Creaking undercarriage

My 2009 Ford Escape’s undercarriage squeaks as I’m coming to a full stop then accelerating from the stop. At first it was off and on, now it’s pretty constant. What is the likely issue and how serious is it?

I would start from getting vehicle on the flat surface and getting a helper to push it back-forward while you are holding it on brakes (not on transmission or parking brake)

if you can reproduce creaks, I would go next with pouring some soapy water over rubber bushings in suspension to find the one which produces creaks: it will get silent or reduce creaking once you make it wet

This could be an indication of suspension bushings that are dry, and that is merely an annoyance.
Or, it could be a symptom of ball joints that need replacement, and that would be a major safety issue.
I would suggest that you have the car put up on a chassis lift by a competent mechanic so that the actual source of the problem can be determined.

Please note that “competent mechanic” eliminates chain operations like Midas, Monro, Meineke, Sears, Pep Boys, or AAMCO. Ask friends, neighbors, relatives, and co-workers for recommended independent repair shops in your area.


Great list, @VDCdriver, should go into an FAQ section on site :slight_smile:

Thanks for your response. Finding a competent and trustworthy mechanic is
definitely half the battle.

Yes, that can be challenging, but if you ask a lot of people, inevitably one or two shops will be mentioned multiple times, and these are the ones to focus on.

Additionally, if you look at the top of this page–in the red banner–you will see a link for the “Mechanics Files”. If you click on that link, it will take you to a searchable database of mechanics that have been recommended over the years by Car Talk listeners/forum members.

Good luck with your search!

Thanks - I just checked the Mechanics Files and found a nearby shop with
great reviews. Will post an update after having it looked at.

Use common sense about the reliability of Mechanics Files recommendations, or any other internet vendor recommendations. Remember that it may be the shop’s owners that are posting the recommendations.

That’s wise advice - thanks. I’ve spoken to several people who have also
recommended the same mechanic since I found him in the Mechanics File, so
feel confident that this is a good choice.