Squeaky suspension is one of the most common issues with a car. It is annoying and unpleasant to hear the noises and even more frustrating when you can’t seem to figure out how to stop it.
You might want your family or friends to hop in your car for a ride, but suddenly, crappy and squeaky sounds occur, which makes you feel really uncomfortable!
Maybe you have tried several options, but still, you are helpless and in search of the exact culprit.
Worry not, I am here to pinpoint various causes of squeaking suspension, so bear with me as I explain it all in this guide!
Why Is My Suspension Squeaking?
The most common cause of squeaky suspension is a lack of lubrication. If you run a conventional suspension that consists of grease zerk fittings on the ball joints, stabilizer bars, and steering links, properly lubricating them with WD 40 or silicone spray can eliminate the squeaks.
Basically, any part that contains lubrication over time will wear out and start to produce annoying squeaking sounds.
What’s Causing Your Suspension to Squeak and How to Fix It?
In most cases, what many of you will experience in owning a vehicle, is a squeaky suspension due to the lack of lubrication in particular parts.
Any system with sliding metallic components will experience this, and there is nothing to be concerned about.
It’s possible that lubricating these components may solve the issue. However, you’ll need to do a series of tests to be sure exactly which parts of your front or rear suspensions are causing the squeaky noise.
These little rubber parts also play a vital role in the suspension system. Particularly they hold the sway bars tight to the frame of the vehicle. In time, as in every other part, they are prone to get dry, which causes a squeaky rear suspension.
People tend to replace squeaky bushings immediately if they produce sounds, even if they are not cracked or have any play! Even though they are really cheap, you wouldn’t want to spend extra cash on something that is still usable.
Here is a little bonus for a better and longer-lasting rubber bushing; get a socket and a wrench, get off the cap that holds the rubber bushing on the sway bar, voila. Heavily apply lithium grease spray all over the inside surface, and there’s your cure to your squeaky suspension!
Also, don’t forget the control arm bushings. Spray them out too, and see if they are the potential threat to your peaceful ride!
Another one of the most common causes for suspension squeaking when going over bumps are the ball joints.
Ball joints are important elements that feature a bearing stud and socket housed in a casing. They allow your automobile to move up and down by allowing lateral suspension movements.
Clunking noises, excessive vibration, and uncontrollable steering wheel are also some of the most prominent worn-out ball joint symptoms that you should be aware of.
As a rule of thumb, you should grease your ball joints every now and then, but we all know that you don’t! Even we, the car mechanics, tend to be careless for our vehicles rather than for our clients.
However, this process can differentiate by the fact that there can be ball joints with zerk fittings or without. Either way, the ball joint greasing process might require a couple of simple tools to get the job done correctly.
In extreme cases, where the part is completely damaged, you should consider replacing your ball joint with a brand new one.
Faulty Parts Suspension Parts (Strut Mount Hardware or Shock Absorbers)
The previous three cases were a piece of cake, but this one might give you a bit of a headache, to be honest. Not only that the fix is much more complex to be done DIY, but these parts tend to cost much more too.
For example, if you run a type of shock absorber containing hydraulic fluid, the seals might wear out, and all the fluid starts leaking all over the shock’s body. This might be one of the many culprits of your squeaky suspension and require a shock replacement. Often I advise for a visual inspection of your suspension parts, even if it’s not necessary.
Such things as squeaking and creaking may be produced by false strut mount bearings, which are not O.E.M parts or simply worn-out. This might not be the case if you happen to run brand-new quality strut mount hardware. As well, I have a complete guide about complete strut assembly replacement, which could be of great use for your DIY journey!
Is It Safe To Drive With Squeaky Suspensions?
For example, it’s definitely not a safety hazard as a blown head gasket, but it’s a strong indication that some parts from your suspension system are starting to wear out.
So my real answer would be YES and NO.
Still, if we are talking about bad struts, you should urgently find the best aftermarket struts for your vehicle. Opposite to that, if it’s a lubrication culprit for your ball joints, rubber bushings, or stabilizer links, that might not be so alarming.
If you do not take care of your car, you might prolong the squeaking sounds, but as time goes by, eventually, it will cause major problems.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Squeaky Suspension?
Squeaky suspension costs vary drastically because of two reasons; first of all, the nature of the problem you face, and second if you are willing to do it on your own.
Some of you might also be intimidated by the fact that this problem is costly and neglect the solution. Still, I don’t want to repeat myself and say that this is a mistake.
Suppose it happens to be a ball joint lubrication issue that causes your vehicle’s squeaky suspension. In that case, I highly advise buying grease and a quality grease gun (around 80 dollars if you pay a visit to your local mechanic).
This will last you much longer than paying a visit to your mechanic stand-alone the job is pretty much straightforward.
Replacing the ball joint at your local mechanic store, the labor work would be around 250$ on average, while the part will cost you no more than 30-40$ at most.
Why Do New Shocks Squeak? Is That Even Possible?
It’s such a rareness that a new pair of shocks or struts could be the cause of your squeaking shocks noises. I definitely would not like to believe that this could happen to a man, but let’s give a small chance, only if you happen to purchase some low-quality cheap replacement shocks.
Who knows, maybe even a factory fault might be the reason that your brand new babies are making such unbearable squeaking sounds!
Why Do Shocks Squeak Over Bumps? Is It A Bad Sign?
As previously mentioned, you cannot be hundred percent sure that your shocks are squeaking while driving, rather than some other suspension parts. Bumps, potholes, and braking all have the potential to cause your suspension to wobble and lose control.
Worn ball joints or bushings may cause squeaking in addition to shocks and struts. Your ride quality is now very poor, and you should take immediate action by locating your culprit or simply visiting your nearest mechanic for an inspection.
Does Grease (WD40 or Silicone Spray) Fix The Squeaking Noise From The Shock?
Yes, but it’s also a no. Grease will work wonders if a lack of suspension system lubrication is causing the squeaking. The noise may be caused by a hydraulic leak or a faulty coil spring. Grease will not work on them.
Can Extreme Hot or Cold Temperatures Be the Cause of a Squeaky Suspension?
This is an actual thing that has personally never happened to me. Apparently, many people have complained of squeaking suspension noise sounds in cold temperatures or extremely hot weather. Mostly whenever driving over speed bumps, dips, potholes.
As much as this is not horrifying and hazardous for your safety, it’s more irritating. Maybe some local mechanics will tell you that it’s pretty much normal for the suspension parts to squeak during extreme temperatures. Still, I’d advise you to check the above methods and causes.
You shouldn’t always immediately seek professional help from a certified mechanic. Some car issues, like the squeaky suspension, can be fixed by a complete beginner and novice in this game!
I really hope that this guide helped you to spot and easily but inexpensively fix your squeaking suspension problem. Happy squeak-free driving, folks!