It is an alarming and frustrating experience to hear a “popping noise when turning” your vehicle. It can happen due to a minor or significant problem. Whatever the cause, it needs to be fixed right away so that your drive is safe and smooth. The popping sound that occurs when turning, though, is a major hassle if you don’t know how to fix it.
A popping noise when turning may indicate suspension, CV joint, steering component, brake, or wheel bearing problems. To troubleshoot, inspect and identify the faulty component. Replace worn or damaged parts with high-quality and compatible ones. Don’t forget to conduct a test drive later to make sure the issue has been resolved.
Fixing a popping noise can be easy if you follow the proper instructions. Stay tuned; I will explore ways to troubleshoot and fix the problem. Let’s get started.
A popping noise when turning typically refers to a noise that occurs when turning the steering wheel of a vehicle. You may experience it at slow or fast speeds.
Various factors, such as worn suspension or loose steering components, can cause it. It may also happen when the vehicle is turned off.
It can be due to air pockets in the power steering system or worn-out steering components. Immediately identifying and fixing the problem is a must to prevent severe damage.
A popping noise when turning can happen due to several potential issues with a vehicle. Here I have listed a few possible reasons for the popping noise.
- Suspension Issues
- CV Joint Problems
- Steering Component Issues
- Brake Issues
- Wheel Bearing Problems
A vehicle’s suspension system consists of several components, such as ball joints, tie rods, and control arms. If any of these parts become worn or damaged, they can cause a popping noise when turning. It is usually heard when the vehicle is turning at low speeds.
- Inspect the suspension system thoroughly to identify the faulty component causing the noise.
- Locate the suspension system of a vehicle. It is usually located between the frame or body of the vehicle and the wheels.
- You may need to replace the worn or damaged component with a new one. You must check for ball joints, tie rods, or control arms here. If you replace the parts, you can buy them locally or from online stores like Amazon.
- Ensure all replacement parts are correctly tightened and torqued to the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Finally, take the vehicle for a test drive to verify that the popping noise is no longer present.
CV joints transmit power from the engine to the wheels. If these joints are worn or damaged, they can produce a popping noise when turning. You may hear such a noise when the vehicle is rotating at high speeds.
- Start by inspecting the boots for cracks, tears, or leakage and identifying the problematic CV joint.
- If there is a problem, raise your vehicle and remove the wheel and the axle nut using a wrench and screwdriver.
- Then remove the damaged CV joint by loosening the mounting bolts and pulling it out of the axle. I recommend the Dorman 932-303 Front Drive Shaft CV Joint as a new CV joint.
- Install a new or remanufactured CV joint and secure it with new mounting bolts.
- Apply DuPont-D11036356 XHT-BDZ Krytox Extreme High-Temperature Grease to the joint and re-install the axle nut and wheel.
- Then lower the vehicle and test drive to ensure the popping noise is gone.
Faulty steering components such as the steering rack, power steering pump, and steering column can cause popping noises. You may hear a popping noise when turning if any parts become damaged or worn. Such noises are usually heard when turning at low speed.
- First, identify which steering component is causing the popping noise. Check the steering rack, power steering pump, and steering column for any signs of damage or wear.
- Once you have identified a faulty component, replace it with a new one. It is essential to use high-quality parts that are compatible with your vehicle. If you cannot find it locally, purchase it from Amazon.
- Once you get the replacement parts, remove the damaged ones and install the new ones.
- If you did not see any broken parts, check for loose connections. Loose connections can also cause popping noises. Check all the connections in the steering system and tighten any loose ones.
- Next, check for lubrication. Lack of lubrication can also cause popping noises. Add lubricant to the required parts, such as the steering rack or column.
- Once you have fixed the issue, take your vehicle for a test drive to ensure that the popping noise has been resolved.
If the brake caliper or rotor becomes damaged, it can produce a popping noise when turning. You may experience that when the vehicle is turning at low speeds.
- Check the brake calipers and rotors for any damage or wear. If there is any damage, they need to be replaced. Also, check for the tightness of the calipers or rotors. Looseness may also produce a popping noise.
- If the brake calipers and rotors are okay, then inspect the brake pads. Check brake pads thoroughly and ensure they are not worn out. If they are worn out, they should be replaced.
- Finally, check the brake fluid level and add Finish Line High-Performance Mineral Oil Brake Fluid to the recommended level.
The wheel bearings support the vehicle’s weight and allow the wheels to rotate smoothly. If worn or damaged, they can produce a popping noise when turning. Such a popping noise is usually experienced when the vehicle turns at low speeds.
- Use a jack to lift the vehicle off the ground and support it with jack stands.
- Remove the wheel on the side where the noise is coming from.
- Take off the brake caliper and rotor from the wheel hub.
- Use a socket wrench to remove the axle nut from the wheel hub.
- Take off the wheel hub assembly from the steering knuckle.
- Check the wheel bearing for any signs of wear or damage. A worn or damaged bearing will need to be replaced.
- If the wheel bearing is worn or damaged, replace it with a new one. Make sure to use the correct replacement bearing for your vehicle.
- Reinstall the wheel hub assembly, brake rotor, and caliper.
- Use a torque wrench to tighten the axle nut.
- Lower the vehicle and reinstall the wheel.
The pop sound you hear when turning is most likely due to the sudden pressure release in the suspension system. When you turn, the vehicle’s weight shifts to one side, causing the suspension to compress.
The suspension suddenly decompresses as you complete the turn, releasing pressure and creating the popping sound. It is common, and no need to worry about it unless other symptoms, such as excessive bouncing or shaking, accompany the sound.
The popping noise you hear when turning off your car is likely just the sound of metal components.
It may be a catalytic converter or exhaust system that has heated up during operation and then cooled down and shrunk.
It is a normal and harmless occurrence. But if you notice any other unusual sounds, it is best to have it inspected by a professional mechanic.
A Honda Civic may occasionally make a popping noise when turning, but this is not a common or well-known problem only with that particular model. Besides this, Ford and Chevy cars can experience a popping noise when turning as well.
As mentioned earlier, the popping noise can be caused by various factors, and it is best to have a mechanic inspect the vehicle to diagnose the specific cause.
Why is the car popping noise when accelerating?
Several factors could cause a popping noise in a car when accelerating. Some major factors may include:
- CV joint
- Faulty spark plugs
- Clogged fuel injector
- Damaged exhaust system
- Malfunctioning ignition system
- Failing alternator
- Loose or damaged engine mount
- Worn transmission
How do I know if the popping noise is coming from my suspension system?
If you hear a popping noise while driving, especially when going over bumps or turning, it may indicate a problem with your suspension system.
Other signs to look for include uneven tire wear, a bumpy ride, or a noticeable tilt or sag in the vehicle.
Can I still drive my vehicle if it’s making a popping noise when turning?
No, it is unsafe to drive a vehicle that is making a popping noise when turning. It could be a sign of a severe mechanical issue.
Continuing to drive the vehicle may cause further damage and put you and other drivers at risk. It is best to have the vehicle inspected and fix the problem.
Can wheel bearings cause popping noises?
Yes, worn or damaged wheel bearings can cause popping or clicking noises, especially when turning corners. As the bearings wear out, the metal balls or rollers inside them can become loose and create a popping sound.