If your tire squeaks when turning, chances are that there might be something wrong with your car, your tires, or both. There is a distinct difference between hearing tire squeaks while performing a juicy drift and while you simply want to change direction in a more restrained manner. As such, it’s really important for you to know when those squeaks are worrying, and how you can go about fixing them.
Why Are My Tires Squeaking While Turning?
Tire squeaks when turning can be due to many possible reasons such as improper air pressure, uneven tread wear, wheel misalignment, low-quality tires, or performance driving. Tire squeaks could also be caused by many non-tire related issues as well. In order to stop your tires from squeaking, you first need to check the air pressure, your wheel alignment, and many other suspension components if the issue is indeed non-tire related.
If the tires are simply too old and worn out, you will have to replace them, but be sure to properly align them, rotate them every 5,000-8,000 miles, and balance them if needed.
What Causes Tire Squeaks When Turning?
- Lack Of Tire Are Pressure
- Uneven Tire Wear
- Wheel Misalignment
- Low Quality/Old Tires
- Performance driving
- Non-tire Related Issues
Lack of Air Pressure
Tires are designed to serve a few vital safety functions such as properly distributing the weight of the car, transferring the power to the road, and making the car stop. For the car to do all of this as best as possible, the tires need to be inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Tires are tasked with distributing the weight of the car while stationary, yet they are also intended to sustain all the lateral G-forces associated with weight transfer while turning. If your tires are underinflated, they will not be able to retain the necessary shape while turning which inevitably causes them to squeak.
Uneven Tire Wear
There are many different types of tire wear, some of them can not be avoided, yet others can. Feather edge tire wear (feathered tires) camber wear and spotty/chopped wear are all associated with improper camber, improper toe, and many other faulty suspension components.
As uneven tire wear strains the tire, it also results in inconsistent tread depth along the outer surface of the tire. If this is left unchecked for a while, it is most likely going to make your tires squeak when turning.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, your wheel toe and camber are essential when it comes to determining if the tires are meeting the road at an exact angle. If any of these are off, even by a little bit, they can make your tires squeal, even if the tires are not all that particularly worn out.
Many different things can cause wheel misalignment and the most common ones are aggressive potholes, hitting a curb, or simply lack of maintenance.
Low Quality/Old Tires
Not all tires are made the same as some of them are able to sustain more stress than others. We have already discussed that maintaining traction is one of the most important functions a tire has, but not all tires are able to do that equally.
Some low-quality tires are more prone to slipping than others which means that they can emit squeaking noises both while turning and while going in a straight line. Furthermore, regularly worn-out, old tires also have a habit of squeaking because there is little to no tread left on the tire.
This is a rather obvious one to some, but it is still worth mentioning as some people are not aware of why this happens anyway. While driving your car more aggressively through corners, you are constantly transferring the weight of the car from one corner to the other which ultimately places more or less weight onto the tires.
This causes the tires to squeeze and deform which also makes them prone to slipping and thus they squeak. With heavier cars in particular, tires don’t even have to slip to squeak as the added weight during cornering is enough.
Non-Tire Related Issues
Sometimes the squeaks you might be hearing are not necessarily coming from the tires, yet rather from other nearby components such as a damaged belt, a faulty wheel bearing, worn-out brakes, bad CV-joints, or simply because you are low on steering fluid.
While driving, be sure to pinpoint the squeaking issue as much as possible which means that you should listen if the squeaks are constantly present or they only appear while turning, braking, or accelerating.
How To Fix Tire Squeaking When Turning?
- Check Tire Air Pressure
- Check Your Wheel Alignment
- Replace Worn/Old Tires
- Adjust Your Driving Habits
- Check Your Suspension
- Maintain Your Tires
Check Tire Air Pressure
This one is rather simple. All you need to do is look for your owner’s manual and find the section where the tire air pressure information is listed. If you are unable to find it, or you simply don’t have an owner’s manual at hand, you should contact your dealer.
Simply go down to your local service station and connect the air compressor to your tires. Be sure to inflate your tires according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you are unable to check the air pressure with a gauge, be sure to click here.
Check Your Wheel Alignment
As mentioned previously, there are many reasons why your alignment might go out of whack which means that you should always keep an eye on it. Many experts state that you should align your wheels every 2-3 years at a time to make sure that you are not wearing your tires unevenly.
Some say that you should align your wheels whenever you perform an oil change or whenever you do your seasonal tire set replacements.
Replace Worn/Old Tires
Not all old tires are unsafe, but worn-out old tires are. As such, you should never drive a car if the tire tread depth is under 2/32“. Thankfully, solving this issue is rather easy as all you have to do is replace your old set of tires with a new one.
Adjust Your Driving Habits
If you only hear your tires squeaking while driving fast through corners, the only thing you can do to stop it is to not drive fast through corners. Furthermore, tire squeaking while accelerating is obviously down to the tires not being able to continuously provide traction while setting off in a straight line.
Check Your Suspension
If the squeaking is not tire-related, you will have to take your car for a more thorough inspection as many faulty mechanical components tend to squeak while driving. Your suspension is the very first thing you ought to concentrate on, especially your ball joints, your CV axle, and your bearings.
Worn-out belts are also known to squeak, and the same story goes for many power steering components such as the steering fluid or even your catalytic converter.
Maintain Your Tires
If you’ve gone through all of the potential solutions listed above, chances are that you have successfully resolved tire squeaks when turning. However, if you want to proactively solve many tire-related issues, you will have to maintain your tires properly which means rotating them, balancing them, and aligning them whenever that is necessary.
What If My Tires Squeaks Even After I’ve Done Everything Listed In This Article?
Not all issues can be solved easily as some of them require special tools and equipment even for a proper diagnosis, let alone the solution. As such, if you’ve tried everything listed in this article, but the tire squeak persists, you should contact a mechanic immediately as it’s never a good idea to drive a car without knowing what might be wrong with it.
Is It Possible That The Squeaking I Hear Is Coming From The Brakes And Not The Tires?
Yes, it is. Tires are not the only expendable part of a car as the brakes themselves are also not designed to last forever. One of the most common symptoms of worn-out brake pads is a distinct squeaking sound that tends to progressively worsen as time goes on.
In order to remedy this, you should look for the metal brake wear indicator attached directly onto the backing plate to see if there is any friction material left. If your brake pads are indeed worn out, replace them as early as possible.
If your tire squeaks when turning, chances are that your tire is underinflated, your tires are worn out unevenly, they are too old, or because they are simply made with lesser quality materials. Tire squeak can also be caused by improper wheel alignment or because you are putting way too much strain on them while driving spiritedly.
In order to fix this, you will either have to inflate your tires, realign them or even completely replace them. Be sure to also adjust your driving habits to see if the squeaking persists even while driving slowly. Finally, always be sure to maintain your tires in order for them to be squeak-free for the longest.