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Old 07-17-2006, 07:15 AM   #1
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Worn Suspension Diagnosis

Last year, I had the driver's side, lower control arm replaced. It was squeaking badly, indicating steel on aluminum (bushing had worn through). The dealership diagnosed the problem, quoted $850, and my moonlighting mechanic did it for $400...

Last night, I heard a similar squeak coming from the same area and I now own a repair manual and have some tools and feel comfortable in trying to do this myself.

How do mechanics figure out which part is worn in a case like this? Start removing stuff and doing a visual inspection?

I sure would like to hear from you mechanic-types (PorscheDoc, MNBoxster, etc.)

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Old 07-17-2006, 02:07 PM   #2
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bump goes this thread... I really need some guidance on this one!
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Old 07-17-2006, 04:15 PM   #3
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Visually inspect everything first and if you see something wrong, order the part then replace it. If you cant see anything wrong, go ahead and order the part they replaced last time and start taking it apart, and if that part wasnt needed, you could try and return it. If its the bushing like you say wore through, go ahead and replace them both if that was the problem. Other than that, its good to be tight with your mechanic.
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Old 07-17-2006, 04:26 PM   #4
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Randall, but why would a part wear out again in 1 year? Is it the passanger side now making the noise?
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Old 07-17-2006, 04:30 PM   #5
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Passenger control arm was removed, inspected, bearing was repacked, and put back in. It's not making noise at all. That's what's got me puzzled.

So I don't think it's the new control arm on the driver's side because the car just drives so well and tight. It's gotta be something else that's just up and died at 94,500 miles.

It has the original struts on the front. Can a strut start squeaking loudly?

Is there a "upper control arm" on that side that could have gone out and caused a steel on aluminum squeaking sound?
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:44 PM   #6
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Just because it squeaks doesn't mean it has to be dead. I think mechanics just replace parts because it's easier to deal with the symptom and not spend the time that's needed to find the cause.

I am currently dealing with the same thing in ours. The driver's side front end squeaks every time you get in or out. I lifted the car and there is no movement side to side or front to back so the bushings are not worn out. I also grabbed the wheel and did a ball joint test, but again no movement.

I started by loosening the swaybar mount enough to grease it up with some rubber-safe grease (Green Grease) and did the same with the lower control arm bushing, but it's still squeaking. Since that did not work, I will probably take a couple of hours and pull the whole assembly out and inspect everything. I'll also pull out the coilover assembly and inspect the spring isolators. The ball joint boots aren't worn, but if I have it out I'm going to see if they are the same size as the 928 boots since they are $20/set. If they are, I'll re-pack the joints and replace the boots. I'll lube everything nicely (with Green Grease) when I put everything back together.

In the end, I think it will be the spring isolators and/or the bump-stops on the coilover assembly allowing the springs to compress too much that's causing the noise. I have a similar noise on the Dodge and I know it's the spring isolators on that since they are made of foam rubber. Talk about metal on metal contact.

If you figure it out, please let us know. I know where to get upgraded poly spring isolators and can look it up if that ends up being the problem.
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Old 07-23-2006, 05:29 PM   #7
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Well, I took the car to Hans, my trusty mechanic to diagnose and correct the squeak in the front driver's side that started this thread.

No squeak to be found when I got there. Thought I heard a faint one before I left, and decided to go anyway.

I was not imagining things. My wife heard it too and it was indeed loud. But now it's all gone.

Hans said he just couldn't charge me without turning a wrench, and invited me to come back real soon when he could make some money off me. This is German humor I guess.

So, I drove home in the blistering heat, and put the car back in the garage. I will now go drive it because it's finally 8:30 pm and cool enough to actually drive it around with the top down.

I bet it starts squeaking again too. Just my luck!
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Old 07-24-2006, 12:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour
So, I drove home in the blistering heat, and put the car back in the garage. I will now go drive it because it's finally 8:30 pm and cool enough to actually drive it around with the top down.
Tell me about it. On the way to work today the thermostat read 110!
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Old 07-24-2006, 06:57 AM   #9
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Hi,

Chasing down a squeaky suspension can be a real Cat & Mouse game for the DIYer. Better to let it go until it is more pronounced so you don't waste time/$$ chasing ghosts. But, at 93k mi., I'm guessing it's the Strut Bearing located in the Strut Mount, but just a guess...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:33 AM   #10
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Thanks for this input, Jim. I have decided to enjoy the car until it makes the squeak all the time, rain, shine, whatever and then take it back to Hans for another look.

If it's the strut bearing, I'll replace the front struts while he's in there... might as well I guess. I think a new set of struts every 100k isn't a bad idea, even if they're not totally worn out.
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:42 AM   #11
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Per the below. I may be proved wrong, but I doubt that the bushing vanished entirely, leaving metal-on-metal. Why do aI say that? Because you'd have tremendous play. dangerous, "car swerves all over by itself" play. Yea, maybe it was wearing and gettin gloose. Or hardening (and thus shrinking). But that's not vanishing.

there are alos LOTS of places a squeak can start. Tie rod ends. Sway bar bushings. Shock tubes. Spring perches.

You really need to check 'em all.

Unfortunately.

Grant

[QUOTE=RandallNeighbour]Last year, I had the driver's side, lower control arm replaced. It was squeaking badly, indicating steel on aluminum (bushing had worn through). QUOTE]

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