My 2004 Ford Focus makes small grinding and vibrating noises when turning to the right. The problem was much more severe earlier this month. I took it to the shop and had them get me new tires and an alignment. That fixed the majority of the problems. However, i am still having the grinding and vibrating noises when turning to the right. The mechanic drove it around and said that it was probably the transmission.

I was wondering if that sounds like transmission to all of you and how much would it cost to repair or replace my 5 speed manual transmission. It has around 115k miles.

Thanks for the help!

  • 1
    What does it sound like? Is it a scraping sound or something else? Does it vary with the steering wheel, the speed of your turn, or what gear you're in? I wonder if this is related to the question I just posted.
    – kojiro
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 3:15
  • It seems worse in lower gears. First and Second. But that could possibly be due to the fact that i only make tight turns at those low speeds anyways. It is a grinding noise. Sounds fairly similar to the problem you are experiencing.
    – prolink007
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 16:47
  • could be the wheel weights hitting against something "when you turn" as it were. Does it sound like a once/tire rotation thing?
    – rogerdpack
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 0:33

3 Answers 3


Grumbling noises while turning are usually CV joints. There are 4 of these (one each end of each drive shaft), but he usual culprit is the outer one on the side that is causing the noise - i.e. in this case the right hand one.

To check, jack the front of the car up and support on axle stands. grip the drive shaft firmly in one hand (wear gloves...), and the wheel in the other, and try to twist them in opposite directions - if it has gone you should be able to feel a slight clunky movement in the joint, although you won't be able to see it as it will be covered by a rubber gaiter.

Replacing is a relatively easy job for a competent home mechanic, or a few hours for a shop. Much cheaper than replacing the entire gearbox!

  • If it's noise when turning right I would expect the left outer CV joint to be at fault as this is the one that bears the load in a right hand turn. Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 10:10

I agree with Nick. My 2000 Taurus had similar symptoms and it was the CV joint.

  • What all did you do to get it fixed? And how much did it cost, roughly?
    – prolink007
    Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 14:06

CV joints will clack. Wheel bearings will grind, often only in one direction. CV joints will also have lash.

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