Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What would cause a creak/pop/snap type sound when turning the steering wheel at sharp turns?

asked by on

For the past few years, I have heard a single creak or pop when I turn my steering wheel when pulling out of my driveway first thing in the morning. The sound goes away by the time I get out of my neighborhood (appx 3-4 sharp turns). Within the past few weeks, the sound is occurring throughout my entire 20 minute commute when I make sharp/slightly sharp turns. It may go away if I drive later in the day, but it's usually present when I first start driving the car at any time. I've also noticed that my steering is a little "looser" - meaning I can turn the steering wheel without seeing as much response as before. Any ideas?

Thanks!

Kate

My car has 97000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello Kate. When dealing with power steering concerns always start by simply checking the level of power steering fluid. If it is not burned, low, or a bad color your issue is likely related to the suspension. The steering and suspension components both have an incredible effect on each other. You can often feel popping from the CV-joints, axle issues, ball joints, and worn bushings. You will want to raise the vehicle off of the ground to get a better look at some of these components. However, should do a visual inspection both on the ground and in the air however to compare the tires when they are under pressure and when they are "unsprung". If you do not see anything out of the normal, have someone turn the steering wheel clock to clock to attempt to recreate the popping while its raised off the ground. Only further testing will pin point the issue, but it may be suspension related instead of a power steering issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  • Home
  • Questions
  • What would cause a creak/pop/snap type sound when turning the steering wheel at sharp turns?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Steering wheel locked

The key lock cylinder, or the key, is defective. If you have a second key, try it first. If that does not work, then the ignition lock cylinder is most likely the cause. I recommend that you have a mechanic,...

Q: Electrical issue with window

Hi there. If you are still unsure after testing both components, you could always make a switched jumper wire, or use a circuit tester that is capable of acting as a switch. This way, you can avoid having to buy...

Q: Car won't start, and rear windshield wipers don't work

Most likely, these are two separate issues. A vehicle that doesn't crank or start indicates a problem in the starting/charging system. It may be that the battery connections didn't get tightened down properly at the time of replacement. The...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.