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Grinding Noise When Turning at Low Speeds

Over the past couple months I have been hearing a low rubbing/grinding noise in my truck whenever I am turning at very low speeds. Usually it is when I am going through parking lots or turning through drive ways. I can also feel it slightly in the steering column.

I took it into a mechanic who told me not to worry about it until it gets too bad, which was not the answer I would have liked. But I would like to get this resolved before my Labor Day travel plans.

Do any of you have ideas about what this is or what it could be?

Didn’t the mechanic explain what the issue is? Did you ask?

Wow old is your Sonoma, what engine and transmission, and how many miles are on it? This information is important to determine if there are any defects peculiar to the Sonoma configured as yours is. Age and miles will also indicate whether the power steering or suspension should be considered.

My Sonoma is a 2002 and has 160,000 miles on it and has a V6 engine. So it’s an old truck.

The mechanic did not explain what the issue was and yes, I did ask.

With this sound I figured it could be any number of things from power steer, to wheel bearings, to brake or caliper issues.

4x4 or rear wheel drive?

Rear wheel drive.

If it isn’t the steering, you should hear it when you are stopped. Start the truck and turn the steering wheel lock to lock several times and see if you hear the sound. If not, look somewhere else. Are the wheels and tires OEM? I’m just trying to cover other possibilities. Larger shoes could rub on the fenders when you turn. You don’t turn the wheels nearly as far at higher speeds.

Limited slip differentials can do that as the diff clutches begin to wear out. Or just from lack of use. Good idea to at least check the fluid level in the rear differential.

That means he didn’t know. Try another mechanic.

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I can hear it slightly when I am stopped. But I didn’t hear it until the wheels were turned almost all the way.

The wheels are not OEM, but they are the size of tires that should be on the truck.

I think I’m just going to bite the bullet and take it to a different mechanic.

Did you look in the wheel wells for signs of rubbing? Also check the tires.

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You might also pop the hood, have a friend turn the wheel, and see if you can tell where it’s originating from. It could be the power steering pump. The pump is only under any significant load when turning, and more load at full turn.


+1. That’s what I was thinking if the steering made a sound when excercised when stopped.

Rang my bell when I saw that, too! @the_same_mountainbik identified the right track. Start with the power steering pump itself, then the drive belt that turns the pump. Then the idler pulleys for the serpentine belt that drives most everything. Then the rest of the accessories. Noises can be tricky.