Squeaking or creaking noises coming from your suspension can signal that something is wrong with your car.

Not to mention that this can be particularly distracting whilst you drive over speed bumps and uneven surfaces.

Read on and find out what causes the suspension to creak, how to spot a suspension fault, and what you should do about a creaking suspension.


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Your suspension is an important part of your car which helps you to drive over uneven road surfaces safely.

When certain components wear out, this can cause a creaking sound to come from your suspension.

Be it a broken ball joint, split rubber bushing or faulty coil spring, it is essential you have your suspension looked at if you notice a creaking sound.


What Causes Squeaky Suspension?

When your car’s suspension is functioning well, you should experience a smooth ride.

As your car’s suspension is designed to absorb the vibrations and shocks of driving over uneven ground – like potholes and cobbled streets – you may hear squeaking or creaking if the suspension is wearing out for any of the following reasons.


Lack of Lubrication

Your car’s suspension is made up of several different components, which must be fully lubricated to function properly.

If the shock absorbers wear out due to a fluid leak onto the shock’s body, then you will need to have them replaced to stop the creaking sound.


Rubber Bushings

Similarly, if the rubber bushings get too dry or crack, they will produce a squeaking or creaking sound.

The rubber bushings hold your sway bars tight to the frame, and are used around the anti-roll bars, ball joints, and shock absorbers.

Rubber bushing replacement is a very common advisory on the MOT test.


Ball Joints

The ball joints act as ‘pivot points’ between the suspension and the wheels, allowing them to move freely.

No matter the type of suspension your vehicle uses, these ball joints bear most of the vehicle’s weight, and can easily wear out over time.

The seals can come loose and allow dirt and debris into the system, which can affect lubrication and lead to a noticeable creaking sound.

If you notice a knocking noise, poor handling, or uneven tyre wear in addition to these creaking noises, then you should have the ball joints looked at as soon as possible to prevent a serious accident from occuring. 



Coil Spring

The coil spring is responsible for absorbing most of the shock, so it needs to be replaced if it is broken.

The creaking sound will come from the spring’s broken edges rubbing against each other as the suspension moves.

Though the coil spring has a fairly long lifespan, it will wear out eventually.

You may notice that the creaking sound is accompanied by the car sitting lower than usual, meaning it is definitely time to get a new coil spring.


Steering Wheel

An issue with the steering wheel could also be the reason for the squeaking sound.

The steering wheel is attached to the suspension system and has a vital role to play – turning the wheel engages the power steering rack, which then directs your wheels.

A creaking sound coming from the steering wheel could be caused by any of the above reasons, so you should book with a garage at your earliest convenience. 


How Can I Fix a Creaking Suspension?

If your suspension is creaking, then you should have this looked at by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

Loose bearings, broken shock absorbers and dry bushings can lead to reduced braking efficiency, which could pose a safety risk in the event of an emergency.


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How Much Will It Cost To Fix?

It is difficult to estimate how much it will cost to fix a creaking suspension, as this depends on which part of the suspension needs fixing.

If it is your shock absorbers, this could cost between £150 and £700, depending on the make and model of your car.

Shock absorbers work in pairs, so ideally the replacement of both should be carried out at the same time.

However, if just one is broken or significantly damaged, you could consider only replacing this side. Best to speak to a skilled mechanic who will be able to advise you further.

If you need to replace a ball joint, the part itself is fairly inexpensive, but you will have to pay for labour costs, which can differ depending on how much the garage charges.

Regardless of the part which needs fixing, a professional mechanic will be happy to talk you through the process and discuss the cost of the repair or replacement with you. 


What Are the Most Common Signs of Suspension Damage?

Listening out for changes in your vehicle’s behaviour is one of the best ways to spot suspension damage.

A knocking sound when you drive over bumps could signal that there is a problem with the suspension struts.

Meanwhile, a clanking sound of metal that you hear when you drive over bumps could indicate that the rubber bushes which join parts of the suspension have failed.

If you notice a creaking sound under your car when you drive over a speed bump then the suspension bushes may have worn out.

Alternatively, if you are experiencing a bumpier ride than usual then there could be a problem with your car’s suspension - the shock absorbers could be leaking fluid if this is the case.

Whilst abnormal tyre tread wear can indicate that the suspension system is not functioning well, this can also be the result of incorrect wheel alignment.


Why Should I Have My Suspension Fixed?

If part of your suspension fails, then other vital components will be placed under additional strain, and your car could even collapse on the road.

This can lead to increased wear and tear, and your vehicle may fail its MOT test if you don’t have the problems with your suspension fixed soon.


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How Can I Diagnose a Fault with My Suspension?

To find out if there is a problem with your car’s suspension, you can take your car for a drive, turning off the radio and opening the windows.

Listen out for any strange noises – and take note of the driving conditions in which you hear them. You may only hear a certain sound whilst driving over a speed bump, for example. 

Once you get back home, park the car on a flat surface with the parking brake on. Look at the car and check if it is sagging on one side or corner.

Push down on the corner which looks like it might be struggling with a suspension issue. It should rise up and return to its natural position without bouncing more than a few times.

If this corner doesn’t seem to be behaving normally, you can then take a look under the car. Do you notice a leak?

As the shock absorbers contain a fluid which helps to damp out bumps, a leak can cover the springs in this liquid.

If your car is becoming difficult to control, this could signal that your wheels are out of alignment, or the suspension system is failing.

You may notice that your car drifts or pulls when you try and turn around corners.

This can be dangerous for both you and other road users, so you should book a suspension repair as soon as possible.


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We hope you have enjoyed learning about why the suspension in a car sometimes creaks.