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Q: grinding noise while turning right or driving straight

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My truck started making a loud sort of whining/grinding noise when I was making a hard right turn. After I straightened out the wheel, it would go away after a minute. After a while of this, my truck started making the grinding noise even if I wasn't turning. I added some power steering fluid, since that was a little low. The whining noise when making a hard right disappeared, but I still hear a grinding noise when I'm travelling straight or turning right. If I tweak the steering wheel to the left, even a hair, the grinding noise goes away. If I kill the ignition and let the car roll down a hill, I still hear the noise. I had someone check the wheel bearings but there is no play on the front wheels, everything spins nice and smooth, and there is no noise. From what I can see, I've removed wheel bearings and the power steering pump (since noise happens even with the engine turned off. Would the steering box be my next suspect, or what else might be going on?

A: Hello. If the noise is still there when the...

Hello. If the noise is still there when the engine is off and if you are not turning the wheel, then it is typically either a failing bearing in the rear differential or it can be a failure in the transfer case if it is four wheel drive.

The transfer case is a very common failure on this vehicle. If it is two wheel drive then I typically start by draining the oil from the rear differential and inspecting the fluid for metal.

Any metal in the fluid indicates a bearing failure. If that is also fine, then it may be an issue within the transmission. It may be a failure in one of the thrust bearings. If you need to get this looked at, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose your car’s grinding noise.

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