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When turning, I heard a heavy mechanical grinding/gear sound

A few weeks ago while turning (I was making a u-turn I think), I heard this heavy/mechanical/grinding sound. It reminded me of when I had “high performance/taxi cab brakes” and sometimes the brakes would sound louder when used than the brakes I have now.

Could that be a steering wheel problem? BF said my steering wheel could need fluid. How does one check for that? I haven’t heard the noise since, but my car is somewhat heavy/noisy anyway.

Also, while driving in rain, I sometimes hear squeals when going in a puddle. People say that it is water getting on some type of belt. the squealing only lasts a few seconds and then ends.

I am trying to cover all the bases and have a safe car for as cheap as possible. :slight_smile:

Identify the vehicle, please.
Looks like we have to play catch with your posts.

I can’t answer this without reading your other post and there’s no way I can be on two posts at the same time. Not ME anyway.

Sorry, here goes:

I have a 2000 Honda Civic DX Coupe— 147,000 miles, drum brakes, no ac, base model car.

I haven’t had the turning sound lately, and dealership mechanic guy said when asked that it could be that I am low on fluid, but wasn’t sure without looking at the car.

Do you have the Owner’s Manual for this car?

If you do, I can guarantee that the manual contains a graphic that will show you where the power steering fluid reservoir is located, and how to check the fluid. We can’t see or hear the car from where we are located, so you need to perform that fluid check and then report back to us on your findings.

If you don’t have an Owner’s Manual, you need to get one–for this purpose as well as for many other reasons. E-bay is frequently a good source for reasonably-priced manuals.

The one time grinding noise MAY have been a small stone temporarily stuck in the brake drum. (Though this rarely happens unless you drive a LOT on gravel roads)

Do you have a record of the last brake service? What, if anything, was replaced?
Drums and shoes just cleaned or were the shoes replaced and the drums sanded? (to eliminate normal rust build-up)

You can open the hood, look for the cap on the power steering pump (it’s marked power steering fluid), after removing the cap you should see a short dipstick attached indicating low or full.

Wipe it dry, replace the cap on tight and remove again and while holding it sideways or cap up, read the fluid level.

If closer to LOW than FULL, buy a bottle of power steering fluid and fill it to the FULL mark only. Do not overfill.

I have a feeling, (well, from your post that is) that the grinding didn’t come from the power steering system.

If the grinding sound reoccurs, find an almost empty parking lot, and moving slow, turn the steering wheel back and forth all the way to the stops. (Do NOT hold it against the stops as that is hard on the pump)

If the noise is there (while moving) it may turn out to be a worn wheel bearing.
Turning the wheel one way then another will help locate the source.

IF a clicking noise appears, suspect a worn CV joint.

VDC, you snuck in seconds ahead of me. Our thoughts concur.

Yikes! I did have a cracked cv joint on the left side, but that was fixed and I think I replaced both of the outside cv joints (the shop did not replace the inside joints—does this make sense or am I saying the wrong thing).

if it is a worn wheel bearing, that sounds dangerous. sigh. :frowning: how can I fix this, and how much?

To Roadrunner’s good advice, I would add that you should make sure that you buy power steering fluid that is compatible with Honda’s power steering pump. Just getting a container that says “Power Steering Fluid” on it is not sufficient. Read the fine print on the back of the containers until you find a brand that specifically states that it can be used in a Honda. Otherwise, you will damage the power steering pump.

However, it is also possible that you don’t need PS fluid. Roadrunner’s statement about a stone being caught in a brake drum is accurate. This exact situation occurred with a rental car of mine many years ago. Until the rock finally shattered and dislodged itself, the grinding noise was really bad.

But, you should start with the easiest things first. Learn how to check the PS fluid, as well as other fluids, and you will be doing a lot to help ensure the car’s longevity. After you have checked the PS fluid, please come back to this thread and tell us what you found.

Hopefully you have kept your previous repair receipts for a record of maintenance.

Personally, I keep work orders/receipts for up to 5 years so I always have a referral and a complete repair record when it comes time to sell.

Worn wheel bearings should not be ignored.
Just don’t confuse worn brake pad indicator squeal with the grinding noise of a worn wheel bearing.

Repair costs vary across the continent and should be done by someone with bearing experience. Remember, repairs do not have to be done at a dealer.

FWIW, try to maintain a regular preventive maintenance program for your vehicle as this helps to cut the down time at the side of the road.