04 Sonata Rack Noise

Mostly to HT, but open to anyone who's got insight...
My wife's 04 Sonata has recently begun groaning with any (even the slightest) turn of the steering wheel. Seems to clearly be coming from the
rack. PS fluid level is up to where it should be, but that's really all I've had to look at. The word groaning might not properly describe the sound. It really sounds like really, really dry bearings rubbing when you turn the wheel at all. It does clearly seem to emanate from the rack though.
Hoping to get the time to look at it further tomorrow night, but open to any experiences that may be out there.
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-Mike-
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Not much to offer without hearing the noise. Could be a dry ball joint or tie rod end.
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wrote:

Not much to offer without hearing the noise. Could be a dry ball joint or tie rod end.
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Yeah - it's always hard to offer something without seeing/hearing the problem at hand. My post was a quick shot in the dark, before heading out of town for the day, for work. I hope to be able to look at the car today/tonight - we'll see how things go during the day. Doubtful it's a ball joint or tie rod end - it makes the noise as soon as you touch the steering wheel to apply pressure in either direction. It persists as long as you hold steering pressure on the wheel. First glance makes it appear to be a rack, but that is very premature.
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-Mike-
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If it's pump noise, suck the fluid out of the reservoir and look at the screen in the bottom. If the screen is filled with crud, fill the reservoir.
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If it's pump noise, suck the fluid out of the reservoir and look at the screen in the bottom. If the screen is filled with crud, fill the reservoir.
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Thought I'd leave the entire thread intact for the archival value, since there is some troubleshooting thought process contained with in it, and post the final resolution.
I finally got the chance to take a look at the car on Saturday. The grinding noise was immediate, with any steering wheel input, in either direction. It was not however, constant as I had originally posted. It only presented with steering wheel input. The noise did emanate throughout the entire front end of the car though - was not localized to either side, or to any single component.
Taking the easiest approach first, I shot some grease into the RF tie rod boot via a grease needle. Instant success.
I thought there was a reasonable chance that greasing the end might fix things, but at the same time I held a certain reserve. The noise was very loud and much more forceful than I would have expected from a dry joint. It did not start out with a little creak while a small amount of steering wheel was applied, it went full groan. Really lead me to initially think it had to be a rack problem.
I am holding a reserve thought though, and won't really pronounce this car fixed for a few days. Jacking a car up like this tweaks the front end geometry. It is possible that another element of the front end (which is probably suffering a dry condition), got tweaked a bit while jacking the car, and that is really what relieved the binding. If this is the case, the noise may likely return. Clever me - I intentionally did not grease the entire front end yet, because I want to see if the noise does return and try to isolate it, if it does. I have to get under the car soon and service the tranny and do an oil change anyway, so if there is no recurrence of the noise, I guess we'll pronounce the situation healed and finish lubing up things underneath. Boy - I sure wish there were still zerk fittings on critical joints...
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