CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Steering noise

My chrysler sebring convertible makes loud steering noises on left turns after it has been driven long distances. It goes away after the car cools down.

Someone should check your accessory/serpentine belt, tensioner and power steering pulley.

Dealer did all that and could find nothing wrong–but the noise persists. Someone on another site said that many Chrysler products are notorious for steering noise and to stop worrying. Hard to do.

Oy. Is there some reason that you didn’t mention this visit to the dealer in your orignal post? What else would you like to reveal about what you already know about the problem and what has been done so that no one wastes their time?

Does the dealer know that it is a hot only issue, and did they actually check it out while hot? Did anyone there actually manage to recreate the problem?

If its not under warranty then you don’t need to take it to a dealer. Find a local, independent mechanic.

What year is your car, how many miles, what engine? Has the power steering fluid ever been changed out? What does the fluid look and smell like?

Describe the sound it makes.

Chrysler is no more or less notorious for steering noise than anyone else. If your steering makes noise then something needs to be fixed.

Yes, there is a reason. I posted this issue in great detail 18 months ago and never got a reply. I assumed that anyone looking at my brief post today would automatically be referred to the earlier ones. Guess that didn’t happen. What follows is my second post in Spring of 2009. In my first which I cannot find at the moment, I’m quite sure I mentioned the fact that the dealer had the car all day, checked it out hot and cold, and found nothing (it was still under warranty at the time). Of course, I’d have to drive it for a couple of hours to produce the problem and, if I did that, I’d be nowhere near the dealer when the noise began. It’s a 6 cylinder, only now it has around 28,000 miles, and the fluid is fine. I even topped it up a few times (although it wasn’t low) and this made absolutely no difference. The car is used for 4 months a year in Florida. Read on…

Posted at 04/10/2009 4:55:08 PM in Steering Noise

Re: Re: Steering Noise

It’s only a 2006 with 26000 miles–not an old car. Turning the steering wheel back and forth between left and center while going under 25 mph. To me it sounds like a grinding or squealing or chirping sound. That’s the closest I can come. Again, it ONLY happens when I get off the highway and start driving local roads after 3 - 4 hours of turnpike or freeway speeds–but then it disappears within 24 hours with local driving. Naturally, the warranty expired today. Weird!

I suppose that is some detail (rather than “great detail”): http://community.cartalk.com/posts/list/2120973.page

There is no mechanism here for the automatic resurrection of old posts. What you see is basically what you get - a list of the most recent discussion topics. Its just a discussion board up here.

So, you’ve been living with this for the last 18 months, though obviously for only 4-8 months of it with the car on the road. Has it stayed the same? The best thing for you is going to be having a mechanic around around when it starts to make the noise. The next time you’re going to go on a drive that is likely to produce it, think ahead and locate a reputable mechanic in the vicinity of your destination. Immediately drive the car there and get an experienced ear on it. The thing is that you’re looking at a possible pump or rack issue if its in the steering system or maybe a failing wheel bearing or CV joint (related to but not part of the steering). The likely instigating factor for the noise would be heat. Don’t assume that dealers will know better than other mechanics. In fact, dealer service departments are often LESS willing to actually spend time trying to find problems - there’s little to no money in the time spent on diagnosing such things.

What kind of driving are you doing when you’re not taking 3-4 hr highway trips? What if you drove for an hour on rural highways or just around town?

It only happens after several hours at around 70 MPH. There is a record of the problem at Chrysler showing the problem developed while the car was still under warranty, so my hope is that they will fix it free when it is properly diagnosed (Ha!)

I like your idea about picking a distant mechanic. That sounds like the way to go. Thanks for your advice.