Creaking While Steering at Low Speeds/Stopped

On my Mercedes ML320 '99 with 200k miles I hear a creaking sound as I turn the wheel. It happens consistently when the car is at low speeds (such as turning out of a parking spot), but I at least can’t hear it at any other speeds.

I notice no changes in handling and it does it in both directions.

  1. How likely is this to be dangerous?
  2. How expensive would this be to fix?
  3. Where do I start?

My Corolla does this when it is hot outside. It is the steering wheel plastic expanding due to the heat and rubbing on something. Are you sure it isn’t something simple like that? I can tell that’s what it is, because the sound is coming from the steering wheel area.

If the sound is coming from the outside front of the car, then it is probably a steering or suspension problem of some sort. With 200k, could be any of a host of things. Steering linkage, steering box, ball joints, struts, CV joints (if you have those on this car) etc. It could indeed be something dangerous, so at least have it put up on a lift and looked at. The mechanic may say if you can live w/the squeak, nothing needs to be done now. Best of luck.

One thing to have checked out is dry ball joints.

The vehicle didn’t come with a means of lubricating the ball joints from the factory. But if it’s a ball joint, the new one will have grease fitting so it can be lubricated.


Have the steering tie rods checked too.

Ed B.

You are asking questions that can only be answered intelligently by a hands on examination of your car. Otherwise you will only get anecdotal stories of what made creaking noises on other peoples cars.

sealed chassis components with rubber cups can be greased with this device