Sticky electric steering

The '09 Vue XE 2.4L with electric assist steering started to get a bit hard steering. Very slight movements caused a creaking/groaning sound. Has
anybody seen this?
Though at first that it may be a strut top bearing. It comes and goes. Can't say that it correlates to wet weather making the sound stop. It does seem to get worse after driving for some time regardless of weather.
Jacked up the front end and was able to easily move the wheels back and forth just by pushing the wheels. couldn't find any kind of play and all looks good. The steering wheel itself seems a bit stiff. The electric power assist is under the dash on the steering column and looks to be a big deal to troubleshoot. The universal joints on the steering shaft and rack and pinion all appear to be good. Threw some oil on the universals just to see...
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Looks to be the left front strut mount bearing. Ran the steering wheel back and forth just a degree or two and felt along the steering and suspension components for the "stiction". Was most notable on the left front coil spring. I may pull the left side tie rod end to isolate things before changing the strut bearing.

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Of course, now that the weather has gotten nice again, the problem seems to have gone away... I might still disconnect the tie rod and check for any rough movement.


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Oppie, I think I remember you from a few years ago when I used to post on t his board.
Interesting that the electric assist is on the column. I now have two cars which have the electric assist, a Nissan Leaf and a Honda Civic. And as t he karma of the universe would have it, both my other cars, a 1999 Ford Tru ck and a 1988 Volvo BOTH developed power steering leaks this year.
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Hi Dave- When the weather got warmer, the binding/stiction problem went away. I have a feeling that it is the left front strut mount that is binding. Will see if it comes back and replace the strut mount if necessary.

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