Has your car developed a mystery squeak? It is not unusual for cars to suddenly develop a squeak. And while the instinct may be to bury your head in the sand and hope that the problem will resolve itself, the likelihood is that it will just get worse.
If you notice a squeak or a squeal in your vehicle, it is a good idea to take it to your local garage and get it checked out sooner rather than later; failure to do so could mean that you are letting the problem get worse and more dangerous, not to mention more expensive. We take a look at the primary causes of squeaks, and what that might mean for you.
Your power steering fluid is low
Most of us take our power steering completely for granted, but without it, a vehicle can be much harder to manoeuvre. Your power steering system needs lubricant to keep it running smoothly. When this fluid runs low, every time that your steering wheel is off centre, you will hear a squealing noise. If you notice that the noise is present when you are turning, this could be your problem; check your fluid levels and top them up, or pop to your local garage and ask them to help you.
Bushings and ball joints
Ball joints provide a secure, but moving connection and bushings are rubber parts designed to prevent excessive vibration. A ball joint is a connection in your vehicle that relies on a ball inside a lubricated cup fixing. If the grease deteriorates or leaks from the connection, the joint can start to squeak. Similarly, if your bushings have deteriorated or become damaged, they will not do their job properly and you may hear a squeak or a squeal.
A car’s suspension is made up of several parts which are joined together by axles. If any of these parts are worn or faulty, your car may squeak when you go over bumps. If the squeaking is the result of a problem with your suspension, it may be quite complicated to fix as the parts can be hard to access. The extent of the problem, and how easy it is to fix, will depend on the make of your vehicle. The best thing to do is take it to your local garage to get it checked. If you hear a noise when you go over a bump, the problem may not be suspension, it could be that your steering wheel control arm is damaged or loose.
Identifying the problem
It is all very well knowing what might cause your vehicle to squeak, but it is more challenging to find out what has caused your particular squeak!