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Could you tell me what might cause a crackling sound on a 2013 Hyundai Elantra when turning the steering wheel? Also, a different issue, but again with steering. If one turns the steering wheel totally to the left, you get a sound like someone hitting a tin drum. – Tony

Located at the very top of your front struts are their respective upper mounts. These mounts are made of rubber and metal with an integrated bearing, allowing the suspension to turn as you move your steering wheel left to right.

One or both upper mounts are likely wearing out, causing the suspension to bind slightly as you try to turn the wheel.

I suspect your crackling noise will be emanating from those worn friction points within the upper mount.

When the front suspension upper mounts are not working effectively, the front springs, which are supposed to stay in one spot, will be forced to turn in their spring seats, also causing them to load up in an unintended axial rotation.

As with any spring that is twisted or compressed, it is designed to return to its at rest position. As you reach full lock, the spring, which cannot be wound any tighter, will hit a point where it will jump and unwind itself, generating the tin sound you describe.

Another possible sound source is going to be the front sway-bar links, which on most vehicles are known to make all kinds of strange noises when they wear out.

On a 2013 Dodge Journey, the lights flicker when putting my windows up or down. There is also lagging speed, which makes it nearly impossible to safely change lanes on the highway. In addition, the car will sometimes not shut off when I remove the key, and it won’t go into park but says it’s in park. – Shanon

Given that Shanon’s complete e-mail lists 22 individual repairs to this vehicle in just three years of ownership, I understand the frustration.

I can identify two potential repairs from your extensive list. Surprisingly, your summary does not include the replacement of the wireless ignition module (WIN), which is a unit tucked in the steering column, behind where your key is inserted.

This is a common failure on many Chrysler products and also quite possibly a manufacturer recall item. Replacement will likely solve the shutting off and hopefully the park issue as well.

The flickering lights you refer to and lagging speed, paired with the fact that you have had the battery changed as well, suggests to me that you may have an alternator problem.

Double-check your records for these two items and head into a dealer to see if the WIN module is covered and have the charging system completely inspected.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

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