Main Causes of Vehicle Squeaking and Ways to Eliminate Them
Not too long ago we published a couple of articles on Noises that Might Mean Trouble for your vehicle that addressed squeaking brakes and how to know when you need brake service. There are other vehicle squeaks that can alert the neighbors that you are heading for home that don’t have anything to do with brakes but indicate that your vehicle needs some attention.
Besides brakes squeaking, the most common squeaks are usually associated with your vehicle’s suspension. The squeaking suspension parts are often associated with a lack of lubrication when metal-on-metal wear is happening in connections such as the tie-rods, suspension joints and steering linkage. If lubrication is the main cause of squeaking it can be an easy and inexpensive fix to take on a DIY project with a grease gun and some spray-on lubricant; or even easier, take your vehicle to an express oil change and preventative maintenance supplier like Jiffy Lube of Southern California. Fixing squeaks with an old fashioned ‘lube-job’ is always less costly than a repair to a tie-rod or a U-joint.
A few of facts for you to keep in mind when looking to eliminate suspension squeaks.
- Many newer cars and trucks have sealed suspension joints that are considered to be lubed for life. This cost saving measure by manufacturers makes it impossible to add lubrication so when the original lubrication degrades or finds a way to leak out, you may be looking at a part replacement as the only option.
- Some vehicles have a high suspension that may allow owners safe access to the suspension joints for DIY lubrication with a grease gun.
- It is best to leave lubrication to the experts with your vehicle on a rack if it has low ground clearance and/or you don’t have the safety equipment or the know-how to do it yourself.
- Front wheel drive vehicles may have a dozen or more fittings that need lubrication with four-wheel-drive having even more, so ensure that lubrication is added to all connections.
- The coil or leaf springs which help to smooth out the ride may also be a source of squeaks. These may be better served with a silicon spray rather than grease due to the plastic inserts that should be in place.
Other Reasons for Squeaks
There are other reasons for squeaks such as hood latches, door mechanisms and trunk hinges. All of these can be lubricated as long as you consider the correct lubricant and technique.
- Wipe on a silicon spray if you are working on or near the inside of your vehicle to avoid getting overspray on your seats, carpets and dash.
- Consider dry lubricant, such as graphite, to avoid getting grease or lubricant on hot surfaces that might cause smells from the lubrication.
- Always wipe away as much dirt and grime as possible to make sure there is minimal grit to get into the lubricant and cause additional wear.
If all this sounds complicated, come by a convenient Jiffy Lube of Southern California location for your next oil change where we will include lubrication of the chassis with our Signature Service® Oil Change. We are also available to help with other preventative maintenance services and advice on those squeaks and squeals. Be sure and look for our money saving oil change coupons before stopping by.
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