I have a 2001 Ford Focus with approximately 90,000 miles. It’s recently developed a new noise while steering that I’m somewhat concerned about. I’m not 100% positive whether the noise is truly new, or I’m just noticing it now that the weather is warmer and my windows are open, but I believe it’s new. Here’s a description:
-I hear it at parking lot speeds - 10 mph and below.
-The sound occurs coming out of sharp turns, as the wheels straighten out.
-The sound ALWAYS occurs coming out of a left turn, SOMETIMES coming out of a right turn.
-The sound is a sort of medium-pitched groan. The pitch is slightly higher than the pitch of the horn, and slightly lower than the sound of a big-rig’s brakes. There’s a grinding aspect to the sound.
-It is always the same pitch, regardless of speed, but varies in duration, depending on how fast I bring the wheels back to center.
-The sound seems to be coming from the center of the car, but I’m not certain about this.
-Sometimes I think I can feel vibration in the steering wheel and the brake pedal while th sound is happening, but I’m not positive about this either.
-Power steering fluid level is fine, and hasn’t changed in the week and a half or so since I first noticed the noise. The wheel turns easily and the car steers smoothly at any speed.
Any thoughts? The car is due for several other repairs (will need new brakes all around, I’m sure, and new shocks/struts at least in the front, but probably the back as well), and I’m worried that whatever this is, along with everything else, will amount to more than it’s worth.
Thanks for any advice you can offer.
I’ve had a couple of Focus’s come in with broken front strut springs. You might have that possiblity checked out.
Good call; the front coil springs were broken on both sides. The noise, though, turns out to have been a broken stabilizer arm. I went ahead and had the work done; the coil springs were covered under some warranty, apparently (I didn’t spend any effort arguing when the service writer told me they’d be replaced for free, so I don’t know the details); the sway bar and front brakes (the back ones turned out to be OK) came to about $600.00. A lot of money, sort of, but a lot less than a new car would have been, and it drives like a dream now. Looking forward to paying it off and running it until the new Fiesta makes it here to the States