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Steering / Suspension / Bearings Concerns.

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I have an 05 Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi which has done 130K. I have recently noticed a noise whenever I put any pressure at all towards the left on my steering wheel. The noise continues until the pressure on the wheel is released. It's difficult to describe the noise but a low pitched hum would probably be close.

I don't want to go to a dealer witghout having some idea of what the problem could be so could anyone point me in the right direction.

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A few things to try and diagnose the possible problems:

Does the car stay straight and true when driving?

What about when braking?

Jack the car up and spin the wheels with your hands. If it's bearings you'll hear them - a rough, dry scraping noise. No noise = good bearings.

Then with the car still up on the jack, put your hands on the wheel/tyre at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock and try and rock the wheel backwards and forwards. Repeat with your hands at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock. This will help to diagnose worn/loose bushes or track rod ends - if nothing moves then they should be OK.

Failing that, go to a garage and get them to put it on the ramps. Steering and suspension is critical to safe handling & braking, so you don't want to take any chances. An inspection should be cheap or even free.

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