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Q: Noises when backing up and turning.

asked by on

Ok so I love my car. It's been reliable. I take great care of it. But for months now, the Sentra would make like this noise when I'm backing up slowly then turning the steering wheel. The noise is more like when something is twisting too much it makes that knot noise. I had it checked. They couldn't find the problem. It's on and off. What could it be? Also I've heard bad things about CVTs. Is mine reliable? I've been having it serviced never had a problem. Thanks.

My car has 90733 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: The front strut bearings could be noisy or ...

The front strut bearings could be noisy or binding. If the front end is lifted and you turn the wheel from left to right, you may be able to detect the noise that way if that bearing is an issue. If that is the source, it is fairly harmless and can certainly be addressed if and when the front struts are replaced at around 125,000 miles. When struts are replaced, the strut bearing is always replaced anyway.

The other possibilities are the CV axle joints and the steering rack. These possibilities can be evaluated using wireless chassis ears. For your model and year, actually the suspension system was more of a problem area than the transmission (CVT) based on data from Consumer Reports (CR). CR shows the transmission reliability as much better than average with suspension problems the only category with a rating of much worse than average. The strut bearing that I have referred to is a suspension component.

More broadly, Nissan has had issues with CVT transmissions and there have been service campaigns (and litigation) relating to these issues, but again, data from Consumer Reports show no unusual pattern of problems for your car. With regard to the noise, if you would like to have this evaluated by an expert, then enlist the help of local mechanic to diagnose the sound and pinpoint the recommended fix.

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