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Steering Wheel Noise in Mercedes E430

My wife has a 2002 Mercedes E430. When the wheel is turned, it makes a high pitch noise. Nothing unique, I’ve heard it on other cars. The dealer says not worry. However, it is at least very annoying and, for all I know, a sign that something is failing. Anyone have an idea? Thanks.

Well, the steering wheel itself cannot make any noise, but the steering shaft inside the steering column can make noise, as can various steering components under the hood. Try to localize whether the noise is coming from the steering column, or whether it is originating somewhere under the hood, or underneath the car. Also, tell us whether the noise is worse when the ambient temperature is low.

Guessing from you have heard it on other cars it is a fairly loud sound. The most common cause is a loose or worn belt, next bet would be the power steering motor. I am surprised the dealer does not want to fix it, I would try a second opinion from someone who works on Mercedes.

Thank you very much. I’ll see what I can do. I’m not very good at this sort of thing.

Some additional questions for smartin:

Is this a noise that only the driver and passenger can hear, or is it audible from outside the car? In other words–just how loud is it?

Is the noise present only when the steering wheel is turned and held at the extreme end of its travel, or do you hear this when making only slight steering corrections?

Is it present while driving down the road, or only while maneuvering in a parking space?

It always sounds like it’s coming from the steering column. At its worst, I suppose someone standing outside the car could hear it through the window. It’s loud enough that you have to raise your voice to talk over it. Just to complicate matters, the sound does vary. This morning is fairly cool and damp and she said it wasn’t particularly loud at all.

The noise is present throughout the turn and it happens turning anywhere. We turned left a stop sign last night, for example, and it was quite loud. On the way home, my steered back and forth in short “bursts” (which just about made me burst) and it made the sound everytime.

Thanks for your follow up. Maybe we should just ride bikes and scooters.