Fixing: RAV4 Clicking Sound When Turning Steering Wheel

Your steering wheel is something you use on a normal basis. If it starts making clicking sounds out of the blue, you’ll likely worry – and you’d be right to. Steering wheels are supposed to feel smooth and stable as you drive.

When they don’t, that might suggest an underlying problem that can fester into something worse in the long term.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the best ways to get your steering wheel in full working order again. 

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Key Takeaways

Fixing: RAV4 Clicking Sound When Turning Steering Wheel
  1. The article identifies the potential causes of a clicking sound when turning the steering wheel in a RAV4, including worn-out CV joints, a damaged strut mount, an impaired control arm, or faulty components like ball joints, tie rods, and power steering pumps.
  2. This issue is a significant safety concern. Ignoring the clicking sound can result in losing steering control, damage to other car parts, potential fire hazards, and even serious injury or death.
  3. The article suggests various steps to diagnose and remedy the problem. These include inspecting the ball joints, checking the brakes, examining the tires, and investigating the CV joint. If the sound persists despite these steps, professional mechanical help should be sought.
  4. To prevent steering system issues, it’s recommended to regularly lubricate the steering system, avoid damaging driving habits, regularly inspect and maintain the tires, and routinely have the steering system checked for signs of wear or damage.
  5. In conclusion, the author emphasizes that driving with a clicking steering wheel is dangerous and requires immediate attention. If the issue persists despite following the suggested troubleshooting steps, a professional mechanic’s assistance should be sought to avoid severe, potentially fatal consequences.

What Causes The RAV4 Steering Wheel To Make a Clicking Sound?

Several factors can cause your RAV4 steering wheel to click when you turn it. Some of the most common ones are:

  • CV joints: CV joints connect the drive shafts to the wheels and can cause a clicking sound when worn out. Damaged rubber boots can expose the joint to dirt and moisture, leading to wear and tear. 
  • Strut mount: The strut mount connects the shock absorber to the car’s body and allows it to rotate with the steering wheel. It can wear out or get damaged by rust or impact, causing excessive movement or friction and clicking when turning the wheel. 
  • Control arm: The control arm connects the wheel hub to the car’s frame and can get damaged by impact or corrosion. The bushings can also wear out, causing looseness, vibration, and clicking sounds.
  • Other components: Other parts like ball joints, tie rods, intermediate shafts, power steering pumps, etc. can also cause a clicking sound when turning the steering wheel. Over time, these parts can wear out and lead to steering problems.

These parts are important for safe and smooth steering – you need to check on them occasionally.

Is It Bad For Your Steering Wheel To Click?

A clicking steering wheel isn’t just annoying, it’s dangerous. It means your steering system needs fixing immediately. Delaying repairs can cause loss of steering control, damage to other car parts, and safety hazards like fires.

You could even end up in the hospital, or worse. Don’t take chances with your safety or your wallet – get that clicking noise taken care of as soon as possible.

RAV4: Clicking Sound When Turning Steering Wheel Solutions

Clicking while steering could mean a steering/suspension issue. To fix the sound, you need to identify the source of the noise and replace or repair the faulty part. 

Here are some steps you can follow to diagnose and fix the problem.

Step 1: Inspect the Ball Joints

Worn ball joints can cause clicking or clunking noises when turning the steering wheel. If you suspect that the ball joints are worn, it’s best to have them replaced by a professional mechanic to ensure safe and proper function of your vehicle.

Step 2: See if the Brakes are Working

Faulty brakes can also cause clicking noises when turning. If you find that your brakes are worn or damaged, replace them with high-quality brake pads and discs. Make sure to have your brakes inspected regularly to avoid any issues.

Step 3: Check the State of the Tires:

Uneven tire wear can cause clicking or thumping noises when turning. If you notice any signs of uneven wear or damage on your tires, have them replaced or rotated as necessary. It’s also important to maintain proper tire pressure and alignment to prevent any issues.

Step 4: Look at the CV Joint

Damaged CV joints can cause clicking or grinding noises when turning. If you find that the CV joint is damaged, it’s important to have it replaced as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your car.

If you’re still getting the sound even after all these steps, you should get a mechanic to look at your car and fix it to prevent bigger problems and expensive repairs later.

Tips For Preventing Steering System Issues

A well-maintained steering system is a must for safe driving. Here are some tips to help prevent clicking and other serious steering system issues from occurring:

Keep Your Steering System Well-lubricated

Regularly checking and topping up your power steering fluid can help keep your steering system lubricated and functioning smoothly. This can help prevent wear and tear that can cause clicking noises.

Avoid Harsh Driving Habits

Avoid hitting curbs or potholes and driving over rough terrain, as these can cause damage to your steering system. Additionally, try to avoid sudden turns and jerky movements, as these can also put extra strain on your steering system.

Check Your Tires

Uneven tire wear or underinflated tires can cause alignment issues that can cause clicking noises. Make sure to check your tires and have them rotated and balanced as recommended by the manufacturer.

Have Your Steering System Checked Regularly

Have your steering system checked for any signs of wear or damage during routine maintenance. Addressing issues promptly can help prevent them from escalating into more serious problems.

FAQs

Can a steering rack make clicking noise?

Yes, a faulty steering rack can click when turning.

How much does it cost to fix a RAV4’s clicking sound when turning the steering wheel?

The cost of fixing a RAV4’s clicking sound when turning the steering wheel varies depending on the underlying issue, but a mechanic can diagnose the problem and provide an estimate.

Is it safe to drive with a clicking steering wheel?

No, a clicking steering wheel indicates a safety issue and should be checked immediately.

Final Thoughts 

You should now be able to drive smoothly and peacefully again. If you’re somehow still having problems, it might mean something is wrong deeper inside your car – not just at surface level with the steering wheel.

In that case, you should make a trip to the mechanic ASAP and get your car fixed.

None of the consequences of a broken steering wheel or malfunctioning car system will be anything less than fatal. 

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