Cold Weather Noise



I live in a really cold area, and my 2007 Focus makes a grinding noise when turning left and right when first starting out and the temperature is below 10 F degrees. I can make the noise lessen by backing off the turn when the noise starts, and sort of easing around the corned in small steps. It stops after the car been driven a short distance (maybe a mile) and is starting to warm up. At first I thought it must be snow and ice packed in around the wheels or steering linkages…but it happens even when there is no snow. It seems to be strictly cold related. This did not happen with the 2001 Focus I had before. A mechanic told me it’s part of the braking system that was changed by Ford sometime between those model years. Any ideas? Is there a danger here?


I’m unfamiliar with any such braking noise problem.

Pop the hood when it’s cold, put your head under it, and have someone turn the wheel. That would either confirm or eliminate a failing power steering pump. A failing one can get noisy when it gets cold.

Another thing the “under the hood” test will tell you is if the noise is occurring when the car isn’t rolling. If it isn’t but when you drive it away it is, then I’d look to the CV joints.

If it is making the noise when the car isn’t rolling, you can at least eliminate the drive axles and brakes and concentrate on the steering parts. Those would include not only the PS pump, but the rack and even articulating joints like tie rod ends. Ball joints can be suspect here too. Hearing it while standing with he hood open is the best first step to finding it.


Sounds like you have water inside something like a strut, steering rack or CV joint and it is freezing up. If it is a strut the car will ride very hard until the ice melts.Jack up the car and put stands under it and have someone turn the wheel and see if you can pinpoint the noise.


Thanks for the suggestions…wow, quick responses…I will try the things you suggest to see if I can learn more.