My Lexus RX 330 (75,000 miles) has a creaking noise coming from the left rear wheel. It seems to occur whenever the car sways on the suspension, such as going around curves, over potholes, or braking to a stop. Three mechanics have had it on the rack, and no one can see a problem to fix. Any ideas on what it might be and what might fix it?
sounds like a worn bushing to me. Have you tried sitting, or bouncing up and down on that corner when the car is parked? do you get the sound then? Because when it is on the lift, it is a little hareder to find a noise maker.
I agree with the bushings as the primary suspect. The most common ones to act the way you describe are the ones connected to the sway bar links and the bar itself (the two that hold the bar onto the chassis). The bar twists within the chassis rubber bushings and they wear as well as shrink due to age.
The only way to find this is to get under the vehicle and ry shaking things. If a bushing is in doubt, sometimes apraying a silicone lubricant quiets itt and verifies that it’s the one that needs replacing.
Thanks for responding. Yeah, it does make noise, and the bushing theory makes sense.
Thanks for the ideas. I’m told that the bushings come with the sway bar, so you have to replace the whole bar to fix the bushings. A different mechanic said to replace both, because mixing a new sway bar with an old sway bar could affect the handling. So I’m looking at a $500 repair job. Sigh.
Thanks for the ideas. I’m told that the bushings come with the sway bar, so you have to replace the entire bar. Another mechanic told me to replace both bars, because mixing an old one with a new one could affect the handling. It looks like a $500 repair job.
That’s not correct, you can replace the bushing separately. The rear sway bar (also called stabilizer bar) bushings are around $10 a pair from Rockauto.com. My mechanic did that for free on my ES300 when I was having other work done.
If they’re talking about the sway bar link, then you might want to replace both. They’re about $40 each from Rockauto, so a shop might charge double that, ($160) for the pair for parts plus labor.
The ‘sway bar’ is a single large item that goes from one side to the other, there aren’t two of them in the back.
I’m concerned about the advice you’re getting from your mechanics, or that you’ve misunderstood them.