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Sorry in advance if this is a duplicate question. I searched and didn't find this anywhere.

When I turn sharp to the left or right, I get a loud sound that to me sounds like metal rubbing metal. It’s not a high-pitched squeal though, it’s more like rough metal to rough metal. I’m not sure I would describe it as “grinding”, but maybe. More details below.

First of all, I am well aware of the spotty transmission/torque converter issues with this model. When I bought my 2001 MDX used in 2010 with 88k miles, upon driving off the lot, I noticed the infamous shuttering/juddering, and the dealer replaced the torque converter free of charge (great customer service). So, I am well aware of the symptoms of a bad torque converter.

So... fast forward 7 years... now at 167k miles... the MDX was experiencing the same issues as 7 years ago, so I knew the torque converter was bad. This time though, my engine oil seal and rear main seal had small leaks, so I took it in to get those replaced, and while they were replacing those seals, I opted to have the torque converter replaced as well, since I would save on the labor combining the seal work. I was hoping that would get me over 200k miles.

Well, got my MDX back on Friday and IMMEDIATELY noticed that, when I make sharp turns turn the left or right (but especially the left), I hear what sounds like metal on metal harsh rubbing. The noise only occurs when turning sharp, and this noise was NOT there prior to going into the shop. I called the Acura dealer immediately that day, and they suggested I bring it back in. I brought back in today, and the tech says my power steering pump is the culprit and needs to be replaced.

I could believe that, but why wasn’t the noise there before?

Like I said, those two seals had to be replaced, so the engine had to come out, and the transmission had to be dropped to do that work. Could they have screwed something up related to that work? Does anyone have ideas?
 

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It all depends on the noise. Most power steering pump issues won't sound like metal on metal - noisy, yes, but not that. Pretty much anything you do to drop / move the engine is going to require relocating the power steering pump, and that puts stress on the lines. The most likely culprit (given that your pump was fine before) is the $1 O-ring on the suction side of the pump. It's notorious for failing and allowing air into the power steering circuit, which makes a lot of noise. It's also a great excuse for a dealership to replace the ($$$) pump (since they'll coincidentally also replace that O-ring, and whaddayaknow... the "new pump fixed it".

You can see if this is the case or not by opening the power steering fluid reservoir and having someone saw the wheel back and forth. If you can see frothy (air-filled) fluid running around in the reservoir, you know that's the source of your noise. If the fluid remains viscous and dark (not frothy) AND the pump is making noise, that's another thing - but its hard to imagine a pump failing "in the garage". I'd bet dollars to donuts that you can swap out that O-ring and fix your problem.
 

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What you describe may simply be the metal shield for one or both of the rotors. It is easy to bend when removing/installing wheels, and is a fairly common complaint. Easy to reach under the car with the wheels cut and pry each one away from the rotor slightly with your hand.
 

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Thanks for the replies.

I took the MDX back in, and Acura just notified me of their findings. I'm not a car buff, so my knowledge is limited. Also, they called my wife, so I'm getting this second hand.

They agreed the power steering pump was not the problem. They said the front left brake was stuck engaged?? That doesn't make sense (again, I haven't talked to them directly yet). What I was hearing did not sound like a brake pad rubbing, it was metal. They also mentioned to her something about having to sand and shim something...

Bluepill, sounds like you are onto something. Whatever the problem was, it was brake/rotor related.

Here is my concern... if they "sanded" something, or otherwise did something to remedy the rubbing/grinding, but they did NOT replace anything, should I be worried that a part will soon fail??

I'm about to go pick the car up, but I would love to be armed with a little better knowledge and/or questions for the tech. Thanks!
 

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Brake pads are semi metallic, so you can hear a metal grind from the pads.

Now I'm not a mechanic (and I don't play one on TV) but I wonder if when they were replacing the TC, they might've bent your brakes.
 

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The problem was likely one of the pins that the brake rotor rides on. They should be taken out and cleaned and greased. I'm betting that either they didn't do that, or that there was rust on the pin causing it to hang up the caliper. That can lead to a rubbing brake (though the description of it happening on turns only was kind of an unusual twist). If that was the problem, chances are they fixed it 100% by lightly sanding the pin and cleaning/regreasing the surface. As long as the brake dragging didn't wear away a significant amount of brake pad (and rotor), there should be no problems going forward. So unless you put on a LOT of miles in the last few days, I'd just wait to get the car back and test drive it to see if there's any sign of ongoing brake drag. If not, I wouldn't worry about it.
 
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