4 reasons why car shocks are squeaking

A car’s shocks are as important as the engine. This rarely talked about car part is responsible for the smooth ride you enjoy despite the fact that the road is far from smooth. It absorbs the vibrations inflicted on the wheels by road imperfections to reduce their effect on the car’s stability.

They ensure you can drive over a pothole or hump without having the passengers thrown up and down in the car. A car shock comprises a series of interdependent parts that act as intermediaries between the car’s body and the wheels. There are two main types of car shocks, dependent and independent car shocks.

The main difference between the two options is that in the dependent shock system, the impact on one wheel will affect another while in the independent shock system each wheel absorbs and distributes the impact independently.

So, Why Are My Car Shocks Squeaking?

The most common reason car shocks squeak is inadequate lubrication. The suspension system is made up of moving parts that cannot work without lubrication.

Causes Why Car Shocks Squeak

1. Poor lubrication

In any system with moving metal parts, squeaking sounds are a sign the system needs lubrication. Greasing these parts should do the trick although you will need a mechanic to run some tests to ensure there are no more problems.

2. The Ball Joints Could Be Worn Out

Ball joints are the parts connecting the suspension and the wheels. They enable the free movement of the wheels independent from the car body. Whenever the car makes squeaking sounds when navigating corners worn-out ball joints, are usually the culprits.

They are easy to identify, look for a lubricating casing with a bearing stud and socket inside. Manufacturers vary so you can expect a car to have either upper or lower ball joints.

Ball joints carry most of the car’s weight but can serve you for years without issues. The main cause of ball joint failure is wear and tear, dirt getting in due to damaged seals, and lack of proper lubrication. Aside from sounds when cornering there are other signs that your ball joints are damaged.

  • The knocking sound you hear when going over high bumps
  • The car might be drifting to one side
  • The steering wheel can be too loose
  • You might experience an uneven tire wear pattern

3. The Suspension Bushes Might Be Faulty

Bushes are rubber cushions installed in areas where different metal parts are in contact. In the suspension system, they are mounted on the ball joints to reduce movement and curb the cracking sounds. Any part from shock absorbers to anti-roll bars where metal parts meet needs bushing.

When installed in parts like ball joints they are subjected to immense strain which causes them to wear easily. Bush replacement in a suspension system is pretty common. With damaged bushes, you can expect a noisy ride, especially when going over bumps.

The squeaking sound can indicate worn-out bushes but a proper inspection and diagnosis might divulge more.

4. Some Core Parts Could Be Damaged

You might frown at the idea of replacing bushes but there are other parts of the suspension system that are more expensive to replace.

Think of the axel, replacing such a part will be expensive and difficult but in some instances, it needs to be done. The first time you hear the squeaking sound is when going over a bump, this might not mean your axel has issues but an indicator that the car could have more serious problems.

The problem will depend on the nature of your car’s suspension system. For hydraulic suspensions, you can expect oil leak and pressure issues. Spring absorbers are easier to deal with; a sound from them will indicate rust although in serious instances they could be broken.

The first stage in the diagnosis is to identify the shock absorber making the cracking sounds. From there you can determine its problem.

Is It Bad If Your Shocks Squeak?

Yes, anytime a car part functions contrary to expectations, we take that as a bad thing. The squeaking of shocks is an indicator of malfunctions in the system itself or another part of the car.

Why Do New Shocks Squeak?

It is rare but not unprecedented to hear squeaking sounds after installing new shocks or in a new car. This might be caused by poor lubrication of the new shocks. They might be new but without proper lubrication, they are bound to squeak.

Is It Safe To Drive With Squeaky Suspensions?

You should not drive a car with faulty suspensions but that does not mean you should leave your car on an upcountry road immediately you hear a cracking sound under the hood. 

Squeaking sounds are indicators of underlying issues with your suspension system that need looking into but the first few times you hear the sounds; things are usually not very serious.

Nevertheless, the sounds are sometimes indicators of faulty ball joints, a problem that could lead to a wheel coming off while the car is in motion. This has caused accidents.

Why Do Shocks Squeak Over Bumps? Is It A Bad Sign?

It is a bad sign and it is caused by the wearing out of bushes. Bushes sometimes wear out due to the great strain but do not cause serious damage to the car. They however need to be replaced to curb the noise.

How Do I Fix A Squeaking Shock?

The answer to this question is subjective mainly because the sounds have different causes. We cannot decide the remedy before determining the cause of the squeaking sounds.

Does Grease Fix The Squeaking Noise From The Shock?

Yes and no. If the squeaking noise is caused by poor lubrication of the shock system then grease will surely do the trick. Situations however change and the noise could be due to a leak in the hydraulic suspension or a broken spring suspension. These cannot be fixed with grease.

Bottom Line

The squeaking of car shocks is a common malady in the automobile world. A car cannot do without the shock system and like any other car part it wears out. Having a proper understanding of how the system works is the first step in determining how to curb it.

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