The strange rear suspension creaking noise clearly implies trouble, which you must find a way to fix immediately! Why?
This mechanical system is designed to keep a safe distance between your car and the road surface.
As such, drivers will never hit the ground unexpectedly or lose control of their driving performance – a wonderful benefit, especially in harsh weather conditions.
That’s why Bryan’s support team gladly delivers their help once more, discussing all relevant aspects of this issue. Click here for tips and advice.
Why Is There A Rear Suspension Creaking Noise?
Problems in the ball joints, shocks, suspension bushes, and lubrication shortages can trigger the creaking noise in this part.
And lack of grease is the most common cause, which is also the simplest to fix.
No Lubrication/ Leaking Shocks
In many popular cases, the failure of your steering and suspension systems boils down to a severe lubrication shortage between different metal components – like the shock units and rod ends.
Without properly lubricated systems, you cannot prevent significant dirt buildup, which will destroy the car’s suspension.
A little grease would easily solve this dilemma. But what if the squeak still goes on? Then brace yourself; more severe problems are probably at play.
Aside from the lubrication degree, you should pay attention to the shocks as well. Their purpose is to absorb road impact, preventing your car from bouncing.
Once they start leaking, their absorption is no longer functioning as expected, causing incessant bounces and suspension creaking noise for your vehicle.
Worn or Malfunctioning Ball Joints
Do you spot creaking or squeaking rear suspension whenever the car goes around the corners? Then the reasons might be the worn or defective ball joints.
These joints serve as a key point between your suspension and the wheels, allowing them free movement.
They comprise a socket and bearing stud that snugly fits into a lubricated and sealed casing.
Of course, the structure might differ across varied suspension configurations, but each wheel is supposed to have both lower and upper ball joints, bearing most of your vehicle’s weight.
Under normal circumstances, ball joints will last for at least several years. However, they easily get broken by natural tear and wear – or become much less effective once the seals are torn.
When that happens, dirt will filter into your system, losing its lubrication.
Signs that the ball joints are damaged can be numerous. Aside from creaky cornering, drivers might also detect knocking sounds when the car goes over bumps.
Worse, these worn joints can even influence your handling. Do you find your car drifting gradually to the side or steering looser than usual?
That’s the telltale signal of bad ball joints! Uneven wear patterns on the tire are also regarded as an indicator of ball joint issues.
Once your eyes catch these symptoms, it’s time to have them inspected immediately.
Leave the ball joints completely broken, and your wheels might come loose one day, resulting in serious accidents.
Broken Suspension Bushes
Bushings (or bushes) are rubber cushions mounted on any car’s suspension system joint. They are designed to reduce unnecessary movement and cut off vibration and noise.
You will find most of the standard bushes on shock absorbers, ball joints, anti-roll bars, and anywhere with a metal-metal contact.
Unfortunately, since they comprise rubber and are often placed under dramatic strain, it’s understandable that these bushes wear off over time.
We can even say replacing a suspension bush is among the most popular advisories regarding these technical problems.
Why so? Worn bushes inevitably lead to bad car rides, accompanied by annoying clunk or rattling noises when rolling over bumps.
And as the bush starts to perish, you may even hear a deafening, screeching sound.
Fortunately, pointers of damaged bushes are not difficult to detect. Even novices can recognize them easily via visual inspection.
How Should You Troubleshoot Rear Suspension Creaking Sound
The symptoms above can be easily recognized at first glance, but it’s not enough. To give your car proper treatment, it’s a must to troubleshoot the vehicle thoroughly!
Here is how:
1. Test Drive
The first important step towards proper diagnosis is to test drive your car.
To carry out that process, you need an empty and smooth road, a parking lot, and a second person that can listen and help you detect abnormal sounds.
Step 1. Start rolling all the car windows down. For rear seats that can fold, you should put them down.
Step 2. Choose a flat, smooth section on the road/parking lot to start the test drive.
Observe whether the noise begins at high or low speed, and if it is accompanied by vibrations or thunk that you can clearly feel.
Do they go away after some time or get worse during acceleration? What noise type is that – thumping, squealing, or something else?
Step 3. Navigate the parking lot and drive around in huge circles (preferably at 15-20 MPH). When your car leans, see whether the noise dies down or worsens.
Drive the vehicle the other way around and listen carefully again. Try to reproduce the noises you just heard to identify under which conditions it occurs.
2. Pay Attention to The Noise in your Wheel, Wheel Bearing, or Tire
Suspension creaking noises result from vibrations starting at low speeds and worsening at higher rates.
When under operation, wheel bearings usually are not that noisy; yes, they might squeal, growl, or grumble, but not excessively loud.
But once the squeaking in rear suspension emerges, your bearing will get increasingly louder during turns.
Also, the entire weight of your vehicle might lean onto that bearing as well, which means loud noises from the right imply troubles on the left (the vice versa is also valid).
Wheel bearings are not the only devices that emit clicking noises. Failed brake shoes and rear drums should be considered, too. Check out all of them to ensure!
3. Pay Attention to The Noises While Turning Or Going On Bumps
Creaky suspension issues will rear their ugly heads when your suspended system has to slide suddenly – due to road bumps or because the vehicle weights shift while cornering.
That’s a clear hint of malfunctioning ball joints – as we already discussed above.
Rear suspensions will also have issues with the linkages and control arms that tie them together. And though rarer, end-link sway bars and strut mouths can be a culprit as well.
In general, the deeper a thunk or thud, the more serious your issue is.
For instance, light rapping noises might only stem from swaying bars, whereas heavy thumps and loud clicking noises when driving straight are direct consequences of broken strut mounts, control arms, or rubber bushings.
Worse, in cases where there’s a loud thump over speed bumps and large potholes – accompanied by the car’s excessive roll while turning in other directions – the possibilities of blown shock are very high.
That thump indicates your suspension components are bottoming out.
Extra: Check The Tire Wear
Lastly, tire wear is the clearest indicator of these bad suspension problems (again, refer to the previous section), which can be helpful if you fail to pinpoint other unusual noises or signals!
More specifically, you should check the tires for noticeable wear throughout the edge – a soft “feathering” mark that begins at one end and runs through the middle, scalloping in the treads. Refer to this guide for more tips!
What is the reason behind the annoying rear suspension creaking noise? And can we troubleshoot the signals as soon as possible?
Bryan has dived deep into the issue to give you the tips and guidelines necessary, ensuring your car can run smoothly on the road again in a blink!
We cannot stress enough that you should not bypass the problem of suspension creaks for longer than two weeks.
Otherwise, the vehicle will suffer from major technical issues, performance decreases, and shortened lifespans.
Whenever possible, immediately give it some needed treatments – or have professional services take care of that for you.