I have noises going on - need some dianostic help. (99 Taurus SE)

Hi Everyone ~
99 Taurus SE w/Vulcan, 106k, I am hearing an intermittent groaning sound when the car is in motion and the wheel is turned slightly.
I call it the old man groan. In Sept I had the tie rod ends and the wheel bearing on the passenger side done. The rest of the front end checked out ok at the time.
What is making this noise? Steering pump?
I hope it isn't the other bearing - it is making a completely different noise than the passenger side did when the bearing went. The bearing was kind of a constant low pitched rumble, what it is doing now is a higher pitched moan.
It sounds like a dried out friction sound - and it only happens intermittently, but always when the car is in motion, so I am thinking it is not the power steering pump.
Also note that my mechanic replaced the bearing on the passenger side, and the tie rods on both sides in September. I would imagine he would have known if the bearing was gone on the drivers side as well.
Is there any test that can be done to see if the driver's bearing is gone? Or could this still be something else?
What is the procedure for testing the front end? Jack up the car and pull on the wheel top and bottom & side to side? What tests what? How much play is normal?
(I am doing the turkey baster power steering fluid change - but since the noise doesn't happen when the car is standing still, I don't think it is the power steering.)
Also, I was thinking of trying to grease the front end that may be dried out - but I don't think there are any grease fittings. Are there any areas in the front end that would benefit from some grease?
Thoughts are appreciated.
Bluesman
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I also want to add, it happens more often when the car is warmed up - and also it happens most with a slight right turn of the wheel.
Bluesman
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No, unless you have the car properly secured so it won't fall, what you describe is not safe at all. It is better to take it to a mechanic who can properly and safely lift the front end. A diagnosis won't help you much if the car is sitting on your chest.

This sounds like a bad idea unless you know it is the power steering pump. Even then, what do you gain by chaning the fluid instead of the pump?

Does the noise happen when the car is sitting still and you turn the wheel? If not, it is probably not the power steering pump.
The noise you describe could be a bad bearing (either side - the new one could have been installed improperly or worn out way fast) or constant-velocity (CV) joint. If it happens when you are turning to the right, I would think a right CV joint is most likely.
Jeff
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snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net wrote:

It is.
Or the new one.
BUT, PLEASE come back & tell us when you find out from your shop.
Rob
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trainfan1 wrote:

Thanks for the replies -
It appears to be a completely different noise than when the bearing went - I am thinking the CV joint may be what the deal is. I will check the boots while the car is jacked up and teetering on some old milk crates to find out.
(j/k, I use sturdy jack stands)
Bluesman
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snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net wrote:

It's a wheel bearing / hub.
Rob
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