Focus ZX5 2003 front end creaky crunchy noise

I just bought the ZX3 (manual transmission) ten days ago and was loving it. We just went through big wind storm/colder than normal and streets I had to
drive on were full of debris. Yesterday was the first time I drove since and I'm hearing noises coming from the front/center that sound crunchy and creaky - like unoiled springs. Looking under, I see nothing caught up. Could this noise be coming from the gearbox, or from running over something, and have been defective when I bought it but cold weather brought it out? I don't know where to look and am not familiar with manual transmission problems. Thank you
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You may want to check your front coil springs. They are susceptible to corrosion and then break. I believe they normally break neat the bottom and inside the insulator tubing - where salt and moisture collects. The car does not drop much in height. If you feel the spring in the tubing, it will not be even where the break is. This happened on my car and the dealer replaced them for free. It also was very noisy when you turned the steering wheel. There was a mailing about this program for cold weather states in the US.
The sway bar links are also problematic on these cars.
Gary
Flipsflip wrote:

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