Q: Noises when backing up and turning.

asked by on October 11, 2016

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.

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.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

my car makes a humming noise under the hood while I'm driving and parked. could it be a fuel pump issue or ignition problem?

A humming noise can be the engine electrical cooling fan. The fuel pump is in the rear of the vehicle so that is not as likely to be the cause. To pinpoint the fault, I would have a certified technician...

Weird noise coming from back left wheel

Hello. If the noise is intermittent, it is either road noise (possibly due to an abnormally worn, cupped, or damaged tire interacting with particular road "textures", hence the intermittent nature of the noise) or a component of the vehicle, for...

How do I adjust the steering wheel of a 2012 Honda CR-V?

Adjusting the steering wheel is an important thing to do. Having the steering wheel adjusted to the optimal position for you will increase your ability to drive safely, and also increase your comfort. It’s very easy to adjust the steering...

Related articles

A Buyer's Guide to the 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV
With With the phasing out of the long-lived and beloved police cruiser in the form of the Ford Crown Victoria, 2012 brought a new car into town via the Caprice PPV (Police Patrol Vehicle). This new incarnation of an old...
2012 Nissan Altima vs. 2012 Volkswagen Passat: Which One Should I Buy?
Sedans are a special class of vehicle: created to provide a comfortable and often luxurious ride to those who have passed beyond the need to stick to the compact class. These slightly larger vehicles offer options the compacts and subcompacts...
Symptoms of Bad or Failing Stabilizer Bar Links
Common signs of faulty stabilizer bar links include clunking or rattling noises from the tire area, poor handling, and a loose steering wheel.