My '95 Accord’s passenger side front end has been making a squeaky, groaning and creaky noises for a couple of weeks. I notice the noise at low speeds, such as when driving in parking lots. Today I noticed that the steering seemed to be slow to recover from turns, meaning it didn’t move easily; however, the car drives straight, it steers straight, doesn’t seem to need an alignment and doesn’t swerve. Tonite I pressed down on the front passenger side fender and heard the same creaky noise. I also checked the car while parked - our son turned the steering wheel while I crouched down next to the front passenger tire - I heard it then too, very definite. Last night I noticed that the rubber bushing in the upper control arm (front passenger side) is cracked in several places - it’s really obvious, I can see the bushing just above the tire and below the fender. Also - I felt for grease at each front CV joint boot - there wasn’t any - so I think those CV boots are ok. What do you think is causing the noise? Is it possible that I have a bad ball joint that’s about to go? If not - what part(s) would you suggest need replacing? Any other dianostics you can suggest I use to narrow it down?
Because you state the steering is being effected, the first thing to check is a worn ball joint. A control arm bushing wouldn’t effect the steering.
I would describe the steering problem as “Poor returnability of steering to center”
Could a worn ball joint make that kind of groaning?
How do I check for a worn balljoint - should I check upper, lower or both?
Yes. A worn ball joint can prevent the steering wheel from returning to center.
Yes. A worn/dry ball joint can make a groaning sound.
You want to check the lower ball joint as this is the one under load. To check the lower ball joint, place a floor jack under the lower control arm for that ball joint and raise that tire off the floor 5"-6". This unloads the lower ball joint. Now take a 4’-5’ long pry bar or 2 X 4 and place one end under the tire. While somebody watches the ball joint, pry up on the tire and release. If the ball joint is worn, it’ll be observed moving up and down in it’s socket.
OK thanks = if it is the ball joint - perhaps that torn bushing doesn’t matter?