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Old 06-05-2011, 02:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New struts, suspension still squeaking

I've got a 2004 Outback that my son drives. It has 90k miles on it. We've just replaced the struts (new KYB GR-2) all the way around. We only replaced the struts; we kept the springs and mounts. While it rides much nicer, there's still a really annoying consistent squeak coming from the rear, mostly on the right side.

You can easily make it squeak by just grabbing the rear bumper and pushing it up or down. I can't really tell where it's coming from specifically. I had my son shake it while I was lying underneath but there are a lot of joints moving when it's squeaking and I can't tell which, if any of them, it's coming from.

If this were a door in my house, I'd grab the WD-40 and start spraying everything that moved to see if I could stop it, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea on a car's suspension or not.

Any ideas or suggestions?

thanks,
steve
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Go back under the car with a mechanic's stethoscope. If you don't have one, use a length of plastic tubing, one end held to your ear and the other near a suspected source of squeak. You might be able to narrow it down.

Spraying a suspected joint with something may stop the squeak and help with diagnosis, but it won't last. I would use a silicone spray instead of WD-40 just because I know it won't hurt any rubber. Water would probably work for diagnosis, too.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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ditto what ron917 said...i would use the silicone spray and spray 1 joint at a time then shake the car again; that'll tell you which one it is
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ok, thanks for the help. I tried the plastic tubing trick the other day, but didn't have much luck. I'll try again, and maybe spray things to see if I can figure out where the issue is. Assuming I identify a specific joint, does the squeak mean that I need to replace the rubber in it?

thanks,
steve
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If it's like mine, you can put your finger on the strut top nut from inside the car and feel the squeeking. Let us know if you get it resolved as I've been unable to get rid of the noise.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It could be the rear swaybar bushing. They are rubber and sometimes get hard and squeak when going over bumps. You could try removing the rubber and applying some grease on the inside of the bushing and reinstalling it.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just wanted to follow up on this thread. We took the right rear strut back off again, just to make sure that it got installed correctly. While I had it out, I used this dry lubricant (Liquid Wrench dry lubricant with CERFLON) on the points where the spring met with the tower/mount. Before we put the strut and the wheel back on, I looked around and noticed that one bushing, the highest one straight in (I suppose it's one of the things you're referring to as a "sway bar bushing") appeared to have some metal shards sticking out of it. I have no idea how they got there, but the car was struck on the right rear side a while back and had some significant damage to the body, and had to be bent back into shape, so maybe this was related.

Anyway, I sprayed the dry lubricant into that bushing as well, and when we put it back together and on the ground, I couldn't get it to squeak any more, no matter how much I shook it or jumped on the bumper. So I'm going to consider it "fixed" until I hear it squeaking again. At that point, I may have a closer look, but I wasn't ready to start taking more things apart, when a little spray lubricant would do the trick ;-)

thanks for the help,
steve
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