Noise When You Turn Steering Wheel While Stationary: 9 Causes

Sometimes, it gets hard to turn the wheels, or you hear a noise when turning the steering wheel when it is stationary. This problem indicates a deeper issue with the engine, steering system, or suspension. You may also need ample steering lubrication to turn the steering. When turning the steering wheel while stationary, the noise can temporarily be fixed by lubricating the vehicle, but you will need to go to the mechanic to repair or replace the parts to avoid any accidents.

What are the causes of noise when you turn to steer?

  • Poor quality fluid

When you rotate the steering wheel and hear whining and grinding, this symptom indicates using the wrong lubrication fluid. Most car manufacturers design cars that can only use specific lubrication that is ideal for lubricating the components. When improper power steering lubrication is used, it can damage the power steering system.

  • Insufficient fluid in the power steering

One of the primary causes of whining noise when you turn wheels is low power steering fluid. The majority of cars use pinion and rack steering systems, compromising the circular steering connected to the gearbox. So, the liquid lubricates the gears and the column and offers power to the piston.

  • Fluid leakages

Another common cause of having annoying noises when you turn the steering is leakage of the steering pumps. The amount of steering fluid that leaks determine the extent of grinding and whining when you turn the wheel. This can bring difficulties in the metal rack, the steering column, and the gears.

  • Fault in the steering rack

There are times when you hear clunking sound when turning the steering, which means you have a severe issue like a faulty steering rack. This can be caused by accident or because the vehicle hasn't been serviced for some time. This sound can knock in pauses when the tires are turned from one end to the other. 

  • Faulty struts

When there are suspension problems in your vehicle, it can be difficult to steer it at low speed or stationary. As the steering system depends on the vehicle suspension to turn the wheel, the struts and improper suspension can cause strain to your steering system and damage the mechanics.

  • A worn-out steering belt

A broken power steering belt is another main reason for noise when turning the steering wheel while stationary. This belt is connected to the engine and also the power steering pump. So, it needs lubrication from the power steering fluid to prevent wear and tear.

  • Impurities in the power steering fluid

If there are any impurities or air in the power steering fluid, it can reduce the ability of the liquid to lubricate the power steering system. This causes tension in the system's mechanical parts and noise when you turn the steering wheel.

  • Malfunctioning of the steering pump

The steering pump creates pressure to support the power steering system of your vehicle. So, if the pump malfunctions, this can create problems in the steering system. Although it will not wholly hinder the steering movement, you can have mechanical issues with damaged pumps.

  • Low tire pressure

Another cause of having a clicking sound when you turn the wheel when stationary has low tire pressure. This can cause an imbalance in the car's weight distribution, so the steering system can experience discomfort when shifting the tire direction.

How to fix your noisy steering wheel when you are turning

To fix the noise when turning the steering wheel while stationary, you must make yourself ready to repair any component. Your steering wheel makes noises because of several complications in a different part of the vehicle. The noise produced by the steering wheel can be fixed by having a look at the power steering fluid and leaks in any other elements from top to bottom.

If you find the parts to be oily, then there are chances that they might be covered with the power steering fluid. You can remove the old switch without damaging other components and place the new button. This will stop the leak effectively. In the end, you need to refill the power steering fluid from a reputed brand.


When you have a healthy power steering system, it produces no noise when you turn it, whether it is stationary or in motion. If there is noise when turning the steering wheel while standing, you need to take the car to the mechanic to understand the problem. When there is whining and grinding noise, it mainly indicates lubrication problems by the power steering fluid, whereas sharp clunks originate from any worn-out mechanical parts. So, it is better to fix the issues to avoid further damage to your vehicle.