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Creaking / groaning sound from right rear suspension

I have a 2000 Passat front wheel drive with a creaking sound coming from the right rear wheel area. I can make the sound by gently pushing the right rear of the car up and down. The sound is exactly the same sound that a front control arm made before I had it replaced. The car did NOT make this sound until I took it to a mechanic to have the front upper control arms replaced. The mechanic said that maybe putting the car up on the hoist caused the ball joint in the rear to drop and that caused the creaking. This car does not have all the control arms on the rear like it has on the front so what could cause this, the shock absorber? Or, is there a control arm in the back?

The car is 10 years old and presumably so is the rear suspension. When you put it up on a lift all of the weight is taken off of the suspension and things shift around some. When it comes back down everything isn’t exactly what it was before. Its not anyone’s fault. Its just the way it goes.

There are quite a few things back there that can squeak so I doubt anyone can speculate much. A good shop will have to inspect it.

Thanks, yes, I understand about putting the car up on the lift causing things to shift around, and the mechanic did say that the front suspension was all original so I assume the rear suspension is ten years old. What I don’t understand is why the sound is exactly the same as the front control arms but when I look at the attached picture I don’t see very many places where this sound could be coming from. It seems like it must be coming from where the coil spring or the shock absorber attach. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this issue and if which place was more likely to cause the sound. Also, the mechanic specifically said that the rear “ball joint” dropped when it was on the lift, I don’t see a ball joint in the attached picture.

After more common failures are eliminated you may want to look for cracked welds in the uni-body structure, it happens.

Just about everyplace that you see a mounting point where things go together (e.g. at the shock absorbers (lower & upper mounting), pivot bushing bolt, axle beam pivot) the are bushings - often rubber. They cushion things & take up vibrations. When they start to get old & hard & cracked they creak. Your control arm has the same kind of stuff.

There are no ball joints back there. In your original post you said “the mechanic said maybe…” It sounds like you asked about the creaking noise & s/he just threw out something off the top of his/her head. The way you wrote it didn’t sound like an actual diagnosis and without someone being able to actually inspect it you can’t really get one.

Common squeakers on a 10 year old vehicle are rubber bushings. The most common, the bushings for the antisway bar, aren’t shown in the exploded-view drawing that RC provided, and should be included as suspects. The antisway bar twists inside of the two bushings that hold the bar to the chassis, and those spots are particularly subject to wear and creaking.

a can of chain lube, the teflon or other synthetic kind (silicon) is great diagnostic tool on these kinds of noises.

I apologize, the noise was not coming from the rear the noise was coming from the front. I had not seen the car for more than a week and I mistakenly remembered that the noise was in the back but when I finally got the car to start working on it, it was very clear that the noise was coming from the front. I apologize for getting this wrong, however, I did learn a lot from your responses, like using lubricant to see if it quiets a specific bushing, etc. The reason the sound was exactly the same sound as the front control arms made when they were bad was because it was another front control arm. I took it to a mechanic shop and they said that this car has four control arms on each front wheel and that all the upper arms needed to be replaced even though I thought only one arm was bad, so they replaced all the uppers but totally missed the fact that the ball joint on one of the lower arms was completely shot which caused it to be loose which made the C-shaped connecting link grind where it connects to the sway bar. I replaced the control arm and link. Another thing, I asked a mechanic if he could put a stethescope on and touch it to various places like the control arm and the link and he said that doing that would not work. However, I did exactly that and when I had the stethescope on the sway bar link it was definitely, absolutely, clearly, louder and different and than any other location, it was distinctly different and it was clear that the noise was coming from the link.