Whine when turning steering wheel?

Whine when turning steering wheel?


If you find that your vehicle emits a whining noise when you turn the steering wheel, it can be a cause for concern. This article will explore the potential reasons behind this issue and provide some possible solutions. Understanding the possible causes can help you diagnose the problem and seek appropriate repairs, ensuring the safety and performance of your vehicle.

Possible Causes

Power Steering Fluid: One common cause of a whining noise when turning the 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 becomes dirty or contaminated, it can cause the power steering pump to whine. Checking the power steering fluid level and quality is a good starting point in diagnosing the issue.

Power Steering Pump: The power steering pump is responsible for pressurizing the power steering fluid and delivering it to the steering rack or gearbox. Over time, the pump may wear out or develop issues, leading to a whining noise. If the pump is faulty, it may need to be replaced to resolve the problem.

Steering Rack or Gearbox: The steering rack or gearbox is another component that can cause a whining noise when turning the steering wheel. If there is excessive play or wear in these components, it can result in noise during steering maneuvers. Inspecting the steering rack or gearbox for any signs of damage or wear is necessary to determine if they are the source of the problem.

Belt Tension: The drive belt that connects the power steering pump to the engine can become loose or worn, causing it to slip and produce a whining noise. Checking the belt tension and condition is important, as a loose or damaged belt may need to be replaced or adjusted.

Other Factors: In some cases, the whining noise when turning the steering wheel may be caused by other factors such as worn-out suspension components, a faulty wheel bearing, or even tire issues. It is essential to inspect these areas as well to rule out any potential causes.

Possible Solutions

Check and Fill Power Steering Fluid: Start by checking the power steering fluid level and quality. If it is low, top it up with the recommended fluid. If the fluid appears dirty or contaminated, it is advisable to have it flushed and replaced.

Inspect and Replace Power Steering Pump: If the power steering pump is determined to be the cause of the whining noise, it may need to be replaced. A qualified mechanic can diagnose the issue and perform the necessary repairs or replacements.

Examine Steering Rack or Gearbox: If the steering rack or gearbox is found to be the source of the noise, it may require repair or replacement. A professional inspection is recommended to accurately diagnose the problem and determine the appropriate course of action.

Adjust or Replace Drive Belt: If the drive belt is loose or damaged, it should be adjusted or replaced. A mechanic can inspect the belt and make the necessary adjustments or replacements to ensure proper tension and functionality.


A whining noise when turning the steering wheel can be indicative of various underlying issues. Checking the power steering fluid, inspecting the power steering pump, steering rack or gearbox, and examining the drive belt are essential steps in diagnosing and resolving the problem. If you are unsure about the cause or unable to address the issue yourself, it is recommended to consult a qualified mechanic for a thorough inspection and appropriate repairs.


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