Why does my car squeak when I go over bumps?

Your car's suspension system is designed to ensure your tires maintain constant contact with the road, particularly on uneven surfaces like bumps. So it’s no surprise that a squeaking noise coming from your car when you drive over a bump can likely be attributed to the suspension.

More specifically, the squeaking noise is likely due to a worn ball joint. Ball joints are ball-and-socket joints that act as the pivot point between the wheels and the rest of the suspension system. They are designed to allow for movement in two planes at once like when the vehicle’s suspension system is moving up or down while the wheels turn left or right.

Vehicles with shocks have upper and lower ball joints, while many vehicles with struts have only lower ball joints. Some ball joints are load-bearing and will wear faster than normal ball joints. Like all suspension system components, ball joints are designed to experience wear and tear due to friction and thus have a maintenance schedule that can help prevent unexpected repairs or replacements.

Improperly maintained ball joints can result in improper wheel alignment, suspension noise, and uneven tire wear. Since ball joints act as the link between the wheels and other suspension components, a bad ball joint can also impact normal steering capabilities. In addition to a squeaking noise when you drive over a bump, a bad ball joint may also be signaled by clunking sounds, poor handling, and unnatural pulling.

In order to avoid a ball joint failure, Wilton Auto and Tire Center recommends consulting your owner’s manual for the maximum allowable wear on your suspension system’s ball joints and scheduling a service appointment with your automotive technician prior to the end of it’s lifespan. Wilton Auto and Tire Center’s replacement ball joints will restore full functionality to your suspension system and get you back on the road squeak free!

Written by Wilton Auto & Tire Center