I have a 2000 Ford Taurus, which we bought in December 2009 and it had 43,500 miles on it. The previous owner mentioned the creaking noise of the steering wheel, saying it only had just started a few months before, and that it wasn’t mechanical. It doesn’t seem to creak after the car has driven for a few miles. We really only notice it when pulling out of our parking space, or when making slow speed turns. The power steering fluid is not low. Is this the power steering pump going? Anyone know how much that’ll run us?
Have the tie rod ends checked. The ends don’t have grease fittings but can be lubricated with a needle fitting on the grease gun. That’s what the mechanic did when my wife’s 98 Windstar had a groaning noise in the steering.
If it creaks, it is mechanical, you have a bad steering box. About $300.
It Could Be A Mechanical Issue Or An Annoyance.
First check the power steering belt and / or serpentine belt for proper tension and wear.
I had a car that developed a slight annoying groan when turning the wheel. It was caused by steering column trim contacting the the steering column. When it was making the noise I could wiggle the wheel a little with the engine off and car parked and replicate the sound. I tried lubing it, etcetera, and then after finding it to be only a minor annoyance I just lived with it.
On the other hand it could be mechanical and possibly potentially dangerous. I would have the front strut top mounts / bearings checked.
Whether you fix it or live with it, you should have it evaluated to be sure it’s annoying and not dangerous.