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Q: Is intermittent steering noise a safety issue? on 2006 Chrysler Sebring

I have a 2006 Sebring Convertible with 26000 miles that's developed an intermittent steering noise. It appears only after a high-speed freeway trip of at least 2 hours, and it disappears during short local trips. The noise is a grinding, squealing, or chirping kind of sound when the steering wheel is turned to the left and returned to center while the car is going slowly. It's never there when I bring the car to the dealer and they can't find anything wrong. I'm concerned about safety of the steering system. Maybe this has happened to other 2006 Sebring Convertibles and someone can explain what is happening.
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The latest theory is that the power steering fluid has been contaminated somehow and that replacing it should solve the problem---unless I need a power steering pump too. Several local mechanics have said this is a typical problem, but not usually at the low mileage I have on this car. Does this make sense to anyone? I plan to check out this idea soon. Meanwhile, my warranty expired in April, several weeks after the Chrysler dealer said there was nothing wrong. Hmmm! Could they have been stalling to get past the expiration date? Shame on me for thinking that!
i had the same problem and had my sebring into 3 different shops and finally found the answer.. wheel hub assembly is going bad. the clicking and grinding while turning is the dead givaway. My driver side was bad but i replaced both myself.. it's an easy fix and you can find instructions online. Auto Shops will charge you about $400 to replace both but you can get the parts and everything you need for about $110.. You will need a breaker bar and a torque wrench.
I have a 2010 Chrysler Sebring that had a similar problem. When it got to 35,000 miles, while on a long trip it made low speed noises - similar to shocks bottoming out. The next day at the dealership - no problem. Eventually, I found that I had to drive it for at least an hour, and arrange for dealer to look at immdeiately.

They said it was in steering column, and found that Chrysler had a notice out to the shops that it would only show up after at least 20 min driving. Because I had a record of it at shop before warranty expired, they fixed under warranty. Then 11,000 miles later, as warranty on repairs about to expire, I heard same problem again. But it didn't repeat for shop. After a 500 mile trip, it has reappeared. No noise when cold, but sounds like front end falling out after an hour drive. They are replacing the steering column parts again today. Again, I had a record of the problem before expeiration, so it appears they will fix again. Still concerned that it has happened twice.
I have the same problem with my 2006. Seems to happen after bottom of car gets hot. I bought it at Carmax and have taken it back several times but they can not find the problem. I have had my car several years and it still grinds/squeals.
Interesting! I also bought my car at Carmax. I never brought it back to them but took it to the Chrysler dealer before the warranty expired. They also found nothing wrong. Any safety implications that you know of regarding this problem? I've been reluctant to drive the car long distances.
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