Have you ever noticed your car making squeaking noises while driving? Perhaps there are noises when people get in and out of the car, when the vehicle goes over a bump or a pothole, or maybe there are noises as the automobile corners certain turns.
These are all subtle signs that something is starting to go out in your suspension system. Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions for these temporary problems!
First, we need to figure out what exactly is going on in the suspension system. To start this process, there needs to be some type of visual inspection as well as a test drive.
Test drives will usually work better if you have two people; One to drive the vehicle around, and the second person to listen to any noises. It can be difficult to determine whether the noise is coming from the front or the back left or the right, so having a second person can make the diagnosis much smoother.
These solutions can be affordable and manageable to do yourself. Some of these solutions are also a little more labor-intensive, more expensive, and might need a day’s worth of attention.
Best Lubricant For Squeaky Suspension
First thing is safety. Making sure that there are protective goggles being worn over your eyes, gloves to protect your skin from grease, and that the car is in a safe and very secure position.
If it is noticeable that the ball joints are squeaking, start by taking a look at the condition of the ball joint. Ensuring that it is a completely closed system, and that no oil, water, or dirt is able to get in and affect the components that make up the ball joint. If the boot is completely intact, then consider re-greasing the ball joints.
When it comes to what type of grease to use, there are a couple types of grease that can work. Using synthetic grease or a heavy duty lithium grease.
There will be a lot of movement in the system, so make sure that the grease can handle the fluctuations in temperature. Each ball joint has access to a grease injection port.
In order to get this job done correctly, there will need to be a grease gun and a tube of grease. The Grease gun Will be around $30 and the grease tubes will be around five to ten dollars.
When it’s time to inject the grease into the ball joint, it is fairly simple. Hooking up the grease gun to the injection see the ball joint starting to bulge at the boot and become full of grease. Make sure not to put too much grease in, or it will tear the boot, and allow contaminations to enter the system.
Upon visual notice, if there is too much damage to the ball joints, then the whole ball joint itself will need to be replaced, and sometimes ball joints will have to be pressed in by a shop. Also, dealerships are starting to take away injection ports from ball joints on newer vehicles, making it so the vehicle has to go to the dealership instead.
Never use any oil-based lubricants or petroleum-based lubricants to assist with greasing up the boots. This will swell the rubber on the ball joints and cause further damage and eventually the vehicle will need a full replacement of the ball joint. Always refer to the manual before any work is done to the vehicle.
Is It Safe To Drive With A Squeaky Suspension?
It is NOT recommended to drive when squeaking noises in the suspension system are being heard. The car will still remain drivable, but left unattended, the problem itself can cause more problems in other sections of the suspension system.
Ideally, it is best to get these noises dealt with as soon as possible. The suspension does a tremendous amount of work keeping the weight of the vehicle evenly distributed.
When the car does not have the suspension support that it needs, other parts of the car will start to break down quicker when doing everyday driving transactions like cornering, going up and down hills, and any other abuse the car may receive on the road.
What Are Some Ways To Prevent Squeaks From Happening?
A very key and basic way to make sure squeaking doesn’t happen is to make sure the vehicle is routinely being checked. It is extremely important to make sure that your suspension is aligned so that the vehicle is not swaying from left to right (or right to left) on the road, where other drivers are at. Generally, a good time to have the suspension checked is when the vehicle goes to a shop to have tires replaced or a scheduled oil change.
Knocking out two birds with one stone! A huge part in preventative maintenance is just taking the extra cautionary steps before there’s a problem so that way when there is a problem it’s easily deescalated. Becoming proactive rather than reactive.
Worst Case Scenario
The squeak can not be found, the vehicle has been thoroughly inspected, it’s a maze of a mess down there… Here is a quick list of all suspension parts that will have rubber bushings that can squeak if not taken care of:
Ball joint, Macpherson strut, control arm, tie rod, sway bar, bushings, coil spring, shock absorber, torsion bar, and many more parts. All these parts have rubber bushings, so, Using a product that will soak into the rubber and rejuvenate it is key.
A product that is polymer-based, and will soak into the rubber. Making sure that it will not be washed away by rain or any other foreign substances that may be on the road.
A perfect product I have seen used is by a brand called RV Care, and the name of the product is Rubber there will be a good amount of rubber to spray on the top side and bottom side of each rubber bushing, plus, doing both left and right side, as well as doing both the front and rear of the vehicle.
So picking up a couple cans might not be a bad idea. Being sparse with your product is not a good idea for the rubber bushings. The vehicle will need a lot of product to soak deeply into all of the necessary bushings.
After letting the vehicle soak up the solution for some time, you want to go test drive it and see if there are any remaining squeaks that you may need to apply more product too.
Locating a reliable mechanic can be a nightmare at times! There are plenty of videos on YouTube, we can guide any person to success for all vehicle types. Drivers typically have a good intuition about their car’s health.
If something seems to be a little off with the vehicle, chances are, something may be a little off with the vehicle! So remember to be proactive, not reactive! These will all be more affordable actions that can be taken before trying to send the vehicle into the shop.
Once the vehicle is in the shop, there is NO telling what the total on the receipt is going to say! Remember to be safe by using all of the proper protective equipment and making sure the vehicle is in a safe position.
Garry is the happy owner of a funky 2018 Nissan Juke Ti-S AWD. After growing up around his family’s mechanics shop, he is passionate about bringing budget-friendly car care to every driver. Garry has a business degree and is a car enthusiast.