Steering wheel noise.
You may have noticed a scratching sound coming from behind your steering wheel of your Ford Ka. This can be very worrying when it first starts and could well be a number of things including the universal joint of your steering column. Equally it could be a problem with your c.v joints which are attached to your drive shafts. It is very unlikely that it is either of these things if the noise seems to be coming from behind the steering wheel.
Identify the problem.
Identifying the problem you are having with you Ford Ka should be straightforward enough. If you answer the questions below you should be able to eliminate the other problems mentioned above and diagnose your problem.
- Is it a knocking or a grating / scratching noise?
- Does it happen when turning the steering wheel one way?
- If it makes a noise when turning wheel both ways, is it present all the time?
- Do your switches all work on your steering column?
If you answered the questions above it is likely that you will have diagnosed what the problem is. The likelihood is that the noise is in fact coming from behind the steering wheel so it would be a good idea to take a look behind the cover which enlcoses, not the steering wheel, but the steering column.
What it is likely to be is a lack of lubrication either at the top of the steering column or the switches within the steering column top bush that have become dry and need lubricating. I found that a little squirt of WD40 or something similar in the Maintenance spray type of aerosol, will make a difference to the scraping noise and will pretty much eliminate the noise within a few minutes. A little drop of maintenance oil would also do the trick.
You can actually buy a product which is designed to spray and seal dry switches. A switch lubricant will also do the trick.
What next ?
In order to get to look at the top of the steering column you will need to undo 2 screws which secure the steering column cover. You will find the screws just below the steering wheel above the bonnet catch, one on the right and one to the left.
Once undone you will be able to remove the little plastic cover which surrounds the hazard flasher switch. Once off you will see the underside of the steering wheel boss. There is just enough room to spray in some maintenance spray. After you have sprayed, switch on the ignition and move the steering wheel from side to side. Gradually the noise will disappear as the spray begins to lubricate the surfaces which are touching and causing the scratching sound.
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Job done ?
That should have cured the problem so you can now continue driving in peace and quiet. All that remains to be done is to replace the top cover of the steering column and tighten the 2 screws.
These are the little jobs which you can do yourself and avoid the need for costly garage bills.
When trying to diagnose a problem with your car, always do a Google search for the problem by typing your car details into the Google search bar. It is amazing how many people have the same problems.
Steve Mitchell (author) from Cambridgeshire on November 12, 2012:
shiningirisheyes, you are first to comment yet again....thank you. Most of my experience with cars come from doing the jobs I know I can tackle. You really have to know your limitations, but I love to save money.
Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on November 12, 2012:
Well researched and informative hub. I am fortunate for having a relative who is a stellar master mechanic. But for those who do not have this added luxury, your hub provides useful info.