There's a bad grinding noise on left turns now in my Spirit coming from the front end (different from the other noise that I posted about a couple of days ago). I park in a garage when I commute, so there are some tight turns I have to negotiate, and this morning it seemed like something was locking up or not wanting to rotate in the turn. I'm suspecting the bearing, is this likely? RockAuto has SKF's on sale for $20.
Surprinsingly, the bearing possibly going bad was installed in mid-May and has less than 5k on it. Not surprisingly, it's a Duralast. Also not surprisingly, AutoZone refused to help me out in any way, shape or form. I explained to the... individual... at the store that the bearing sat on a shelf for 9 months while I was in school in Virginia and that the car was up on blocks, and he informed me that he "needed to get back to work", at which point I hung up the phone. I understand that warranties are warranties, but there is absolutely no reason that ANY bearing should fail this quickly. This is on the heels of the air conditioning compressor clutch coil that melted and almost caused a fire under the hood (that the 16-year-old behind the counter informed me that "had no warranty" and again, refused to help me with). I will not be shopping at AutoZone again, and I encourage others on this forum to do the same. The parts are clearly of vastly sub-par quality (as others have noted), and the employees are consistently rude and unhelpful (again, this is not the first time that I have gotten bad customer service at AutoZone. Warranties, again, are warranties, but there is a right way and a wrong way of dealing with the customer regardless). I figured that, considering the reputation they had gained in the past for bad parts, they might have improved their lines. Clearly, I was wrong. The best ways a consumer can influence the market are with his wallet and his word, and until I see clear evidence that AutoZone has improved, they will be getting none of my business and I will be recommending that others avoid them.