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Q: I get a squeaky noise when I turn right or come to a stop.

asked by on

I have already had my tire rods switched out in the last year and upper control arm do I need shocks its only on the front passenger side

My car has 118000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: The first thing that comes to mind would be...

The first thing that comes to mind would be lower ball joints. It’s not uncommon for ball joints, tie rod ends and brakes to exhibit similar sounding squeaks, although lower ball joints are the most common culprit for squeaking when turning. You stated the tie rods had been changed recently. Don’t rule them out as the source of the problem. New parts do fail. In this case, if the tie rod end was dry, (not lubricated correctly), a squeak can still occur from them. Of course, these parts address the squeak while turning to the right. Squeaks of this nature don’t usually sound out when coming to a straight stop.

Since you hear this squeak when braking, the first step is a thorough inspection of the brake system. For most people the problem may not be obvious. It takes an experienced technician to identify noises that come from a disc brake system. Brakes don’t usually make noise simply from turning the wheel. The torquing that occurs in the steering system while turning can flex various components in the brake system and create the same squeak you may here while braking. Some things to look for in the braking system are pads that are loose in their guides. Excessive play in the caliper guides. Worn pads including uneven where between the two pads and or uneven where on one pad. Brake system noises are a product of vibration creating harmonics. This occurs in any area of the brake pad, caliper and rotor system that isn’t properly lubed or secured. If you are not familiar with this particular brake system, it can be difficult to identify these problems as they can be subtle.

With noises like this, the most effective method of locating the noise is an experienced mechanic. It takes a series of tests to recreate the forces that the vehicle exerts upon itself when driving. This must be done while the vehicle is sitting still. Often a stethoscope is necessary and second set of hands. Recreating the sound while the car is sitting still takes some creativity and an understanding of what kind of stresses each component experiences while driving. If the source of the noise is coming from the brake system, it is often necessary to do some minor disassembly of the brake system for a detailed inspection. A thorough cleaning and lubing is usually done at this time. Even as an experienced mechanic, sometimes we are unable to pinpoint the source of the squeak, but by performing a simple cleaning and lubing of all the appropriate components may solve the problem.

Chasing noises such as this is often difficult, so I would recommend contacting an experienced technician, such as one available from YourMechanic, to diagnose the squeaking noise for you.

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