Causes of Popping Noise When Turning The Steering Wheel


If you hear a popping noise when turning the steering wheel, it’s often caused by a worn component in the suspension system.  One or several components, such as a defective strut, tie rod, ball joint, steering column, steering column issues, CV joints, leaking power steering fluid, bearing, dry jounce bushing, or tire problems might be the cause of a popping noise when turning.

Additionally, damaged shocks or struts can cause the car to dip when braking, bottom out loudly after crossing a speed bump, squat when accelerating, or bounce excessively after hitting a bump. It’s important to quickly diagnose the problem.

Let’s dive deep on the causes of the popping noise when turning: 

Popping sounds when turning, what causes it

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.

Finding the defective component that causes the popping noise when turning requires the knowledge of a qualified mechanic because the steering system is complex.


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.

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 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.

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 noises, though, won’t only be present when turning; they’ll be present whenever you’re driving, especially when the automobile is speeding up.


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.

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.

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.

What to do when you hear popping noise when turning?

Diagnose the problem

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.

Fix it

The best option in cases of damaged CV joints, worn-out tie rods, faulty struts, or loose hubcaps is to replace them with new ones since the old ones won’t work as well.

You may learn more about wrong tire inflation more easily. To ensure that all four wheels are the same size, you must measure and pressurize the tires.

watch the video below to learn more:

That’s all for this article where we discussed about popping noise when turning, and what causes it and how to fix it. Hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share. Thanks for reading.


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