1997 Honda Accord "Steering Joint"

My car has been making a funny noise when I turn the steering wheel for the past several months. It is pretty loud. I can hear it from inside and outside of the car. It’s this springy/grindy noise.

I have brought it to several mechanics, and nobody could figure out what was wrong. They all assumed it was something to do with the front end (ball joint, suspension, or the tie rod end). After inspecting the front end, everything was fine.

One mechanic finally told me that he thinks it is the “steering joint.” He told me that it is still safe to drive though.

The mechanic ripped me off (my car was there for another repair) so I do not want to go back to him.

I just want to make sure that my car is safe to drive in the meantime.

There is no way of determing from here what the problem is or telling you that your car is safe to drive. It’s an aged vehicle with ? miles so anything is possible.

Some possibilities include:
Ball joints, tie rod ends, strut bearings, steering column fault, coil spring seat, sway bar bushing groan, etc.

Sometimes there just flat is no way of finding a problem without actually tearing things apart and moving individual pieces around by hand. That’s unfortunate but just a sad fact of mechanical life.

So how did this guy rip you off?

Too many possibilities as OK noted.

Have any of the “mechanics” been shops that specialize in front end/alignment work? Or are they places like Midas or something? Find a local, owner-operated alignment shop.

If it is indeed a noise where all of the front end parts appear to be tight, and given the “springy” description, I’d jack up the front end and grab hold of the springs while an assistant turned the wheel back and forth. If you feel vibration or catching/grabbing in the springs I’d be looking at the strut bearing plates.

Thank you both for replying. I will have the car checked out when I go home for the holidays.

The guy ripped me off after my car was stolen! When my car was “recovered” I brought it to the nearest shop where it was found. It had good reviews online, however, the estimate he gave me included a new ignition, new tie rod ends, 4 wheel alignment, and extensive cleaning. The estimate was for $500. He ended up ONLY doing the ignition and he charged me over $500, and he did a really crappy job.