The Dodge Ram makes several normal noises while driving. However, a grinding noise that happens only when turning is a clear sign of a problem. So, how should you diagnose the issue?
You can diagnose the grinding noise by recreating it and narrowing down the source. The noise can come from failed bearings, damaged hubs, and U-joint or CV-joint issues. Models with a sector gearbox power steering are also known to create grinding noises while turning due to bad valves in that system.
You should always pay attention to grinding noises that happen while turning. So, this guide will help you understand how to troubleshoot the issue and find the root cause. You’ll also discover the solutions available to help you resolve the issue.
How Do You Diagnose A Truck’s Grinding Noise When Turning?
Before diving deeper into why your truck might be grinding, it’s important to understand how you should diagnose the problem. Unfortunately, finding the root cause is impossible just by looking under the vehicle while it’s stationary.
Instead, you’ll want to replicate the noise and pay close attention to where it’s coming from. That way, you can troubleshoot the issue, fix it, and confirm that the noise is gone.
Firstly, you can troubleshoot your truck’s noises by taking it for a test drive somewhere relatively quiet. That will allow you to hear where the noise is coming from when you turn the wheel.
More importantly, it allows you to see if the noise also happens under other driving conditions, such as:
- Turning the other way
- Going over bumps
When you understand the conditions that the grinding noise does and doesn’t occur, that will help you narrow down the source.
Besides that, you can also troubleshoot the noise by raising your vehicle with something like a jack or a lift. Then, you can turn each wheel by hand and examine which parts make a grinding noise.
A thorough examination using both approaches described above not only helps you find the root cause but also helps you identify if there is more than one problem occurring.
Why Does My Dodge Ram 1500 Grind When Turning?
When your Dodge Ram makes a grinding noise, specifically while turning, you can narrow down the root cause to components in the wheel and suspension system.
Here are the most likely components causing that noise and what you can do to fix them.
1. Loose Or Worn Wheel Bearing
The first part you’ll want to inspect is the bearing in each wheel.
A wheel bearing is designed to help the wheel spin smoothly and with as little friction as possible.
By minimizing the friction, the bearing ensures that very little of the engine’s power output is wasted when turning the wheel. Simultaneously, the lack of friction also ensures that everything moves quietly, thereby maximizing the comfort of your driving experience.
Bearings can come loose, and they can certainly wear out over an extended period as well. However, they don’t always make noise when only driving forward in a straight line.
Turning your wheel subjects the wheel bearing to added force and pressure. That’s why the grinding noise you hear only happens while turning and not while driving forward.
How to fix it: Firstly, you must check your wheel bearings to know if only one is grinding or if there are others as well. Then, you can inspect each one closely.
You can reposition loose bearings to ensure that they’re no longer loose. However, damaged or worn-out wheel bearings will require replacements.
Wheel bearings are not serviceable or repairable parts. That’s why a replacement is your only solution.
2. Damaged Or Worn-Out Wheel Hubs
Another possible source for the grinding noise is the wheel hub. As the name suggests, the hub is the part where the wheel attaches to your truck. The hub holds the wheel in place and keeps it turning freely in its position, even when you turn to the left or right.
Wheel hubs can wear out naturally, just like any other part of the vehicle. Unfortunately, given its position under the truck, it can also experience plenty of damage.
For example, hitting a pothole or a curb or having large rocks kick up from underneath the vehicle can all damage the wheel hub. As a result, parts of the wheel will grind against the hub while you’re turning.
That will explain the grinding noise that you’ve been hearing.
How to fix it: Unfortunately, the wheel hub is a solid unit that you can’t dismantle or repair. Due to that, you’ll have no choice but to replace it with a new one regardless of whether it’s damaged or worn out from old age.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Remember: the wheel hub is what keeps your wheel attached to the truck. Replacing it with a brand-new one is a safer option and will provide you with plenty of peace of mind.
3. Universal Joint (U-Joint) or Constant Velocity (CV) Joint
The suspension system connects to your wheels using several joints. When you hear a grinding noise while turning, you likely have a problem with the universal joint (or ‘U-joint’) or the constant velocity (CV) joint.
The CV joint connects the driveshaft to the wheel, while the U-joint allows that driveshaft to move up and down along with the suspension.
These parts can sustain the added strain when you turn the vehicle. However, that’s only possible if they’re in excellent condition.
Loose, damaged, or worn-out joints will cause the grinding noise that you hear.
How to fix it: Firstly, check to see if either of the joints is loose. Sometimes, the only thing you need to do is torque the joint to stop it from moving inappropriately.
However, like most other parts, you’ll need to replace it if it’s no longer in good working condition.
4. Power Steering Problem
Lastly, a known issue with this truck model is grinding from the power steering system. This issue affects models with a sector gear-type of power steering and not the rack and pinion type.
Bad valves cause the grinding noise in the sector gearbox. Those valves cause a grinding noise only when you turn the wheel to one side or the other.
How to fix it: This is a known issue with the Dodge Ram 1500, so be sure to check with your dealer if it’s covered under warranty. If so, they can fix it for you without any charge.
Regardless of who pays for the repairs, you must replace those bad valves to ensure the power steering system works correctly and without any more grinding.
Grinding noises in your Dodge Ram 1500 while turning are typically caused by an issue near the wheels and suspension system. You can troubleshoot the problem by test-driving the vehicle to recreate and narrow down the noise source.
Besides that, lifting the vehicle and turning the wheels by hand can also help you find the root cause.
The grinding noise you hear is likely due to a problematic wheel bearing, a damaged or worn-out wheel hub, or worn-out joints like the U-joint or CV joint. Besides, grinding is a known issue in sector gear-type power steerings due to bad valves.