Reasons Why Ford Explorer Clunking Noise When Turning

ford explorer clunking noise when turning
As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Clunking or knocking noises can disturb any driver when driving along the road. While these noises could indicate various problems, they’re all frequently tied to a broken suspension component. When a suspension component fails, the vehicle’s ride or handling may be affected, and if the problem with the failed component is not addressed, it might progress to more challenging and deadly complications.

The suspension system in your car is designed to reduce friction between the tires and the road, providing a smooth ride for you and your passengers. Many of the components that generate a clunking or knocking noise are part of the suspension and aid in vehicle steering control. A professional should check any problems with the vehicle’s steering or suspension, as they will only worsen with time.

We will discuss in this article the common causes of the ford explorer clunking noise. Again, we will also look at the steps or the methods used to solve the noise issue when turning.

Common causes of ford explorer clunking noise when turning

1. Faulty ball joints

Common causes of ford explorer clunking noise when turning

Ball joints connect the vehicle’s wheel hubs to the rest of the suspension components. One or two ball joints per wheel, depending on the vehicle, may or may not be load-bearing. You may hear a clunking noise coming from the front wheels if a ball joint fails. Over time, the clunking noise will grow louder and more frequently. You may also notice that the damaged ball joint has affected your steering, maybe generating vibration in the steering wheel.

2. Faulty tie rods

Tie rods connect the steering rack to the steering arm of a vehicle—this aids in translating the steering wheel’s movement to the direction of the tires. A clunking noise can be heard when a tie rod end is worn or loose. Worn tie rod ends can also cause additional play in the steering wheel, making it more difficult to turn.

A faulty sway bar link

A vehicle’s sway bar, also known as an anti-roll bar, assists in reducing body roll during cornering. When traveling around a sharp bend, sway bars can help keep a vehicle from turning over. A clunking or knocking sound may be heard if the sway bar breaks or is broken, especially when traveling over bumps. When the sway bar is damaged, your car may have more difficulties handling it.

4. Power Steering Fluid Leaks

If your power steering fluid has been leaking for a while, it’s time to replace it. Power steering systems lubricate and transmit the necessary pressure to operate the steering smoothly using a specially formulated fluid. The steering rack, pinion, or steering box, receives this fluid from a reservoir. It will make a noise if the power steering fluid spills, especially when turning. A leak is usually indicated by a low amount of power steering fluid.

Best Steering fluid

MaxLife Multi-Vehicle ATF is a fully synthetic formulation with advanced additives to prevent the major causes of transmission breakdown and help extend transmission life.

5. Backed-Up Reservoir for Power Steering Fluid

As we just mentioned, the power steering fluid in your car is stored in a dedicated reservoir until your power steering system requires it. A filter is normally present in that reservoir to ensure that your power steering fluid remains pure. But there’s a catch: the filter can clog up with time, causing the entire reservoir to back up. When there’s a clog in the system, the power steering fluid won’t flow freely.

As your power steering fluid is backed up, your car’s steering wheel may create a knocking sound when you turn it. It may also make turning your steering wheel difficult in the first place. You’ll need to get your power steering system’s filter replaced so that the power steering fluid doesn’t back up in the reservoir.

6. Jounce Bushing Has Been Worn Out

A jounce bushing, located on top of the front strut, might eventually wear out and become dry and cracked. As a result, when you turn, you’ll hear creaking or groaning. Go to the shop right away because the condition will only worsen with time and lead to a car accident.

7. Shocks and struts that aren’t working

The struts and shocks in your car are built to last for a long time. You won’t have to worry about replacing them as frequently as you would your brake pads and rotors. However, struts and shocks in an automobile will wear out over time and need to be replaced. A knocking sound when turning the steering wheel in your car is one of the earliest indicators of this.

When you spin your car, your struts and shocks will begin to make noises, signaling that it’s time to replace them. If you don’t take action, these pieces will begin to cause your automobile to bounce up and down every time you drive it. It won’t be long before driving around in your automobile becomes unbearable for you. The struts and shocks will have to be changed, your only alternative.

How to solve the ford explorer clunking noise when turning

How to solve the ford explorer clunking noise when turning

To inspect for play, lift the vehicle’s front off the ground and shake the front tires. If the front tires have played, you will suspect faulty ball joints. To access the faulty ball joint, you will have to remove the wheel and control arm(s).  Please take out the old ball joint and replace it with a new one. To ensure longer life, you should ensure the replacement ball joint is correctly lubricated.

If you feel the sway bar is broken, you have to first look at the sway bar bushings. If the entire sway bar appears to be in good condition, the clunking sounds could be caused by the bushing. If necessary, replace the bushings and the sway bar.

Check the tie rods for any damage. You have to remove the worn or loose tie rod end and replace it with a new one if necessary. After installation, you will also check that the new tie rod end is properly greased. In all repairs, you have to ensure that the automobile handles properly after completing the essential repairs. To be sure, you should take the automobile for a test drive.

Frequently asked questions:

  • What is the price of a wheel clunking or knocking noise inspection?

A Ford Explorer Clunking or knocking noise from wheels Inspection costs $95 on average, with $0 in parts and $95 in labor. Prices may differ based on where you are.


When you hear a clunking noise in your ford explorer when turning, think of it as your car speaking to you. It’s informing you that a problem needs to be addressed. It may indicate that you require a new jounce bushing in rare circumstances. In some cases, it may indicate that you require a new tie rod.

You don’t want to ignore what your ford explorer is trying to tell you, regardless of what it is attempting to tell you. It would be best to have your car inspected by a reputable mechanic as soon as possible. They can suggest the appropriate fixes to eliminate the clunking noise when turning. It will now make your ford explorer quieter while you drive it.

Categories Car

Leave a Comment