I can't figure out the source of this odd moaning/groaning sound that emanates from somewhere near the passenger side's wheel down in that corner someplace. I only really hear it when driving at low speeds like pulling into a parking spot. Seems to come on when the car comes in and out of some sort of small inclines--either backing or driving into it. The sound is not present all the time but somehow the car gets into a groove and makes these moans and then I change directions or the weight shifts and it goes away unpredictably.

I had recently changed all 4 tires for unrelated reasons and noticed the that same day the moans were much more frequent and seemed to be engaged the bulk of the turns I was making.

You can see a video I've created that annotates the bulk of the more prominent moans; each of the groaning noises is captioned with yellow text reading (groan). I'm wondering if there's something off with the steering rack or the tie rods or the power steering somehow. Should a sound like this be a cause for concern? I've mainly just been monitoring it and seeing if it grows more frequent. It's probably been behaving this way for 6 months now at least with a slight increase in frequency, hard to say though.

I'd welcome any diagnostic tips for narrowing down something like.

  • What year is the car? Totally expected to hear a standard power steering pump groan, but this does sound different.
    – JPhi1618
    Nov 17 '17 at 14:44
  • She's a 2005 s80. It's an odd one for sure, my last car had a powersteering whine that sounded more electric or something, that went away when the power steering fluid got refilled. The power steering fluid is in range for this vehicle however.
    – jxramos
    Nov 17 '17 at 17:22
  • hard to tell on my phone but i’d guess upper strut mounts or a balljoint. can you isolate the noise? record near where its happening?
    – Ben
    Nov 17 '17 at 17:55
  • I dream about either putting one of these SmartEar devices to use or somehow create an acoustic triangulation device or a making a cheap Acoustic Camera. If I can manage the time for a project like that it would be pretty fun to work in this sort of noise identification space and bring it down to the DIY consumer market. These tools are $$$
    – jxramos
    Nov 17 '17 at 19:02
  • @Ben I do have a lil voice recorder from back in college days. I should be able to secure it to near the strut mounts and see if I snag a sound. It may be a fussy device, like I think it shuts down by design when the ambient noise is too much which would be the case in the engine compartment. Ball joints were replaced sometime back, I'll have to review my notes and see how the noise and replacement dates coincide. Should be a doable experiment.
    – jxramos
    Nov 17 '17 at 19:07

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