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Old 07-18-2021, 09:28 AM #1
Chilow Chilow is offline
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Groaning creaking sound

Noticed a groaning/creaking sound that started a few days ago. Tried to diagnose it today, but canít figure out what it is. It only happens when the steering wheel is centered and turning the in either direction between halfway to one full rotation of the steering wheel. Anymore than that and I donít hear the sound. Looked underneath and nothing appears to be loose. I use a paint pen and mark all suspension bolts and none have moved.

I checked power steering fluid and itís at the right level. I greased my Total Chaos UCA and put some TriFlow on the uniballs as well. It seems to only happen at low speeds. The noise seems to get louder when thereís more weight in the front (for example: reversing and turning into a parking spot while while facing downhill or driving forward and turning into a parking space when facing downhill).

I included a video of the noise below

July 18, 2021 - YouTube
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Old 07-18-2021, 09:49 AM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilow View Post
Noticed a groaning/creaking sound that started a few days ago. Tried to diagnose it today, but canít figure out what it is. It only happens when the steering wheel is centered and turning the in either direction between halfway to one full rotation of the steering wheel. Anymore than that and I donít hear the sound. Looked underneath and nothing appears to be loose. I use a paint pen and mark all suspension bolts and none have moved.

I checked power steering fluid and itís at the right level. I greased my Total Chaos UCA and put some TriFlow on the uniballs as well. It seems to only happen at low speeds. The noise seems to get louder when thereís more weight in the front (for example: reversing and turning into a parking spot while while facing downhill or driving forward and turning into a parking space when facing downhill).

I included a video of the noise below

July 18, 2021 - YouTube

LCA bushings. Check those first it takes five minutes and wonít cost you anything. That was my problem. Good luck!


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Old 07-18-2021, 06:11 PM #3
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Place your hand on the individual components while someone does turning....you should be able to focus in it pretty easily
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Old 07-19-2021, 01:45 AM #4
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Could potentially be your steering rack starting to fail/some damaged teeth. That's what is currently happening to mine. No need to be overly concerned yet, but maybe have your mechanic take a look at it.
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Old 07-20-2021, 05:16 PM #5
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Tried most of the suggestions here so far.

How exactly do I check LCA bushings? It looks like it has hairline cracks in the rubber, not not sure how to check if thatís the issue. If it helps, the last time I got an alignment (about a year ago), the person doing it said Iíll likely need to replace some bushings because he almost wasnít able to loosen something under there while performing alignment.

I had my wife turn the steering wheel while trying to listen and pinpoint where the noise was coming from. For sure the front end, but couldnít tell. Placed my hand on several suspension components. I thought it was my aftermarket UCA and focused on that. I had my hand on it and could feel some type of feedback when the noise was present. I also placed my hand on the tie rod area. Again, felt something with the noise.
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Old 07-20-2021, 11:08 PM #6
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Groaning creaking sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilow View Post
Tried most of the suggestions here so far.

How exactly do I check LCA bushings? It looks like it has hairline cracks in the rubber, not not sure how to check if thatís the issue. If it helps, the last time I got an alignment (about a year ago), the person doing it said Iíll likely need to replace some bushings because he almost wasnít able to loosen something under there while performing alignment.

I had my wife turn the steering wheel while trying to listen and pinpoint where the noise was coming from. For sure the front end, but couldnít tell. Placed my hand on several suspension components. I thought it was my aftermarket UCA and focused on that. I had my hand on it and could feel some type of feedback when the noise was present. I also placed my hand on the tie rod area. Again, felt something with the noise.

LCA bushings check: easy. Drive your truck to the shop that has the alignment platform. Let your mechanic drive on it, then tell him (if he doesnít know how to check the bushings) stick the pry bar in between the frame and LCA. Try to move it left and right . If the bushings are good then will be no play at all, if bushings are shot there will be at least 1/2Ē of play. This is how I trouble shoot mine. Let us know if it helps.


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Last edited by ax2021; 07-21-2021 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 07-20-2021, 11:28 PM #7
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A quick and easy way to test most suspension/steering components (with the vehicle running) is driving it to a curb and having someone turning into the curb until the steering starts to bind and rapidly letting go of the steering wheel. Do this over and over in both directions until you feel satisfied with testing everything. If nothing seems loose/squeeks then repeat the test on the other side.

It sounds like bad steering rack bushings or LCA bushings in the video. It could also be either of these bushings needing to be greased if they don't have a ton of play with the test.

Either of these normally only makes the sound until they fully seat the worn bushing on the opposing side. This means that turning it back and forth will make the noise continuously while turning it all the way in one direction eventually stops making the noise.
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Old 08-20-2021, 05:53 PM #8
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Wanted to provide an update. Went to wash the car and used a pressure washer to liberally spray into the uniballs of my UCA. The noise and steering feedback went away. The next day, noise was present again. This led me to believe itís the uniball making the groaning sound.

Then suddenly, the noise/steering feel went away completely and I believe itís weather related. Itís been triple digits where I live, but this past week only hit mid 90s. Are the uniballs susceptible to heat? Itís not like it gets hit with direct sunlight since the wheel wheel covers that area.
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Old 08-20-2021, 07:17 PM #9
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if you think its the uniballs then buy some silicone lube spray and go to town on them. if the noise keeps coming back, you might need to get them replaced.
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Old 08-21-2021, 11:34 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblah View Post
if you think its the uniballs then buy some silicone lube spray and go to town on them. if the noise keeps coming back, you might need to get them replaced.
I use home depot silicone spray on all the rubber bushings under my 2016 runner. I do not have any noise...
I do the november work every year inspect all fluids /change the eng oil/ grease the drive shafts/rotate tires/inspect the brake pads/remove all the rust . drop the spare tire clean it check pressure and spray silicone on the tire .. looks new..
no issues on my runner..
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Old 08-22-2021, 05:55 AM #11
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After chasing a creak for two years, I read in the forum to put wd-40 on the hood latch and the hood struts. Creak gone. Pretty sure my problem was the latch. I couldnít believe it.
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