You don't mention the model, but from my experiences with the E36,
it's the spring and washer assembly at the bottom of the steering
column (under the bonnet).
No I'm not kidding! The steering column is hollow, and the squeak
comes up the middle and sounds like it's in the steering wheel. Drove
me nuts for weeks before I found it.
Assuming E36 here, might be the same on other models.
Open the bonnet, look where the steering column comes through the
bulkhead. At the end of the steer column shaft you'll see a big spiral
spring and some washers holding it in place, this is probably your
squeak. Give it some lube!
WD40 might work for a bit, but I found the best cure was spray on wax
based motorcycle chain oil. It comes out as thin as WD40, but then the
solvent evaporates and leaves the grease well penetrated into all the
Hope this helps.
Remember the VW advert on TV where the girlfriend had big ear-rings that
Kick the squeaky girl out the car and get a new one.
Sir Hugh of Bognor
The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.
Intelligence is not knowing the answer but knowing where and how to find it!
Bognor Regis, W.Sussex, England, UK
I have had to chase squeaky steering wheel issues on two separate cars. A
1988 Audi 90, and a 1993 Volvo 850. Both VERY VERY frustrating. Steering
wheels should simply not squeak.
In both cases, the solution was to tighten up the brackets that hold the
steering column to the chassis. I had to remove all the plastic covers from
around the indicator stalk/wiper stalk housing, as well as the knee bolster
and lower dashboard covers, so as to reveal the whole steering column before
it went thru the firewall.
I even spent some time squirting WD40 in various places until I noticed a
reduction in squeaking, then tightened the bolts. In your case, it may
actually be a bearing sleeve where the steering wheel shaft goes thru,
rather than just a loose bracket. I would think that as long as you have
all the various plastic covers removed, you should be able to shoot some
lube into the bearings that hold the actual steering shaft. Once you hit
the right place, the squeak should disappear.
I hope this works out for you. Squeaks like that drive me even more crazy
than a negative clearance valvetrain (the engines that self-destruct when
the timing belt breaks). So I feel your pain.
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