There might be times when you turn the steering wheel, and it will not respond as it used to. You may also turn it and hear some clicking noise.
These are signs that something is wrong with the steering column. In this article, we will examine the causes of this problem and possible solutions.
Causes And Solutions Of A Clicking Noise In Steering Column
The front end of a car is known to make all kinds of noises, but our focus would be on the clicking noise in the steering column.
The front end of a car is very complicated and made of mechanisms and joints that carry the engine and the steering column.
These control the car wheels while spinning and converting the engine’s power to moving power.
The car’s steering wheel is connected to a steering column that controls the direction the wheels of the car turn.
As time goes on, you may hear clicking noises when you turn your steering wheel.
Power Steering Fluid Is Low
You may hear clicks if the power steering fluid is low or the steering column has sustained some damage.
If the fluid is low, much air will enter the car system. The combination of too much air and low fluid will cause a malfunction and lead to noise.
Typically, these problems progress over time, resulting in a more challenging time maneuvering the vehicle.
If you find out that the oil is low, you should add more power steering fluid to the engine. However, it will also be good to find out why the steering fluid reduced level.
Is the reservoir leakage, or is there a leak or crack from its hose?
If you find the cause of the shortage, you need to work on it immediately, or else the whole power steering system will be damaged if the fluid becomes too low.
Worn Clock Spring
If there is a click in the steering column when you turn the steering in either direction, you need to check the clock spring because it may be bad.
The clock spring is the electrical connection that powers the button on your steerings, such as the cruise control or horn, without wires that can get twisted when directly connected to the steering.
The Clock Springs consists of a small spring on the wheel side, which makes contact with an electrical trace on the steering column side.
If this spring breaks or becomes stuck, it will make a clicking sound as you turn your wheel.
The good thing about the clock spring is that it is replaceable, so you can buy a new one when the one you’re presently using is worn out.
However, they’re not so cheap, so you have to be careful with the ones in your car.
When installing a new clock spring, do well to disconnect the battery and lock your steering wheel to help the steering column stay in place until you’re done.
After installing the new clock spring, make sure you reconnect all the electrical connectors, or their functions will not work when you need them to.
If you have issues with re-installing the clock spring, you can get a specialist to handle it for you.
Flexible Coupler Deterioration
Another cause of this clicking noise can be the deterioration of the flexible coupler found in the column.
The flexible coupler helps with the rotation of the column when you turn the steering to direct the car. It also absorbs and softens vibrations.
When the flexible coupler wears out, it will begin to make a clicking sound and negatively affect the car’s handling capability.
And at the same time, make driving that car uncomfortable. At this point, you have to replace the worn-out part.
If you suspect the flexible coupler causes the clicking sound, get it checked by a specialist.
It would determine the following line of action and if you would replace the flexible coupler.
Worn Constant Velocity Joints
Another cause can be worn constant velocity joints. Constant velocity joints can be found in vehicles with front-wheel drives.
This axle helps transfer the engine’s rotational force to the front wheels from the transaxle.
Each CV axle contains an inner and outer joint. With the help of the joint, the CV axle shaft moves up and down when the vehicle moves on a bumpy road.
The outer joints also allow the front wheel to make a turn comfortably.
If the CV Joints become worn from overuse, you will hear a clicking sound which is a significant symptom.
Another sign that the joints may have been damaged is that grease will be coming out of any crack or tear on the joint.
Dark grease splattered around the CV joint and inside the rim may indicate more significant damage.
The only thing that is usually needed to fix a damaged CV joint boot is to replace it and repack the CV joint with fresh grease.
Rather than replacing a whole CV joint or drive shaft, this is a far more affordable approach to fixing the issue.
It costs about $180 to $350 to replace the CV joint boot. Although the part is not too expensive, replacing it will require labor.
Most CV joint boots come with new clamps, fresh grease, and fresh grease, so this is what you’ll receive when you buy a new joint.
The CV joint itself cannot be repaired. A new or reconditioned part must be replaced if it has become worn.
In some cases, the CV joint cannot be bought separately.
Consequently, the whole driveshaft needs to be replaced. In a repair shop, replacing the driveshaft could range from $380 to $800.
If you handle the replacement of the CV joint and shaft yourself, then you will need a torque wrench and the perfect socket to break loose the leading CV joint lock-nut due to its tightness.
You can check the repair manual with the CV Joint for torque specifications and instructions.
We have explicitly broken down the causes of the clicking noise in your steering column.
If you notice this noise, carefully examine your steering column for any of these causes and get to work on the solution immediately.
If you cannot handle the repairs, get a specialist to look at them.
With comprehensive experience in writing exceptional quality articles and blogs about cars and related stuff, Daniel is one of the finest bloggers and a hardcore car lover we have. He is an ASE certified technician with an across-the-board experience of 10 years in the industry. He could not help tinkering with anything he got his hands on from a young age, which led to his remarkable career in the automotive repair industry.
When he is not under any hood, you can find him on the water or in the woods to pursue his passion for hunting and fishing. He has been writing for multiple sectors and is a regular contributor to several publications.
He currently owns a Nissan 300ZX TT and a Pearl Yellow but plans to upgrade it to 550 HP. His favorites include the Koenigsegg CCX and Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 VT, but for him, the Ferrari 360 Spider is one of the sexiest cars that exists to date.
Being an avid world traveler, he has spent most of his time analyzing the automotive markets, latest technology, and local favorites to enhance his knowledge base. He is currently living in North Caroline, where it’s all about food and coffee and, of course, cars.