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'08 Altima - Rubbing/grinding noise when making right turn only

I have a 2008 Nissan Altima coupe with approx. 12,000 miles. When I make a semi-hard right turn, or if I back up with the wheels in the same position, I hear a rubbing/grinding noise coming from, I assume, the front left wheel (hard to tell where it’s coming from, but I can feel a vibration from the rubbing/grinding when my foot is on the pedal). I’ve taken it to the dealership twice, and they cannot determine the cause. They said that there is no indication of the tire rubbing on anything. They replaced the power steering pump, which made no difference. Again, it only makes the noise when I turn right, and it seems that the colder the outside temperature is, the more noise it makes. As I drive the car and it warms up a little, it seems to make less or no noise when turning.

Any ideas? A bad bearing perhaps? Since it makes less noise after warming up, every time I get to the dealership, it won’t make the noise, so it’s hard for the dealership to diagnose. Plus, since I have the “gold” warranty, they like to replace tons of things just for the sake of doing it. I’ve had to replace my entire moonroof assembly twice because my car has flooded on two occasions, but that’s a different story…

Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

did u ever figure out the problem? i have the same thing… its like only the first time i turn right…and thats it until i stop driving and get in the car later

It sounds like the dealer has acknowledged the sound but can’t figure out what it is. This is good. At least they’re trying. Keep going back. This is what warranties are for.

Also, keep meticulous records of everything. You may need to take a “lemon law” approach to this if the problem can’t be solved, and you will need documentation.

Has the dealer searched for TSBs (Technical Service Bullitens), especially as they relate to the CV joints? I’m wondering of a bad boot design, a boot that doesn’t follow the intended dynamic profiles, perhaps one that buckles into the shaft(s) could make that noise.

I took it to a different Nissan dealership last week, and still no answer. They mentioned that the right front tire was wearing on the inside a bit unusually, so they rotated the tires (for free) and asked me to check report back if the noise seems to be getting louder. I’m still hearing the same noise, especially when it’s colder outside and I’m just starting to turn out of my driveway or a parking lot. The temperature is supposed to drop to the 30s in a few days, so I’m going to take it to the dealership, request that they leave it in the parking lot for a couple of hours, then turn the wheel clockwise and try to initiate the rubbing noise. I’ll post an update if we make any progress.

Believe me, I’ve given much thought to the lemon law, especially after my car flooded…twice (ubryan915, if you ever have a similar issue with water leakage, you may want to check out the 4 drainage hoses for the moonroof…I had kinks in two of the hoses which kept the water from draining properly). Plus, I’ve had to replace numerous parts due to malfunctions and whatnot. I’ve had the car since August '07, so I think I’m stuck with it.

I appreciate all of your feedback so far. I sincerely doubt they have searched TSBs. I read a forum online a while back mentioning CV joints. I’m going to suggest that they do this, and I will attempt to explain the CV joint and bad boot design, as mentioned by “the same mountainbike.”

keep me posted… i took to a dealership and they found nothing too… but i’m still getting it… one of these days i’m gonna drop it off at night and let them search it over all day the next day… i dont have a moonroof… so i’m safe with that.

anything new??

Unfortunately, they have yet to figure it out. I left it there for three days, and every day they would tell me that they could not replicate the noise. Honestly, I’m not convinced that they even tried every day, because when I went to pick it up and had someone sit in the car with me before I left, it would make the noise.
They decided that our next step should be for me to keep watching the weather forecast, and if I see that a day is supposed to have a low high (since the noise is louder when on colder days), I should give them a call and they will schedule a Nissan rep to come out that day and help them diagnose the noise. Very frustrating, especially since colder days are vanishing with the spring weather.
Once this happens, I’ll let you know if we made any progress.

They believe it has to do with the rack and pinion. I’ve already had this replaced a year ago. Now, according to a corporate sales rep, the problem is being investigated many people have come forward with the same issue. According to the rep, they may create a new rack and pinion for the Altima coupe. I’m not sure how long that will take, but I will provide details and part numbers if they do.

thanks… i still check this… its not as bad anymore w/ the warm weather… but i still want it fixed

I took mine to the dealership yesterday for the same thing. They called this morning and said it is the ABS pump making the noise and that this is normal for it to make this noise when first driving the car in the morning or after it has been settting for an extended period of time. I guess it makes since.

Ah, I’ll have to mention that to the dealership and see if they can confirm the same thing with my car. Now that it’s getting colder, my car is starting to produce the noise even louder than before and for a longer amount of time (right turns only). Next time I take my car in for an oil change, I’ll have them look into it.

Hi my daughter has a 2009 Altima 2.5 S with about 5K that that has the same exact symptoms. She has had it to the dealer once so far and of course it was warm and wouldn?t do it. When she was home a couple weeks ago I took it for a drive after it had sat out all night, temps in the 40s and it did it one time on the first right turn. My first impression was maybe a sticky clutch or something in the transmission since when turning the wheels are rotating at different speeds and something in the drive train will have to allow for that. I?m fairly certain it?s not a problem with one of the steering components. The ABS diagnoses may be correct although that doesn?t seem quite right to me either.
If you end up figuring out what it is or if anyone else has any information please be sure and let us know.

I believe the issue is FINALLY resolved for my car. It was the steering rack. They replaced it… again.

I bought my car in August 2007. Several months after purchase, I found out that power steering fluid was leaking. It was the power steering pump that needed replacing, but the dealership replaced the steering rack as well. That new steering rack, from what I’ve been told, was slightly modified from the original steering rack and was installed in several newer models of the Altima coupe. It just wasn’t a good fit for the coupe. It wasn’t until they replaced the steering rack the first time that I began to hear the noise.

As for the second steering rack that they just recently installed, I’m not sure if it is one of the original steering racks or a newly designed version. What I do know is that the temperature outside has been in the teens to low 30s and I know longer hear the noise when I make the first right turn. I hope this helps! P.S. Unfortunatley, I do not know how much it costs to replace the steering rack as it was covered under warranty.

In my last reply the dealership had told me this noise was coming from the ABS pump. Turns out it was not the ABS and after front struts and a new transmission it is still making the same noise. Has been at the dealership 3 out of the past 4 weeks and they still do not know what is causing it. Engineer from Nissan is coming next week MArch 4th to try and determin the problem. I will keep you posted.

I was told that an Engineer and a Sales Representative(? - sorry, can’t remember the exact job title name) was aware of the issue and that a fix was in the works for the steering rack, as I mentioned before. I assume that the new steering rack that was installed on my car was the “fix”. Have you mentioned the possibility of the steering rack to them? Unfortunately, I do not have names to provide to you, but the Engineer(s) and Sales Rep(s) involved are from the Smyrna, TN plant from what I’ve been told. I was working with Downtown Nashville Nissan…a Service Advisor may be able to provide you with more information. The number to service is 615-248-5158. You can also call the Sales line and be directed to Service: 1-800-443-9645.

Good luck! Still no noise from my car after the steering rack was replaced, with temps averaging anywhere from 20 - 40 degrees.

That’s good to know. Thanks for the information and I will mention it to them. You would think they would pass this information along to other dealerships to make them aware of it. I will keep you posted on how it turns out.

Hi, I’ve just bought a 2009 altima hybrid with 8k miles and I having the same sympton. Did you ever the this problem fixed? Please let me know so that I could tell the mechanic what to look for.