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Discussion Starter #1
I haven’t posted here in a while, but I decided maybe someone can provide more insight about my issue.

2011 1.4L LT with 125k miles

The noise started as a clunk when I would release my foot off the brake pedal. Over time it began to clunk when I would press the brakes, and release it. Now it’s gotten to the point where it makes a grinding metal sound when I turn the steering wheel, go over slight bumps, anything with the brakes, etc. I took it to a private mechanic that has done some amazing work with my Cruze and my entire family’s cars and he said it appeared to be an issue with the rack and pinion.

I looked up symptoms to see if they matched what I was experiencing, and everything I read mentioned noticeable changes in effectiveness with power steering and wandering. I don’t have any of those issues....

Could it really be the rack and pinion? I got a quote from my mechanic saying it was going to be around 2,000-3,000 including labor to have it replaced. If it truly is the rack, I may just try to replace it myself since I don’t have that kind of money lying around.
 

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I haven't experienced it, but then I have no where near the miles. I'd have to rule out brakes (they can do some strange things), tie rod end bushings and wheel bearings before I'd think about the rack.

I assume the sound is coming from the front, not the rear axle?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok so I’ll check in to those things. Yes the sound is definitely coming from the front end. I’d say more around the passenger side than the drivers.
 

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At first I thought Anti-Lock brake noise, then grinding brakes, now not sure. But if you do it yourself, go to a Pick N Pull or LKQ yard ($50) and pull your own low mileage rack, while learning how to do it at the same time. Then install it on your car. Way way cheaper than buying new and especially letting someone else do it.
 

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This may not explain everything, but on the Impalas, when the traction control engages and applies the brakes, it makes an awful grinding noise. This sound is different than the ABS firing, which sounds more like a machine gun.

In the case of the w-body Impalas, the culprit is almost always a damaged wire from the wheel speed sensors. The damage usually occurs where the wire gets flexed a lot, such as where the control arm attaches to the sub-frame.

The damaged wire will intermittently open and close. Often this occurs as it's getting stretched when the steering wheel is turned. This makes the computer think the wheel is spinning thus causing it to apply the brakes.

I'm not aware of the Cruzes having this wiring issue, but I wanted to point out that the grinding noise may not be grinding at all, but could be the traction control firing.

Also, when the traction control fires, it can be felt in the steering. When only one front brake is being applied, the steering will be pulled to that side. So that's how the steering can be affected.

Doug

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Now that you mention that, when I discovered one of my speed sensors had the wiring nicked, I replaced it and the staccato sound I thought was something else went away. It also stopped causing the knock sensor to go off.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
At first I thought Anti-Lock brake noise, then grinding brakes, now not sure. But if you do it yourself, go to a Pick N Pull or LKQ yard ($50) and pull your own low mileage rack, while learning how to do it at the same time. Then install it on your car. Way way cheaper than buying new and especially letting someone else do it.
Are the steering racks all compatible with each other for the first gen cruzes? The pick and pull yards that are near me only have a few cruzes in but there like 2012-2015 ish. Just before the newer body style designs
 

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Are the steering racks all compatible with each other for the first gen cruzes? The pick and pull yards that are near me only have a few cruzes in but there like 2012-2015 ish. Just before the newer body style designs
There are two steering racks for the 1.4T Gen 1 Cruzes. You want to get the newer rack because the older rack was prone to sticking when driving straight for more than a few seconds.

I still think you should take a look at the wiring going to the ABS modules on the wheels first.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok. I’ll take a look at that too. Could any of this be occurring due to a brake pedal positioning sensor TC getting thrown? It constantly is triggering the CEL.
 

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A bad ABS signal will trigger a CEL.
 

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Ok. I’ll take a look at that too. Could any of this be occurring due to a brake pedal positioning sensor TC getting thrown? It constantly is triggering the CEL.
If you're getting a code for the brake pedal, I'd fix that first. The car may be getting confused about what you're doing. That could cause a number of issues. I believe you're supposed to run a re-calibrate when replacing it, but a few people here seem to have done it with no real problems.
 

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If you're getting a code for the brake pedal, I'd fix that first. The car may be getting confused about what you're doing. That could cause a number of issues. I believe you're supposed to run a re-calibrate when replacing it, but a few people here seem to have done it with no real problems.
The first thing to do is read the actual code. Most auto parts stores will do this for free. Once you've read the code, post it (or all of them) back here. If there are multiple codes, post them in the order they appear on the code reader as the first one is usually the problem with the rest being side effects.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The only code the car is throwing is P057C. The brake pedal position sensor. If the rack was going out would that trigger a code too?
 
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