As you’re driving around town or on your way to work, you may notice a squeaking noise.
There are several reasons why car squeaking sounds occur. These are some of the most common causes:
- Ball joints
- Control arm bushings
- Sway bar bushings
- Worn struts
Here is a more in-depth explanation behind the different components.
Ball joints are a pivot point for the control arm, which supports the primary load of the car.
These components can create a squeaking sound when they run out of lubrication. They also may need to be replaced to resolve the noise.
Control arm bushings and sway bar bushings
Some control arm bushings and sway bar bushings make squeaking sounds if they need to be lubricated. Others have to be replaced.
Whether you need new control arm or sway bar bushings or they need to be lubricated depends on how they come from a manufacturer.
Photo courtesy of HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire
Brakes can make squeaking sounds if they are getting low. Most brake pads contain little metal tabs called “wear sensors” that can screech on the brake rotors.
Brakes must be at or above 2/32 an inch to pass the Virginia state inspection. We recommend getting new brakes when they hit 3/32 or 4/32 of an inch, but some manufacturers suggest they be replaced sooner.
You can read more whether you need new brakes and the brake services we offer in this article we wrote recently.
Cheap brakes and those that haven’t been maintained properly can cause a friction noise.
We don’t suggest having cheap brakes installed, because they can cause noise, vibrations and rapid wear.
To learn more about why you shouldn’t use cheap brakes, check out this article.
Replacing only the brake pads and not the rotors may result in a squeaking sound.
Shocks and struts go bad overtime. The tires wearing unevenly and the handling feeling off are other indicators that these parts need to be replaced. These are some other signs.
We typically recommend replacing shocks and struts around 100,000 miles. However, if you’re getting new tires and your car is at 80,000 or 90,000 miles, we may suggest getting new ones earlier. This can help protect the next set tires.
How we address car squeaking sounds
To find the cause behind squeaking noises, we start by taking the car on a test drive. Then, we look for any problems by performing a visual and digital inspection.
After the inspection, our technicians recreate the issue. This allows us to isolate it.
Please make sure to provide the auto repair shop as much information as possible.
A customer recently had their vehicle towed for a brake check. The brakes were making noise, and he believed it was a caliper problem.
When we touched the brakes during a test drive, they locked up and the truck slid. The customer didn’t mention that he recently had new brakes installed. Turns out, one of the calipers was missing.
One of the more dangerous things you can do, as a customer, is not give us all of the information. When you don’t, it can be unsafe.
Having the whole story, including noises, problems you’ve noticed, and even a timeline, helps us solve the problem.
This article was written by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire, an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer in Woodbridge. The auto repair shop performs various services, including oil changes, alignments and computer engine diagnostics.