Car squeaking, not the breaks!

140k miles

Hey guys so for about 3 weeks or so i have been having this squeaking noise similar to the noise you hear when your breaks are worn out and you need to replace them. It sounds like it is coming from the right rear tire, i have changed all breaks all the way around and today i finally changed the rear passenger caliper thinking that it was causing the noise but it is still there. I am also driving on my spare which happens to be the same size as my regular tires it just does not have the rim on it. I also found out that prior to changing the rear passenger tire it was wobbling and i did not know till a friend pointed it out, the rim does have a really minor dent but i am not sure if that was causing it to wobble or if the wobble is what caused the noises to appear. I have been driving the car for about 3 months and it started 3 weeks ago. There is also a clicking noise that i hear but i cant point out if it is coming from that side of the car, i can only hear it when i am driving slow. Also the squeaking comes and goes, it is not always there and when it is there and i apply the breaks it is still there. I have done some research and a lot of people have a similar problem but the noise will go away when they finally apply the breaks, my noise still remains even when breaks are applied. I have no idea what it can be, i did a little more research and now i am thinking it can be the ujoints on the driveshaft? Anyway thanks everyone in advanced and also here are a few pics of the dent i was talking about on the tire, could this minor dent cause the tire to wobble?

I doubt the dent in the tire rim is causing the squeaking. Have you bounced that corner of the vehicle up and down while it is parked and the motor is turned off? If you hear a squeak then, that’s probably something in the suspension. Other than that, you need to do a few experiments. Does it happen when coasting in neutral for example? What speed is it most noticeable? Any speeds when it is not noticeable at all? Does it ever occur with the engine running but the car not moving?

It wouldn’t be particularly unusual for a u-joint to squeak. It used to be that u-joints had zerk fitting so you could lube them, but I think now-a-days the ones that come with a new car can’t be lubed. Do you know if your u-joints have a lube fitting or not? If they do, no harm done to ask your shop to lube them.

Hey George thanks for the reply! I have bounced the the car and there is no noise. The noise is noticeable at any speed however there are times when it comes and goes and it only occurs while the car is moving. I am honestly not sure if my u-joints have a lube fitting or not. Its a combination of both squeaking and clicking from what i think is coming from the back rear. I had that tire on for a while and who knows how long it was wobbling for and maybe the wobbling over time finally caused some damage? I am not sure, im driving on another tire at the moment and it is not wobbling but the noises are still there.

I suppose a wobbling tire could damage a wheel bearing over time. That’s a possibility. Most complaints about wheel bearings don’t involve squeaking noises though.

I assume this “squeak” is not continuous, but in descrete “squeaks”, perhaps every time the wheel goes round. Does the frequency of the squeaks get higher the faster you go? What about coasting, does the frequency get higher as you coast faster? What about the pitch of the squeak? Is it always the same pitch ? Or does it change?

At this point, if this were my problem on my Ford truck which has rear wheel drive, and I’d already determined it wasn’t the brakes, I’d be doing some look-seeing at the U-joints, checking for any play or other abnormal wear especially, and checking the rear differential fluid level and appearance. I’d probably also remove everything possible from the car, including the spare tire and jack, and see if that made any change to the squeaking.

Edit: One time I had a sort of crunchy-click noise that was caused by worn-rusty clutches in the limited-slip differential. It was most noticeable when turning. How does turning affect the squeaks?

Thank you once again for helping here George. You are correct it is every time the wheel goes round. When the squeak is present the pitch of the squeak does change, sometimes the squeak is present when im driving 0-20 other times it will be there while i am driving in the highway and now come to think of it while i am driving 60+ and it is present, the pitch seems to be lower however i am not sure if its because of the other cars driving near me and other factors that would impede with my ability to hear the pitch. Tomorrow i will be sticking a little camera on the bottom of the car and driving to see if i can capture anything that would help.

could the wobbling wheel have bent the “brake backing plate”, just enough that it squeaks each time the wheel goes around.


There are brake shoes/drums in the rear wheels.

Ford uses a seperate drum brake for the parking brake on your vehicle. It may be dragging.

1 Like

It’s BRAKES not breaks

True, but this isn’t a speling forem. That’s a different forem.

Thanks for the replies everyone, and i can’t believe i used breaks rather than brakes lol, my apologies.

That minor dent could have bent the wheel. It’s also possible that the wheel is not wobbling as much as perceived and due to the flaw it appears to wobble more than it actually is.

With the clicking noise I tend to agree with a park brake problem. Whether that has anything to do with the squeak I have no idea but a bent backing plate or a dry U-joint could also cause it.
U-joints can be faulty even if there’s no looseness at all and sometimes the driveshaft has to be dropped so the joints can be rotated by hand to detect a fault.
The front joints usually seem to be the problem but always do all of them if any are replaced.

I tain’t gonna get involved in no speeling or grammarin’ discussions… :slight_smile:

Get it to squeak on a safe road and put the parking brake on to see if the noise changes.

Alright well this morning i taped a little camera to the bottom of the car and i managed to capture the sound while i was reversing but when i put it on drive the camera no longer captured the noise because i guess of everything moving down there, but i could still hear it while i was driving so i cut the clip to just 20 secs. If it is not sufficient i can record some more it is just a nuisance with the little camera that i have. That noise you hear sometimes gets more high pitched and other times its less, while giving it speed the frequency did get faster.

Check tha parking brake.

The parking brake is not engaged

OK. Good luck. Keep us posted.

i dont know if this will help, but i got the same problem earlier, the one causing my wheel to make that squeaking sound was just a piece of tape came from rims. i dont what happened but the edge of the tape is precisely touching the perimeter on my brakes so everytime the rim moves it makes this squeaking sound especially when im driving slow. i dont know if this will makes sense to you. i just want to share what happened to me

The '94 Ford only has lube fittings on U-joints if they were replaced. It might be time to put the truck on a frame lift and stick her in gear. Unfortunately, your video was not available.

As George said, it could be a rear axle bearing. They sometimes make a grinding noise when worn out. You could put your hand on the center of the rear wheel (after driving) and see if one side is noticeably hot. (They don’t always get hot, but we had a '64 burst into flames and the axle shot out of the car, when the bearing failed. The car was 6 years old.) When you had the drum off, was there any sign of leakage?

The bent rim could have caused stress on the bearing, it could have been the side blow that bent the rim… or it could be simply 15 years of use. You can test other rims to see if they are also bent. (A tire shop should have noticed that damage.)

It’s not a perfect test, but you can try pushing the drive shaft, front and rear, in various directions to see if there is any play in the u-joints. That won’t tell you if they are dried out (squeaking) but might tell if they have already failed.

An Explorer is a heavy car… it takes a really hard bounce to locate a squeaky suspension. My right front shock squeaks when hitting a bump, but it takes 2 people bouncing hard to hear it, when stationary.

Ok my friends I realize this is old but I’m sure there are lots of people still looking for a solution for this hidden squeak, or chirp as I like to call it. CHECH YOUR TAILGATE HINGES! AND OR REAR DOOR LATCHES! I searched for hours. I would spray lube on a bushing, drive down the road and then spray somewhere else. I could not for the life of me find this damned squeak (chirp). It only seemed to happen on bumpy side roads, 20 to 35 mph, on EVERY BUMP! Ok, so I jump on the back of my truck and start rocking that thing as hard as I can on both sides and while I’m gettin at it bam my freaking tailgate squeaked! Lo and behold! I sprayed the loose hinge on the passenger side with some silicone lube and the dreaded embarrassing chirp was gone!!! Seriously, check your tailgate hinges!