Tiny noises can be super annoying, right? There you are, happily enjoying listening to whatever your choice of music is, and it’s interrupted by a squeak of some kind. So what do you do if you find yourself with a squeaky suspension over bumps? Well you do some investigating, sure. But let’s narrow it down.
The solution begins in a pretty straightforward place. First, just push up and down on your car or truck. Go above the fenders or near the bumpers and see if you can narrow down where the noise is originating. Is it up front or out back? Can you hear it from the outside of the vehicle or only on the inside? Do whatever you can to try to reproduce the problem, that way you can solve it.
Got a location? Good. Now let’s narrow it down.
The problems could be anywhere, but once you’ve figured out the source of your squeaky suspension over bumps, it’s time to solve the problem. Put the vehicle on jack stands and pull the wheels. Now start to look at the suspension itself and see if you can pinpoint the noise’s location.
From here, things get pretty straightforward. If it’s a loose bolt, see if you can figure out why it got that way, then tighten it up. If it’s a bushing, see if there’s a spot where it’ll accept lubrication. A lot of joints, particularly in older vehicles, have Zerk fittings that you can use with a grease gun to get things sorted out. And if not, then try lubricating it yourself with WD-40 or something similar.
But what if you can’t find the source?
Well that’s when things get more complicated. Even worse: You can find it, but can’t fix it.
Let’s take that last one first. If you know where it is, then you can take it to a shop and tell them what’s going on. Since you know the specifics, you should be able to get a super specific quote for the repair, and then the problem will be solved.
But if you can’t find it, then you do have to go into a shop blind. Narrow it down as much as possible, and give them that direction. Every little bit at this point helps.
Other potential causes include ...
Bushings are a big pain point for noise. Often they’re made of rubber, and sometimes rubber rubbing against metal doesn’t work out. If they’re made of polyurethane, then the noises can get really bad, and that’s no fun for anyone. It’s possible at that point that you have to remove the bushing entirely and lubricate it again before reinstallation.
Another issue is metal-on-metal contact. Usually that’s because a bushing has degraded entirely, but it’s also a problem with some connections just by their nature. Of course, in those scenarios, it’s best to figure out why they’re rubbing and tighten up the joint. But again, be careful. You don’t want to cause more problems than you’re solving.
Take it seriously.
You might think that squeaky suspension over bumps are not a big deal, but they certainly can be. If the issue is causing your car or truck to throw its alignment, then you could have tire wear or handling issues. If it’s because of metal-to-metal contact, you could wear through a part, causing failure. And anytime your suspension fails, you’re at risk for an accident.
Take your vehicle’s safety seriously and be proactive with these kinds of problems. It’ll serve you well in the long run.