The fundamental function of struts is to support the vehicle's weight and absorb the surface impact to ensure a hitch-free ride. It is common to blame old shocks for wearing out and causing squeaking problems even without any diagnosis. However, a case of new struts squeaking can be problematic.
Typically, the squeaking of new struts may be due to different reasons. Hence, one suspected cause may not resolve the problem due to other proximate causes. For example, one could physically inspect problematic shock absorbers and certify them okay because the problem might not be obvious.
Consider noisy shocks as a loud protest by a vehicle’s suspension when performing actions like climbing bumps, braking, etc. Since correct inspection facilitates repair, let’s find out why new struts may squeak.
Causes of new struts squeaking
New struts making noise are usually due to lubrication inadequacies. Shocks are a coupling of parts and cannot function properly without lubrication or if poorly done. Other causes may be due to accumulation of debris and dirt, untightened bolts, or worn-out suspension components.
Let's dive deeper:
Squeaking sounds in devices with moving parts is often a sign of poor lubrication. That is because lubricants help to minimize friction and ease smooth movement. But to be sure lubrication is the sole cause of the shocks making noise, employ the service of a mechanic.
Worn Out Ball Joints
Ball joints help to connect the wheel’s suspension of a vehicle. That is how wheels move freely without depending on the car's body. The suspect is usually worn-out ball joints for an issue of new struts making noise when turning.
Suspension bushes are installed where various metal parts meet, like ball joints, shock absorbers, and anti-roll bars. In a vehicle suspension mechanism, bushes are rubber cushions and wear out over time. Hence, faulty bushes could cause a strut mount noise over bumps.
Damages to Core Parts of the Suspension System
Struts rattling could occur if there are damages to other core parts of the suspension system aside from bushes. For example, a sound from a spring absorber may indicate rust or, in a worse case, broken.
Loose Bolts and Nuts
Considering the condition in which bolts and nuts operate, loosening can occur. Generally, there are three to four bolts on the strut mount, which can cause squeaking if loose.
Though other factors may be responsible, a bad bearing is the primary cause of a Monroe quick strut clunk.
Is it Normal for Struts to Squeak?
The short answer is no. Although squeaking struts are not rare, there is nothing normal about shock absorbers making noise, especially new ones.
Bad struts sound can be unpleasant, especially with noticeable effects like deceleration. Also, they could be an indication that something is wrong with a vehicle’s suspension system.
The suspension system offers a smooth ride while managing the forces that could hinder acceleration, braking, and cruising. Think of it like a shock absorber for road obstacles like bumps and potholes to reduce reverberating effects. Additionally, it functions as a stabilizer for a vehicle when turning.
Therefore, it is best to seek expert inspection and advice when you notice noisy struts. Normalizing it without taking steps to resolve the underlying problem could lead to losing vehicle handling and control. Also, driving a vehicle with squeaky shocks can damage other vehicle components.
How Do You Stop New Struts From Squeaking?
This question has subjective answers typically because of the different factors responsible for new shocks squeaking. The cause factors or diagnosis will, ideally, determine the remedy.
Check the nuts, bolts, and worn-out suspension components to stop your shocks from squeaking. That may seem overwhelming, but don’t fret. Here are the possible solutions.
If poor lubrication of the suspension system is responsible for the bad strut noise, then greasing should fix it. However, greasing cannot do the trick if the noise is due to a break in spring suspension or hydraulic suspension leakage.
Fix the Ball Joints
Faulty ball joints are the common culprit for new struts making noise when turning. However, it could also result in critical issues like steering vibration and thumping over bumps. Ball joint deficiency may be due to wearing out, dirt accumulation through damaged seals, or poor lubrication.
Typically, ball joints can last for years. Nevertheless, consider repairing or replacing them if faulty and causing noisy shocks.
Clean it Up
Cleaning is one of the ways to stop bad struts sound . The general expectation is that new ones shouldn’t be dirty enough to cause squeaking. However, specks of dirt and debris can build up in a short time.
To clean your shock absorbers, use a mild soap and water solution. Having a cloth set aside to dry everything as fast as possible is also essential.
Tighten the Bolts and Nuts
As explained earlier, loose bolts and nuts are part of the common causes of strut rattling. Ensure to check for any looseness and tighten appropriately.
What does a bad strut sound like?
People often ask, what does a bad strut sound like? In simple terms, it makes clunking, knocking, or creaking sound that is audible enough when turning or mounting over bumps.
Can I spray wd40 on my struts?
The straightforward response is yes, you can. WD-40 is a solvent displacing water from metals, thus ensuring the longevity of metallic parts by combating rust and corrosion.
However, if your motive is to lubricate against a squeaking strut, it is insufficient because it is not a lubricant. Though its ability to displace water may help expose the problem with squeaking suspensions, WD-40 won’t give you a lasting solution.
Is an alignment necessary after replacing struts?
Many ask this question to avoid issues such as struts making noise after replacement. While the answer is usually yes, there is an exception if there’s no alignment allowance by the manufacturer or the shocks replacement doesn’t affect alignment angles.
Can I drive with a noisy strut?
Yes, you can, but you shouldn’t drive with noisy struts, especially for long. Here is why. Dealing with the annoying sound is a safety risk compromises vehicle control and also contributes to driving distraction. The consequences of those two could be as dire as fatal road crashes.
How do I lubricate my struts?
Lift the vehicle with a jack and detach the wheel to lubricate your struts. Then, fill a syringe with lubricants or directly spray the aerosol can of oil on the bushings, the bearing, and the turn plate.
When replacing struts, what else should I replace?
It would be best if you always replaced defective struts in pairs (the rear and front axles) and, even better, replaced the shocks on all four wheels together. Consider replacing strut mounts too. That way, vehicle handling is reliable, and there is a consistent response on all sides of the vehicle.
Struts work primarily to support the weight of a vehicle while acting as a shock absorber against road irregularities. But people often ask, do new struts make noise? Yes, several factors may result in new struts squeaking.
Squeaking shock absorbers are often a sign of an underlying problem that needs diagnosis for adequate rectification. Some solutions may include greasing and cleaning, which you can do yourself. However, the causes may be more than meets the eye and could require a mechanic's service to diagnose, advice, or resolve.