Problem Description and Possible Solution
All wheel drive vehicles may develop a groaning type noise from the steering rack when centering the steering wheel after turning right at slow speeds, most noticeable when driven from a cold start. Our technicians tell us a revised steering rack is available to correct this concern.
Average mileage: 76,875 (25,000–136,000)
34 people reported this problem
Groaning noise when coming back to center from a slow right hand turn. Dealer said nothing was wrong and said it was just from the new tires. I insisted it was doing this before the new tires were put on. They again said, nothing we can find. I informed them to call me when they find/fix the issue, becuase I would only pick it up then. I know there is something wrong. Cars do not make that noise for no apparent reason.
2009 M35x. Same groaning noise when turning right esp when cold. Related: New Pirelli P7 all seasons helped but did not eliminate tramlining (constant steering correction and reacting to bumps/ridges in road surface).
5k ago dealer said to replace tires.
Appointment with dealer for groaning noise in 2 days. When I called and reported similar issues reported by others, his first comment was to marginalize feedback from the web. We'll see what he says. I had the PS flushed at 85K so he can't come back with that. car has in impeccable maintenance. Car now has 103k, but I'm not sure I want to sepnd approx $2k for a new rack that may/may not be a long-term solution. I'll se what the dealer says.
I too had heard a grinding type noise when turning the wheel to the right, especially when it was cold. Took it to the dealer, and asked them to check it. They did, and the service manager told me that the lead mechanic had checked on several forums and saw descriptions of the same problem. Apparently there also might be a service bulletin about the problem. Fortunately, I purchased an extended warranty and they replaced the rack and pinion system (I think that is the name) and that solved the problem.