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Winstar 1998 - Noise Turning Steering Wheel

I have an intermittent noise when I turn the steering wheel. Sometimes after driving the car for a few miles when I turn the steering wheel I get a rubbing or groaning sound from the front end of the car. The noise occurs whether the car is moving or stopped. When I drive the car to work in the morning I don’t get the noise. When I drive it home in the afternoon I usually do get the noise. Any know what causes this?

Two things can cause this groaning noise. A dry ball joint or a worn upper strut bearing.


At ~57k miles my 98 Windstar started to make a groaning noise when I turned the steering wheel pulling into or out of a parking space. The tie rod ends needed lubrication.

There are no grease fittings but my mechanic was able to lube them using a needle fitting. Otherwise the tie rod ends would have to been replaced. The van was still quiet when it was sold at 98k miles.

Ed B