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Civic makes constant squeaking sounds after trip to mechanic

Took a recently purchased 2004 Civic EX to a mechanic to have it diagnosed. The diagnosis (separate discussion) was such that I decided to get a second opinion. On driving away, I noticed a constant spring-squeaky sound that had not been there before, so I took the car back. The mechanic explained that the front struts were bad (not part of their original diagnosis) and therefore, when they put the car up on the frame lift, air entered the struts hydraulic whatevers and that was causing the squeak. Several weeks ago, I had had the oversize wheels and tires that came with the car replaced - why wouldn’t the problem have surfaced then, or in the 1000 miles I’d driven since? Btw, the tire place that had changed the tires and wheels had said nothing about struts needing replacing.

I don’t think he could possibly have diagnosed the struts that way. They are probably OK. But he could be right about the lift part, if so, the squeak should go away in a couple of days. Why it didn’t happen the first time could just be luck.

What did you take it in for? Not being nosy but it might provide us with critical information.

Thanks for responding.

Took it in to diagnose some problems with the diagnostic system and some rear frame damage. Latter is why they put it on a lift. Friend of mine said the damage could have been caused if the car wasn’t properly aligned over the lift such that too much pressure was put on the strut(s).

Couldn’t have diagnosed the struts what way?

Also, what would cause the squeaking to go away?

The vehicle is not lifted by the struts, it is lifted by the frame or reinforced sections of the body. This causes the struts to go to full extension. This could cause the springs to move ever so slightly in their seat. When the spring reseats, the noise should go away.

Normally this does not happen, the tension of the springs is such that the forces needed to move one are too great. But your car apparently has some damage at the rear, in addition, the suspension was probably modified.

How the suspension was modified can be the real source of the squeaking. If the former owner chose the cheap route and pulled the springs and cut them with a torch, often done but highly NOT recommended, the spring will never properly align with both the upper and lower seats.

Cutting the spring does increase the spring stiffness when the car is sitting on them, but actually have less tension when the strut goes full extension. If this is the case with your car, you will need new springs and you may need new struts as well, but struts alone will not solve the problem. Also the squeak could be from the “frame damage”.

BTW, if the shop completely missed the hard spot on the body or hung up on the strut, it should show up as visible damage.

When the spring reseats, the noise should go away.

How long might this take, and would riding over bumps hasten the reseating?

How the suspension was modified can be the real source of the squeaking.

But that modification was there when I bought the car. You mean the mod made it easier for the spring to move, and that’s why going to full extension caused that?

Also the squeak could be from the “frame damage”.

But the frame damage has been there all along and appears to be stable.

if the shop completely missed the hard spot

???

or hung up on the strut

???

How long might this take, and would riding over bumps hasten the reseating?

Don’t know, maybe soon, maybe never.

But that modification was there when I bought the car. You mean the mod made it easier for the spring to move, and that’s why going to full extension caused that?

Yes

??? It will take an inspection by another mechanic. Look for one where you drive up onto ramps and the ramps lift the whole car by the wheels and not the frame.

From all your other posts, it sounds like you got a car that has been “rode hard and put away wet”. Hope you got it cheap.

“Rode hard and put away wet” says it very well. I made the mistake of trusting an inlaw I obviously didn’t know well enough.

Thanks a lot for all your input - it’s helpful to at least have a technical understanding of what’s involved.