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Squeaking Noise When Driving – 6 Causes And Solutions

The engine sound every time it revs up is what car lovers find exciting. However, aside from that, you may sometimes notice a squeaking noise when driving. And as you expect, it’s a bad sign. 

Your car squeaks for different reasons, and most of them can cause damage to the engine or certain car parts. So how to deal with it? 

If you’re tired of hearing that annoying squeaking noise every time you hit the road, let’s see what you can do to eliminate it! 

Squeaking Noise When Driving

What Causes The Squeaking Noise When Driving? 

The squeaking noise when driving often comes from tire issues. Besides, the problematic shocks, struts, serpentine belts, brakes, and steering systems may create the same sound. 

Tire Issues

If you notice your car making squeaking noise when driving, the tires are what you should inspect first. They may have multiple problems. Let’s work with them one by one. 

  • Misalignment: If the four tires are not aligned properly, they will suffer from uneven wear and tear. When rotating, they may squeak. 
  • Worn-out tires: As the tires wear down, the treads become smooth and can’t grip the road effectively. Then, you will notice a squeaking sound when driving, especially in slippery conditions. 
  • Overinflated or underinflated tires: Overinflated tires cause squeaking when driving over bumps. Meanwhile, underinflated ones squeak when turning. 

How to solve it?

Tire checkups are essential parts of basic car maintenance. Hence, you have to keep an eye on them all the time. 

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Start by aligning the tires correctly and checking the tire pressure before every trip. Please note that manufacturers recommend different tire pressure for their tire models. You must carefully check the owner’s manual to inflate your tire appropriately. 

Worn-Out Shocks And Struts

Worn-Out Shocks And Struts

Shocks and struts are important parts of your suspension system. They absorb bumps in the road and keep your car’s tires in contact with the ground. 

If you hear a constant squeaking noise from your car’s suspension, it may indicate that the shocks and struts are worn out. Your car will also bounce a lot when you hit bumps. 

How to solve it? 

Depending on the age of your vehicle and how many miles it has gone, you should consider replacing its shocks and struts. 

Newer cars come with gas-charged shocks and struts, which are basically bags of pressurized gas. They should last the life of your vehicle. Meanwhile, older cars typically have air shocks, which are bags of air that work similarly. 

Loose Belt

The serpentine belt drives various components in the engine of your car. It powers the alternator, steering pump, water pump, and AC compressor. 

When the belt becomes loose, it will slip, creating a squeaking sound when driving. You can blame the misaligned pulley or worn-out tensioner for the loose belt. 

How to solve it? 

If you hear the squeaking sound from under the hood of your automobile, check the belts and tensioners. You can tighten the belts in some car models, but it would be better to ask for professional help. 

Malfunctioning Steering System

Malfunctioning Steering System

If the squeaking sound appears when you take a turn, the steering system may cause the problem. The lack of power steering fluid is the main reason behind it. 

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The fluid lubricates the power steering system. However, it gets contaminated because of dirt and debris buildup over time. Then, it can’t perform as effectively as expected. The squeaking noise when driving and turning is one of the consequences. 

How to solve it?

Add more power steering fluid if it’s too low, but do not overfill (15). If the fluid is full and still looks good, repair or replace the steering pump to eliminate the squeaking sound.  

Worn Brake

If you only hear the squeaking sound from the brake system, it’s time to check all its components, including the brake pads, line, rotor, and shoes. 

How to solve it?

The brake system deals with a lot of pressure and friction, making it wear out quickly. So when you detect a faulty part, you need to replace it soon. 

Besides, moving mechanical parts in the brake system requires lubrication. Hence, learn how to lubricate the brake pedal to keep it in good working order. 

Moisture 

On the bright side, your car may squeak because of the moisture overnight or morning dew. This issue is common in humid climates. 

You will hear a squeaking noise while driving but not brakes applied because the heat emitted burns the moisture away. But don’t worry; it will disappear when there is no moisture.  

How Much Is It To Fix The Squeaking Noise When Driving?

The repair cost varies depending on which part is causing the problem and the severity of the damage. For example:

  • Serpentine belt: The belt costs about $75. However, if you want to change the tensioner, the cost of new parts and labor will be higher. 
  • Brakes: You will pay $100 to $300 to replace the brake pads. Meanwhile, the brake rotors are more expensive, at least $250 per axle. 
  • Tires: Inflating the tires doesn’t cost much. Yet, if you want to replace them, each tire may cost between $75 and $300. 
  • Power steering: You just need to pay about $100 to fill the power steering fluid. But if you want to replace the steering pump, prepare to spend from $100 to $300. 
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Can You Drive A Squeaky Car?

It depends on the cause of the sound. But, of course, you should stop driving and check your automobile when you notice it. 

If the noise comes from broken car parts, such as the brakes, they will break down sooner when you keep driving. Then, the brake system will fail. How can you stop your car to avoid obstacles on the road? 

Even if you try to drive slowly, the risks are still around. The damage becomes bigger day after day. Finally, you will face a much more costly repair down the line. 

However, if the squeaking noise comes from the moisture, you can drive without worrying about damage.

Conclusion 

Most of the time, the squeaking noise when driving is the result of tire issues. You should also check for damage in the brake system, shocks, struts, serpentine belt, and steering system. 

The squeaking car is loud enough to detect quickly. The best thing to do is to pull over your vehicle and check it. If you notice any faulty parts, have a professional mechanic fix them immediately. It’s how you can stay safe and protect your car. 

Thank you for reading! 

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