Car Steering Question

My wife has a 2000 Lincoln Continental with 120,000 miles on it. For awhile, there's been a low level squeaking/rubbing sound when turning the steering wheel both ways at low speed...intermittently. It sounds like
it's coming from somewhere in the steering column and not down lower by the wheels. To me, it sounds like a rubber bushing rubbing.
Last night, when the nighttime temperature went from the 50's to the 30's, it was more pronounced.
I took it to the Ford dealer for an oil change today. They said the power steering fluid level is okay and suggested it may be one or more ball joints being worn (around $100ea plus labor). The tires have been wearing unevenly, and they're near the end of their life. A few months ago, they checked the alignment and said it was okay.
When they finished, I drove the car out....and there's no more noise when turning. It's as quiet as the day it was new.
I suspect they raised the car on the lift to check it out the ball joints and then lowered it again. So what was it about raising and lowering the car that stopped the squeaking?
I'm not complaining. I'm wondering if that gives a clue about what was wrong.
Thanks! Scott
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My first question would be just what happened during that oil change. It used to be that an "oil change" consisted of an oil and filter change, as well as a lube job. I suspect the 2000 LC doesn't have serviceable grease fittings, but given your description, it makes me wonder.
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wrote:

Spacebar/ seems/ to/ have/ an/ extra/ character/ sorry./ Spilled/ some/ water/ on/ it.
Had/ two/ mustangs/ and/ it/ was/ the/ lower/ balljoints,/ they/ also/ move/ alot/ when/ lifting/ the/ vehicle/ by/ the/ frame./ / Injecting/ grease/ thru/ the/ boot/ solved/ it/ both/ times/ after/ lubing/ everything/ else/ in/ site/ failed.
zz-- They can have my command prompt when they pry it from my cold dead fingers.
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at 120k miles, you are overdue for ball joints. give it a few days, and i bet the noise will return

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This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --------------050400020303030009020407 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
I am doing my upper control arms and lower ball joint right now. Do not buy Ford parts, no grease fittings. I'm using Moog parts, they have grease fittings.... This is my second ball joint replacement at 187,000 miles..... And I found a good deal on e-bay, 2 upper arms, 2 lower balls for $129.00 free shipping....
Tom wrote:

</pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">My wife has a 2000 Lincoln Continental with 120,000 miles on it. For awhile, there's been a low level squeaking/rubbing sound when turning the steering wheel both ways at low speed...intermittently. It sounds like it's coming from somewhere in the steering column and not down lower by the wheels. To me, it sounds like a rubber bushing rubbing.
Last night, when the nighttime temperature went from the 50's to the 30's, it was more pronounced.
I took it to the Ford dealer for an oil change today. They said the power steering fluid level is okay and suggested it may be one or more ball joints being worn (around $100ea plus labor). The tires have been wearing unevenly, and they're near the end of their life. A few months ago, they checked the alignment and said it was okay.
When they finished, I drove the car out....and there's no more noise when turning. It's as quiet as the day it was new.
I suspect they raised the car on the lift to check it out the ball joints and then lowered it again. So what was it about raising and lowering the car that stopped the squeaking?
I'm not complaining. I'm wondering if that gives a clue about what was wrong.
Thanks! Scott
</pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!---->
</pre> </blockquote> </body> </html>
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Tom,
Yes, the noise has returned...but only when driving slowly, and it only makes the squeaking/creaking noise when turning the wheel to the left. It doesn't sound like it's not in the steering column, but farther down.
Sound like ball joints to you?
Thanks! Scott
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This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --------------060000060702010500000604 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Yes, Ball joints. Replace upper control arms and lower ball joints Replace with Moog parts, they have grease fittings. Ford parts have no grease fitting. I'm having mine done. Bought the parts on e-bay for $129.00 and my buddy, a Ford technician is doing the work for $175.00 Doing.upper control arms, lower ball joints, 4 wheel alignment, drain and replace differential oils, remove and replace trans filter and new trans fluid....
Scott wrote:

--
Been riding for 57 years.


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Without being able to recreate the concern, everything becomes a moot point... .
Ball joints can be tested... rotating torque wuith the weight of the car on them, radial and axial play when the joints are unloaded...
The key thing is that the noise is no longer there... what could it have been? Everything will be conjecture - a dsitinct waste of time and effort unbtil the noise returns...
At which point a logical diagnostic protocol should be undertaken...
Customer... "I'm leaving on vacation this afternoon and there is a noise under my car". Tech.... "How long has the noise been there?". "Customer.... "About 8 months"
Hmmm kinda snuck up on him, yeah?

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Update:
Experienced mechanic working from home garage shot grease in the boots. No more squeaking when turning steering wheel to left. Yes, the ball joints may be worn, but this took care of the immediate problem. Cost = $15.00.
Scott
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