Why is my Car Squeaking when I Go over Bumps - Possible Causes
When you go over bumps on the road, you may sometimes hear a squeaking noise coming from either side of your car, or from underneath it. This noise is not only embarrassing, as everyone around you turns his head to see your car, but can be a sign that there is something wrong in your car too. Read this oneHOWTO article if you want to know the reason why this problem happens and find out why your car squeaks when you go over bumps.
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. Most ball joints are not lubricated externally, so, if the grease gets old or leaks out, the joints start squeaking. Most rubber bushings are not lubricated and have to work dry only. Over time, the rubber shrinks, cracks or dries, and starts squeaking whenever the suspension moves.
Faulty suspension parts
Another possible cause is that another part of your suspension is either damaged or broken, which is a more serious problem than the first. The suspension is composed by many smaller parts that are connected by axes, making them difficult to access.
How to identify the problem
It is very difficult to identify which bushing or ball joint is causing the noise. Most of the times, when the vehicle is still, the suspension does not move the way it does when it is running. So, you may not identify the part that is causing the problem, especially if it is caused by other parts of the suspension.
To try to identify it, park your car on a level surface, and block all the 4 wheels to make sure that the car does not roll. Ask a friend to bounce every corner of the vehicle. Make sure that the car’s body panel does not get damaged or dented during the process, but 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.
Ask someone to turn the steering wheel with the car safely parked. Do you hear a noise when the wheel is turned? In this case you will be able to narrow the problem to a worn out control arm.
Dealing with it
Once you have narrowed down the location, you can start checking the exact component that is causing the noise.
For squeaking ball joints
Spray penetrating oil on the suspected ball joints or bushings. Prefer the ones that have rips or tears, or that look old. If your car is old, this will only be a temporary solution and will eventually have to have your car's ball joints and rubber bearings changed.
If the noise goes away after squirting them with oil, even though you have found the problem you should replace it along with any other ripped or torn ball joint or bushing, as this will only be a temporary solution. Sometimes you cannot purchase only the bushing and you will have to replace the entire suspension piece, such as the lower control arm or the shock absorber.
For other suspension related problems
If you have discarded 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 difficult access to the parts. It is best you take your car to a mechanic when you can so a professional can see to your car squeaking.
If the sound persists, bring the car to the mechanics
Once you have done this, you will no longer hear any squeaking sound while going over the bumps, provided that you have replace the right component that was causing the noise. You should know when to change your car's suspension in order to prevent this from happening again. 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.
If you'd like to read similar articles to Why is my Car Squeaking when I Go over Bumps - Possible Causes, we recommend you browse around our Car Maintenance and Repair category.