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I've noticed in the last week, when I'm turning the steering wheel, my car is squeaking. It's not the tires rubbing on the ground, but definitely coming from the movement of the steering wheel itself. Any ideas on a cause or fix? We had a decent amount of flooding here in S TX last week, and I had to drive through some higher water on my way home the other night. I noticed it started soon after... not sure if there's a correlation. Thanks for the help.
 

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If its a whirring noise it could be belt noise (aka zipper noise). It's caused by the belt moving along the teeth on the ball screw or the motor pulley. It's very temperature sensitive and when it is cold you hear it more. It causes no ill effects to the function. If it is a clunking noise that's the rack, and its caused by the rack reaching end of travel. This is also temperature sensitive (cold makes steering gears more noisy). Again, it's causes no ill effects to the function.

Regarding water, the gear is a sealed device, so only if your tie rod boots have been cut (which can happen) can water enter the gear. The steering has a detection mechanism if friction gets too high in the gear due to rust from water if somehow it got in the gear. But that would be a long term item you wouldn't notice it after a week (and the gear may never rust even if water does get in).

The best thing to do would be to inspect the tire rod boots. If they are fine, then have someone else get in the car and steer, while you are crouched next to the passenger wheel with your ear near the car. If you hear a whirring noise, that's the belt, no worries then. If you don't hear that then take it to the dealer and have them inspect the gear.
 
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