My 2015 Toyota Corolla is squealing when turning at low speed inside car parks and smooth surfaces. I previously drove a 1980's Mitsubishi and never had problems like this.

  • The tires are fairly new.
  • The air pressure in them is at the level specified in the book and doesn't change the sound.
  • Turning left or right is when the sound happens.
  • Sound is a rubbery squeal as if the tires are kind of flat and rubbing on the floor a little too much.

Is this a problem or just a normal thing with relatively new tires and power steering in car parks? My last car didn't have power steering.

  • Does the Corolla have wider tires than the Mitsubishi? – HandyHowie Dec 18 '18 at 11:44

This is very common in car parks and it has nothing to do with your car in particular. The squealing is because of the surface coating that is used in car parks. The surface is coated with epoxy-like material because it is anti-slip and resistant to oil and chemicals, which otherwise could harm the concrete floor. A side effect is that rubber tires may squeal a little in turns.

  • How come some cars squeal more than others and some not at all? Any way to minimise squealing at all? – insidesin Dec 18 '18 at 9:51
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    Weight of the car, composition (softness) of the rubber used for the tires, i can imagine that these factors will have an effect. Anyway try not to steer with the car being stationary, since its a guarantee for the squealing sound. – MadMarky Dec 18 '18 at 9:59
  • Don't worry, I've lived my entire life driving a car from the 80s, no power steering there. Can't move the wheels if you aren't moving :P – insidesin Dec 18 '18 at 10:27

Find a gravel car park and execute a slow full-lock turn in a circle, reverse probably better than forwards. Tell us whether it feels like the car is "grabbing" at the surface, and/or whether you notice the surface of the car park is disturbed (probably by the inner wheel) more than you'd expect.

Most of the front wheel drive cars I've had, when on the extremes of steering lock, exhibit a slight misalignment in steering geometry in that the circle they're describing is not in line with the arc the general movement of the car/other steering wheel is describing. As such one of the front wheels is being dragged sideways slightly by the other. Car parks these days are either worn smooth in corners or they're deliberately coated with a surface that squeals as a measure to keep people driving slowly (psychological effects from watching too many films where squealing tires equates to driving in an antisocial manner, or an impending accident)

It seems not to be a fault with the car, or the ongoing steering setup/maintenance, more like a consequence of compromises that must be made if you want to drive the front wheels and thus arrange a complicated set of driveshaft joints to transmit power to a wheel that experiences angle motion in 2 axes. I suspect that manufacturers know and accept that some degree of scrubbing one wheel will be experienced in full lock situations, but as these occur infrequently and at low speeds with little consequence other than slightly accelerated tire wear, they let it slide. literally.

Do have your tracking/wheel alignment checked by a competent auto shop though, and check that nothing is fouling on the wheel at the extremes of lock

  • Thanks for the information. I'll definitely keep that in the back of my head and give it a try if I'm ever near the situation. I've got a service in a few weeks though the car has always been serviced. He'll probably point it out if it's a problem. – insidesin Dec 18 '18 at 9:54

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