94 Corolla - squeaky dog toy noise

When my 94 Corolla hits a bump (even a light one)it sounds like there’s a squeaky dog toy stuck in the left front area of the car. And yes, I checked, there is no dog toy stuck in the suspension.

It sometimes happens when I make a right turn on a smooth surface as the car’s weight bears down on the left wheel. I think it’s in the bearing/cv joint because the squeak can last for a second or two and varies a tiny bit in pitch as the wheel turns (good title for a soap opera). The most odd symptom is that it only happens in warm weather, over 70 degrees.

In February I had the axles replaced. I first noticed it on a warm day in March and took it straight to my mechanic. We went for a drive and, of course, it didn’t make the noise while he was in the car!

I thought that it might be one of the rubber boots rubbing against something, but there appears to be plenty of clearance.

Any ideas? Dogs in my neighborhood are getting excited every time they hear the squeak! And please, no suggestions from Tom or Ray. I need ideas that might actually work!

How many miles on this 16 year old car?

Spray some silicone lubricant on the rubber suspension bushings and see if the noise goes away.

It’s highly unlikely to be coming from the CV joints. They don’t squeak when they fail, they click.

I don’t know this car specifically, but it could be a safety issue if it’s a ball joint or tie rod end. Noise on suspension travel often is from a bushing, could also be something like the strut support. You should definitely have this looked at, if you break a ball joint the wheel falls off, break a tie rod end and you lose steering.

I too recommend looking at the suspension bushings. They should all be checked, but one in particular that tends to turn “dog toy” squeaky is the anti sway bar bushings. They hold the center of the sway bar to the chassis, and whenever you turn or go over a bump, a rise & dip, or anything else that moves one or both of the wheels up or down (and that’s EVERYTHING as you roll), the sway bar turns within the bushing. That wears a groove in the bar and puts a glaze on the rubber.

Thanks for all your help. I’m pretty sure the suspension is in great shape. If you could hear it, you’d notice that the sound lasts too long to be suspension movement. It even varied in pitch with the rotation of the wheel. At first I thought it was the brake pad/rotor/plate, but those check out OK.

Any other ideas?

I’ve maintained the car with great care. It has 220K and it runs great.

Especially the top strut bushing of the left side.