One of the most annoying issues that car, truck and SUV owners experience is a hard-to-pinpoint squeaking noise. In some cases, it's an indication of a possible safety concern or a component that is ready to break. In other instances, it's simply due to components needing a little lubrication to work smoothly.
When your car door hinges begin squeaking, you want to find the cause and fix the problem immediately to silence the annoying noise. It is unlikely to go away on its own, so it is best to deal with the problem so that you can enjoy silence once again.
Diagnosing the Squeaking Noise
Before you attempt any repairs or service, the first thing that needs to be done is to diagnose the source of the squeaking noise. If the noise happens when you open or close a door, then it's pretty certain that the squeak is coming from a door hinge or lock.
There are a few things you can do to find out precisely where the noise is coming from. The first step in the diagnostic process is to open and close the door a few times until you are sure the door is where the sound is coming from. Three areas will generally cause the squeak: hinges, seals and the door check.
The hinge is the part that actually supports the opening and closing of the door. The hinge can rust over time, which will create a squeaking or scraping sound.
The rubber seal is located around the perimeter of the door and ensures a complete closure to prevent water and air from getting inside the vehicle. It often collects grime and dust, which can create a noise when you open the door.
The door check is what holds the car door to the frame and keeps the door from closing once it is opened. It is another area where you may hear the squeaking noise, which can be caused by rust or dirt buildup.
Common Steps to Stop the Squeak
Once you've correctly identified the source of the squeaking noise, you'll have to stop it somehow. In most cases, the squeaking noise is caused by debris, which is why the first thing you'll need to do is to clean the three areas of the door most likely to cause the problem. Sometimes just removing the dust and debris is enough to stop the noise. A basic household cleaner often works with light build-up, while heavier accumulation may require an automotive cleaner to get to the grease. In all cases, a cotton or microfiber cloth is soft enough not to scratch your vehicle.
Once the area on the door is cleaned, it is important to apply a lubricant to keep everything working smoothly. However, certain lubricants may not be good for all materials, which is why it is a good idea to have a professional technician lubricate your hinges when needed.
Mechanical Issues That Cause Squeaking Door Hinges
Over time, some parts on the car door can wear out and need replaced. One common issue is rusted car door hinges. While you may be able to clean off a small amount of corrosion, hinges that have an excessive amount of rust will need to be replaced to stop the noise. The bushings on the door check may also be the culprit for the squeak. They may need to be tightened if they have become loose due to frequent use.
If you clean your car hinges and still hear the squeaking noise, it may be time to contact a professional to look at your car door. Repair is usually straightforward and the technician can silence the noise so that you can enjoy the quiet when opening and closing your vehicle’s door.