Why Is My Car Squeaking When I Go Over Bumps – Possible Causes
As you’re driving around town or on your way to work, you may notice a squeaking noise. There are several reasons why car squeaking sounds occur. These are some of the common causes: Ball joints Brakes Control arm bushings Sway bar bushings Worn struts Here is a more in-depth explanation behind the different components. Ball joints.
Is Your Car Making a Squeaking Noise When Driving? Car Sounds & Diagnostics
Possible cause of the squeaking Ball joints or rubber bushings A squeaky sound may be caused by the connecting ball joint or rubber bushing being worn out. Ball joints are connections in which a metal ball is trapped inside in a cup lubricated with grease. If the grease gets old or leaks out, the joints can start squeaking. Bushings are designed to prevent individual parts from vibrating and causing damage.
Rubber bushings are common on a car’s suspension. If they are faulty, broken or non-existent, then the vibrations may cause damage which leads to squeaking. Over time, the rubber shrinks, cracks or dries and starts squeaking whenever the suspension moves. Checking your bushings regularly is helpful in preventing damage further down the line. The suspension is composed by many smaller parts that are connected by axles, making them difficult to access. If any of these parts are faulty, it can lead to squeaking sounds coming from the suspension.
Faulty suspension is why the car might squeak when going over bumps. The suspension is there to stop shocks damaging the vehicle when going over bumps or uneven ground. If they are faulty, the bumps will cause issues. Shock absorbers are part of the car’s suspension.
If they do not work, they can lead to squeaking. The problem will depend on the type of absorber. If they are hydraulic, then they may have air problems, oil leakage or another issue. Spring absorbers may have rusted or been broken in a high impact.
Isolating the absorber and confirming the problem is vital. The problem might actually be close to where you are seated. The steering wheel control arm might be loose or faulty. When you go over a bump, the force causes the wheel to squeak.
You can try to listen closer to the steering wheel, although it can be difficult to know where the squeak is coming from. How to identify the problem It is very difficult to identify which bushing or ball joint is causing the squeaking noise.
This makes it much harder to identify the part that is causing the problem. Here is some help to try to identify a suspension problem in your car: Park your car on a level surface. Block all the 4 wheels to make sure that the car does not roll away. Ask a friend to bounce every corner of the vehicle. The car should rock so that you can hear the squeaking noise. You may need to bump, push, pull and bounce to actually create the squeak that you hear while driving.
By doing this, you will at least be able to narrow down the area from where the noise is coming. If you hear a noise when the wheel is turned, it is possible you have a problem with a worn out control arm. Ask someone to turn the steering wheel with the car safely parked. You can tell if ball joints are bad or are worn by noticing if you have uneven wear in your tires. This will lead to your car pulling in one direction or the other.
Uneven wear can be a symptom of various problems, not only suspension. Check with your mechanic to confirm what it might be. How to fix the squeaking sound Once you have narrowed down the location, you can start checking the exact component that is causing the noise. For squeaking ball joints Ball joints are generally hard wearing, but they can become loose or damaged if the suspension takes a lot of hits. Equally, they can become damaged by weathering or caustic substances reaching them.
The ball itself sits inside a casing which needs to be well lubricated. If there is a leak or some other problem you will not only need to lubricate the joint, but also fix the leak. Many people think they will need to get a new ball joint, but you can buy new rubber boots easily. They come in packs of various sizes, so you will just need to try the one which fits best.
Grease the joint while you have taken the old rubber boot off and then attach the new one. For broken rubber bushings Similar to the rubber boot for the ball joint, the rubber bushings can be replaced. If the bushing itself isn’t broken, it may need lubrication.
You can tell by looking at the brushing and seeing if it is dry or cracked. Lubricate the bushing with some oil, using a nozzle which allows you to penetrate into small gaps. Ideally you should take the bushing off and lubricate it on the inside. If the squeaking noise goes away, then the problem might be fixed for the time being.
However, if the rubber bushings are cracked or damaged, then they will only continue to wear. Eventually, you will likely need to replace them. This is something which is fairly easily done. Screw the cap off with a wrench and then take off the bushing. You should be able to see the bushing and how damaged it is. Simply replace the bushing and screw the cap back on. For other suspension related problems If you have discounted the ball joints or bushings as the source of the problem, it is best you do not attempt to further investigate where the source comes from due to difficulty accessing the parts.
It is best you take your car to a garage when you can so a professional mechanic can see why your car squeaking. Changing the steering wheel control arm is something which will take a lot of work and should not be done by the uninitiated. If the sound persists, bring the car to the mechanics The car’s suspension has many parts and some will require a trained mechanic to fix or replace.
However, you should always try to see if you can get an idea of the problem yourself first. To help you know what is wrong, you should find out when to change your car’s suspension. If, regardless of what you’ve done you still hear the sound, it is better to bring your car to a professional mechanic for a complete service.