View Full Version : Input needed: steering noise after changing several parts

03-17-2010, 05:31 PM
My car makes a noise when I steer it.

which is wierd because i recently replaced:

The steering rack
Power steering pump
Tie rod ends

It's a rubbery, squeeky noise that was there before the replacements as well. Now I'm very supprised that it's still there. what part could possibly be making the noise?

I don't believe it's air in the rack. It's been thuroughly bled and the fluid level is constantly at the same level every time I check (the rack was replaced about 500 miles ago)

Is it a bushing or ball joint part of the suspension? which part could possibly move enough when steering for it to audible.

Two different mechanics suggested that my upper control arms were shot on the one side, I found it very unlikely that this would be the cause of the squeek, but who knows and today I replaced them and the sound is of course there still.

What about the lowers? ok that they would squeek over bumps... but really when steering?

Really it sounds like it's comming from the rack... could this remanufactured rack be bad? Could the steering dampener make a noise like that? Sounds improbable, but the dampener is really the only part of the steering that hasn't been replaced.

There is also a suspension related squeek on the one side. It got less today after the upper CAs were replaced and it wont squeek when i put wheight on the fender like it would before. But there is still a short sort of half squeek sound when i go over bumpy areas. Possibly I need to replace one of the lower control arms as well.

But the big mystery is why does it make the noise when i steer??? Virtually all of the steering parts are new!

I know that this is alot of information, but I'm hoping that someone will have a clue about this. I've read upp alot on steering and suspension...but I feel that this is a very specific thing.

Does anyone who has kept on reading this far have any ideas or suggestions?

Final info: I drive a 96 2.8


03-19-2010, 07:35 PM
No ideas or thoughts on this?

I had an own theory today.

The drive belt.

I figure turning the wheels puts more pressure in the PS system, thus more resistance in the pump/pulley and the the belt slips. That could maybe be the sound that I'm hearing. It's kind of a tense rubbery sound. Not like the "twittering" sound I usually think of when I think of slipping belts though...

that sound plausible to anyone?

the belt looks worn (even though it's only 1 year old). Also it smells like burnt rubber a bit after a drive. And also I've been having increasing problems with starting up and to my knowledge that could also be caused by the belt slipping (the starter cranks the engine through the same belt - Right?) Premature belt wear could be due to PS fluid on the belt as the pump was leaking before I replaced it.

03-20-2010, 02:32 AM
hard to diagnose something like this over the forums.. but the belt shouldn't play a role in any of this.. and no, that belt doesn't have to do with starting the car it only drives the accessories.

does it make the noise when your driving when your not putting pressure on the ps system? say coming out of a turn and letting wheels correct on they're own? that would be a good indicator to if its pressure related to the system or not.

it could possibly be your rack, i had a brand new one put into my b6 and it failed less than a mile down the road, and it was a brand new OEM part installed by the dealer

03-20-2010, 07:28 AM
I hope to God it's not the rack... I don't wanna have to do that over again. Well, I drive a 2.8 and on that is's one belt for everything and the alternator and crank shaft is on the same belt as the PSpump. The batery gets charged by the alternator that way, that much I'm sure about. I'm just wondering if it also works the other way - that the alternator cranks the engine by force of this belt same belt.

It makes the noise primarily when standing still and turning the wheels or going very slow and turning the wheels. I don't hear it at all when driving at over 15 mph.

I should make the experiment of reving it up when standing still and try to turn the wheels with the engine at 2000 rpm or so. That could also be an indicator i guess, if it goes away then, if it's related to the fluid delivery.

03-20-2010, 08:11 AM
I would not rule out the lower control arms. Keep in mind that the ball joints on both lower arms are flexing when you turn the wheel.

Is there any chance the noise is conming from the strut bearing? Sometimes those will squeak at strange times when they go bad.

03-20-2010, 06:58 PM
Well I now have a brand new $25 drive belt on the car lol. Of coures that didn't change a thing about the noise.

Strut bearing... that's a new thought to me. will definetely look into that and have a look at the lower arms as well. Thanks for the tip.

03-22-2010, 05:57 PM
Looked in my bentley today and didnt find a strut bearing part of the front suspension, only a strut mount at the top. Same thing? Is it made of rubber? Looked online and it seems to be a $5 part, so I'm all for trying it if it could really be it.

Anyway, I made a sound recording today. It's not perfect sound, but you hear it well towards the end of this short clip:


03-22-2010, 11:13 PM
have you checked your upper control arm bushings?

im guessing that strut bearing being referred to is the pillow-ball mount on top of the strut.

its hard to tell from the video but to me it sounds like a suspension component more than a power steering issue.

03-23-2010, 06:16 AM
Yea, I just replaced both upper control arms on the side in question.

So left are the two lower, sway bar link, and the strut mount. that's the remaining rubber parts.

I'll do some more investigating some time soon. You guys have been alot of help, thanks alot so far.

03-23-2010, 06:38 AM
Looked in my bentley today and didnt find a strut bearing part of the front suspension, only a strut mount at the top. Same thing? Is it made of rubber?

Yea, that's what I meant. Not easy to change, you got to compress the spring to get to it so make sure you think that's where the sound is coming from before you spend half a day on it.

Can't really hear the sound in your audio.

Lay under the car and have someone steer it to make the sound. Put your hand on every bushing and/or ball joint in that suspension. Keep in mind there are 4 control arms and the sway bar connector. Oh, and don't forget to squeeze the tie rod ends. That's about 12 bushings/ball joints per side. But you should be able to feel the squeak in one of the bushings/ball joints....unless it's up at the top of the strut......

03-23-2010, 10:41 AM
Did you grease the Tie rods? Even if they are "sealed", there never seems to be enough grease in them.

03-23-2010, 07:12 PM
I replaced the TREs together with the rack. So it's not them.

I'm really in to the strut mount idea. The sound seems to "reverberate" in the car, so that you almost think it comes from the dash. Makes sense because the mount is more closely attached to the chassi.

I will listen closer tomorrow.

BTW today it rained alot and the noise got ALOT louder in the wet. I wonder what that means.