease will be all over behind the wheels if the joint is fractured or torn. There will be clicking sounds made when the axle is turning since it will be unable to function properly.

Therefore, if you drive a front-wheel-drive car, you can hear the front-end pop when turning. Your vehicle will be saved with a quick remedy.

Binding Upper Strut Mounts

Front strut assemblies are present in some automobiles. The strut assemblies offer a pivot point for the steering system and serve as shock absorbers to reduce oscillations caused by the car’s suspension springs. For the unit’s ability to pivot, each strut assembly has a mount with a bearing. When rotating the steering wheel, you can start to hear a popping or clunking sound when the strut mount begins to deteriorate.

Steering gear problems

Steering racks and steering boxes are the two main categories of steering gear. The input from the steering wheel (and the steering column) is transferred to the steering linkage and wheels by both, and they both have the same function. When turning the steering wheel, you might hear a popping or clunking sound if the internal steering gear components are worn out.

The solution to the popping noise when turning

The first thing you may do is have a helper turn the wheel back and forth as you look underneath the car for the source of the strange sound if it happens while the car is stopped. You can use an electronic stethoscope, commonly referred to as “chassis ears,” to locate the source of the sound if it only happens when you’re driving. These devices come with microphones that you may install in dubious locations around the car to help identify the noise’s origin while you’re driving.

To determine what happened and the cause, you should take your car to a reliable repair in the vicinity. By doing so, experts will solve the issue in the best way possible. Depending on which side the noise is coming from, it may be necessary to service the CV joint that is closest to the wheel. The vehicle’s axle is often replaced in all its parts together with replacement joints on both ends.

It may also be possible to find the faulty joint by looking at the CV joint boot on each side. CV boots are made to keep the grease in the joint in place and prevent impurities from affecting it. At every oil change, CV boots should be examined, and if they are cracked, damaged, or missing, they should be replaced right away. If discovered early enough, only the boot will need to be replaced, which is less expensive than repairing the complete axle.

It is comparable to other car parts that are connected to the odd noise that the vehicle makes when turning. Make sure you constantly adhere to the maintenance manual, inspect the vehicle, determine the issue, identify the cause, and try to resolve it.

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Other Issues Popping noise

You’ll also need to be concerned about other things, which is unfortunate. The following issues could result from the defective components that are producing the sounds.

Too much vibrations

Excessive vibrations may result from the defective strut mounts that generate the popping sound. The mount isolates the car’s chassis, which initially stops the vibrations. If a worn-out ball joint is the cause of the popping problem, you can have the same result.

The car won’t move

If the popping sounds are coming from a worn-out CV joint, this could also result in the car becoming immobile. This is due to the joints, which assist in vehicle maneuvering and connect the wheel to the axis.

Experiencing difficulty when turning

Having trouble turning or steering could also be caused by a worn-out or damaged steering column. This is so that you can turn the vehicle since the steering wheel is attached to the column and transmits input.


In conclusion, the popping noise made by a vehicle when turning can be a sign of a number of different potential problems. To stop further damage and protect general safety, it’s critical to solve this problem right away. The following are the main factors to take into account: Suspension Problems, CV Joint Issues, Steering System, and Brake Problems.
It is advised to have the car inspected by a skilled mechanic to identify the precise reason for the popping noise. They’ll be able to correctly identify the problem and offer the required fixes or replacements. Maintaining the car in top shape and maintaining a quiet, smooth ride require timely repairs and routine maintenance.

That is all for this article where causes, diagnosis, and solution of popping noise when turning are being discussed. I hope it was helpful, if so, kindly share it with others.

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