Steering wheel whines when turning?

Steering wheel whines when turning?


If you’ve noticed a whining sound coming from your steering wheel when turning, it can be a cause for concern. This article will delve into the possible reasons behind this issue and provide insights into how to address it.

Possible Causes

Power Steering Fluid: One of the common culprits behind a whining steering wheel is low or contaminated power steering fluid. The power steering system relies on fluid to provide smooth and easy steering. If the fluid level is low or if it has become dirty or contaminated, it can result in a whining noise when turning the wheel.

Power Steering Pump: The power steering pump is responsible for pressurizing the power steering fluid and supplying it to the steering mechanism. Over time, the pump may wear out or develop faults, leading to a whining noise. A worn-out pump may struggle to maintain the necessary pressure, causing the whining sound.

Belt Issues: The power steering pump is typically driven by a belt connected to the engine. If the belt becomes worn, loose, or damaged, it can slip or produce a squealing noise. This noise can sometimes be mistaken for a whining sound when turning the steering wheel.

Steering Rack or Column: The steering rack or column, which connects the steering wheel to the wheels, can also be a source of whining noise. If there is excessive wear or damage to the components within the steering rack or column, it can result in a whining sound when turning.

Diagnosis and Solutions

Check Power Steering Fluid: Start by checking the power steering fluid level. Consult your vehicle’s manual to locate the power steering fluid reservoir and ensure the fluid is at the recommended level. If it is low, top it up with the specified fluid. If the fluid appears dirty or contaminated, it may be necessary to flush and replace it.

Inspect the Power Steering Pump: If the power steering fluid level is adequate, the next step is to inspect the power steering pump. Look for any signs of leakage or damage. If the pump is faulty, it may need to be replaced by a qualified mechanic.

Examine the Belt: Inspect the belt that drives the power steering pump. Check for signs of wear, damage, or looseness. If necessary, tighten or replace the belt to eliminate any slipping or squealing noises.

Seek Professional Help: If the above steps do not resolve the issue, it is advisable to consult a professional mechanic. They will have the expertise and specialized equipment to diagnose and repair any underlying problems with the steering rack or column.


A whining sound when turning the steering wheel can be indicative of various issues with the power steering system. Low power steering fluid, a faulty power steering pump, belt problems, or issues with the steering rack or column can all contribute to this noise. It is essential to diagnose the specific cause and address it promptly to ensure safe and efficient steering.