Growling that Grates

A driver who uses his or her ears has a leg up on those who don't.  In addition to noises helping you be aware of traffic, they can give you clues to potential problems in your vehicle.  One noise to pay attention to is growling.

Growling is a universally recognizable noise; you know it when you hear it.  In a vehicle, it's usually the sound of metal contacting metal, and not in a good way.  So, what is your vehicle telling you if you hear growling when you are turning your steering wheel?

There are a few possibilities.  One is the mechanical linkage that helps your steering wheel turn your wheels and tires.  That system frequently has a hydraulic system that makes turning the steering wheel easier for you.  That can be a source of growling sounds as well.  A NAPA AutoCare technician can check your power steering fluid to see if it's at the correct level and still in good shape. 

There are a few things that can go wrong with your power steering.  If your fluid is low, that might be a sign of a leak in the pump, hose, or somewhere else in the system. It's important to have your power steering working properly since losing the ability to turn precisely can sharply reduce the safety of your vehicle. 

If that growling sound is coming from around the wheel area, it could be a suspension issue.  That growling is giving you a warning that a component such as a constant velocity (CV) joint or a wheel hub may be on the verge of failing, so it's a good idea to get it checked.  Another reason you may be hearing growling when you are turning your steering wheel is that your brakes are engaging when they shouldn't. 

Growling noises are trying to tell you something, and they can tell a trained technician a great deal. Inform your Service Advisor about the symptoms you're hearing.  Your NAPA AutoCare Center can put that growling to a halt.  Your ears have better things to listen to.

Carmasters Automotive
931 E Little Creek Rd.
Norfolk, VA 23518

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