Crunching sound when turning sharply

I have a 2007 Mazda3 hatchback which, apparently only when I first drive in the morning (we can’t get it to do it now! Dang!), makes a muted grinding or crunching sound when turning right. Only happens when turning right, sound comes from wheelwell. Mechanic doesn’t find anything wrong at first look, won’t investigate further till he hears the intermittant elusive noise. This car has had new struts at one point, could that be it? It sounds like something is rubbing or being devoured, but then … vanishes?.

CV (Constant Velocity) Joint ? The CV Joints Allow The Axles To Be Able To Apply Power To The Wheels Even When The Wheels Are Changing Directions In A Turn.

There are steel balls inside the CV that may be in the process of being devoured. Sometimes they just wear out and sometimes the rubber cover or “boot” is damaged and the CV’s life sustaining grease gets away.

I’d check strut top mounts / strut mount bearings, too. Were These replaced along with the struts ?


I agree with CSA that the CV joints sound like the problem here.

However, that also leads me to question the type of service that this car has been subjected to.
To have had to replace the front struts on a 3 year old car is unusual.
To also have to replace CV joints in just 3 years makes me wonder if this car has been badly abused in its short life span.

Did you buy this as a new car, or as a used car?
Was this a former rental car by any chance?

Above the front coil springs are “Strut mounts” or “strut bearings” …This is what allows the strut assembly to rotate when you turn the wheels. Usually, they are replaced along with the struts. You might investigate that…

Another thing to look at is rust build up and or damage to the dust shield for the brake rotor. This comes to mind b/c of the first thing in the morning thing. There’s normally a little extra rust build up, but it fairly quickly grinds off. Especially suspect such a thing if you live in a wet and/or wintery climate.

I hit one of L.A.'s famous potholes, which had been OVERfilled to the point of becoming a speedbump. So basically I was following a bus and didn’t see and hit a speedbump at about 30mph. They said we needed the struts replaced. As for whether they replaced anything around them, I’m not sure. (My husband did the taking them in, getting it fixed). However: That being said, I think I heard this noise BEFORE the struts were replaced.

All of these are really good suggestions: if anything I’ve just added rules out something, please let me know. We tried taking it in to get a mechanic to listen to the sound, and … no sound. It seems to occur only when we start driving in the morning. I first noticed it turning out of the parking spot sharply in the morning.