annoying squeaks

Joined
Sep 7, 2007
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155
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Oakville, Ont., Canada
From last winter, I noticed some squeaks from the front of the car esp. when I make a turn. I thought it could be the salt and the squeaks were not very noticeable. Recently, the squeaks are becoming more and more noticeable and now, sometimes, I can even hear some squeaks while driving forward. The squeaks do not happen every time but they happen more and more frequently these days. And like I said, they happen more frequently when I turn the wheel slowly and at low speed, say when I turn into a parking spot. Could it be the power steering system? I checked the fluid level and it was good. Thanks for any advice! PS: my car is a chevy malibu 2003 w/ about 106, 000 KM (66, 000 miles).
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
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ON, Canada eh?
If you push down on the front bumper repeatedly does it do it or is it only when you are steering with/without the brake on?
 

iExcel

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Sep 7, 2007
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Oakville, Ont., Canada
Only when I steer it. I'd say the squeaks happen more frequently after brake is applied. Today, when I drove back home on highway at about 70 KM/h (55 mph), I could hear some little squeaks while I was going straight without brake. When I apply brake, then no squeaks. When I turn the wheel, then 80% of the chance, I'll hear the squeaks at low speed. btw, I had changed the brake pads about 5000 KM (3000 miles) ago and the pads were worn out. I thought the squeaks could be caused by worn pads but it seems the problem is worse than I initially thought.
 
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Aug 21, 2008
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Check inside the Shock Towers, I believe their is a bearing of some sorts that dries out and causes this... I'm not sure how you get at it though. \:\!
 
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You could pop the hood, have someone steer and move the vehicle slowly and you could listen to see where it is coming from. This would give you a better idea where to start... You could also have a mechanic take a test drive with you and see if they can pinpoint it. ;\)
 

iExcel

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Oakville, Ont., Canada
Another thing I forgot to mention: the squeaks can only be heard with the windows down. If the windows are closed, then I can hardly hear any squeaks. @mechtech2: why could a loose drive belt cause such squeaks when turning? Please bear with me as I'm still new to car maintenance. Thanks!
 
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You could do the quick fix, and just turn-up the radio until it gets worse... Then attack the problem when you can determine where it's really coming from.
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2006
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Chicago Area
There is a load on the power steering when turning force is needed. This extra load can cause a squeal/squeak. And it is common for a loose belt to do this. Check out the easy stuff first. Another possibility is coolant on the belt - it will squak and squeal. Coolant can be from a bad hose, radiator, or water pump.
 

iExcel

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Sep 7, 2007
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Oakville, Ont., Canada
Today, I pulled off the wheels and noticed something leaking pretty bad... This is from the driver side front wheel. See the photos attached.
 
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Sep 5, 2006
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Chicago Area
That's your steering rack. A seal is bad, and maybe the bushing has slop. Is it the noise that you talked about? Could be, or could be indirectly by making the pump work harder.
 
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