Is your car suspension making a squeaky or creaking noise while driving down the road, or does your car squeaks when rocked? I am going to show you how to fix a squeaky suspension.
Older model vehicles used to have grease fittings on the suspension and once your car started to squeak, you could just fill the grease fittings with a grease gun and the squeaking will go away. But, modern vehicles do not have grease fittings. Instead, modern vehicles have rubber bushings that get old and start squeaking and creaking while you drive over bumps, rock the car, or when you get out of the car.
One way to fix a squeaking or creaking suspension is to replace the whole suspension system. But, changing multiple parts on your suspension system will cost a lot. Instead, there is an easy way on how to fix a squeaky suspension.
1. Locate where the noise is coming from
Each wheel of the vehicle is supported by a suspension system. Even though behind each wheel there is a suspension system with bushings that can go bad, not all bushings will go bad at the same time. It is important that you fix the bushings that are bad and not waste material on the good bushings. So, in order to locate where the noise is coming from you will have to perform a small test.
You might not be able to hear the squeaking or creaking noise coming from the suspension system when you drive or go over a bump. So, park your vehicle and start rocking it above each wheel. If you hear a squeaking or creaking noise coming from a particular wheel, that wheel has a suspension with bad bushings.
2. Jack up your car
Once you locate where the squeaking or creaking noise is coming from, jack up your car. If you don’t have a jack, you can grab one on amazon.com. After you jack up your car, place it on jack stands for maximum safety. The last thing you want is for your car to fall down while you are working on it or under it. Each vehicle has different jacking points, but the ones on the image provided are the most common jack points.
3. Remove the wheel
With your vehicle placed on jack stands, remove the wheel. You can remove the wheel by removing the bolts. Each vehicle has a different number of bolts, but the number of bolts is usually five. If some of the bolts are rusted and won’t come off, spray some WD40 on them and let them soak for a couple of minutes before starting again.
With the wheel removed, you have exposed the suspension system and the bushings that are bad. Make sure to store the bolts and don’t lose them because you will need them in a couple of minutes to reinstall the wheel.
4. Locate the bad bushings
The bushings are part of the suspension system and are made of rubber. They act as a vibration isolator with a purpose to prevent metal-to-metal contact between the other parts of the suspension while driving the car.
Even though they are made out of hard rubber, they still allow some movement which is very important. Every time you drive your vehicle, the bushings are moving and are constantly exposed to the elements underneath the vehicle. Being under so much exposure, they are doomed to fail. You will be able to locate the rubber bushings behind each wheel as shown in the photo.
5. Spray the bushings with the lubricant
The bushing lubricant that I use is called AT-205 Re-Seal and you can grab it on amazon.com. It is a clear polymer liquid that rejuvenates rubber bushings. Pour the lubricant into a spray bottle and spray it on all the bad rubber bushings. Make sure to get enough of the product on the bushings and make them soaking wet.
You need to spray the torsion arm bushing, frame bushings, and strut mount bushings. Basically, every part of the suspension that is made out of rubber can be sprayed with this lubricant. This will take care of the squeaking and creaking noise coming from the suspension. You could spray WD40 as well, but it will wash off with the first car wash or rain. After you are done spraying, leave the vehicle overnight so the lubricant can soak into the rubber bushings.
6. Reassemble the wheel
After you let the rubber lubricant soak in overnight, reassemble the wheel and take your vehicle for a test drive. At this point, you shouldn’t hear any squeaking or creaking noises coming from the suspension while driving over a bump or rocking your car.
When To Change Bushings In Car
- When you hear squeaking or creaking noise coming from the suspension, that is a clear sign that the bushings are old and have started to fail. It is only a matter of time before you start hearing clunking noises.
- If the bushings are bad you will hear a clunking noises. This happens when you start driving and the wheel will shock backwards causing a clunking noise.
- Best way to tell if your bushings are bad is to jack up your car and perform some tests. Grab the tire by the nine and three clock position and try to move the wheel back and forth. There should be no motion. If there is a movement, you need to replace your bushings.