My 2002 Ford Escape CREAKS!

For a while now, my 2002 Ford Escape has been making a creaking noise. It started with the steering, or so I thought for a while. I checked the power steering fluid and it wasn’t really low. Nevertheless, at one point, when there was a little bit of room, I added a bit of fluid with “stop squeaking juice” in it. That only barely helped.

As time went on, though, the whole car began to creak. If I were to make the sound outloud, it would remind me of a hee-hawing mule or someone bouncing on old bed springs. This has continued to get worse – and seems at its worst when it is very cold. It happens when I go over speed bumps (yes, even slowly!) or turn in any direction or just go around sharp turns in parking lots, etc.

I am guessing that the original sound in the steering is separate from the other sound and it is just coincidental that the two sounds have been happening at the same time. I also don’t know if this info has any bearing, but lately when I’m idling, I’m smelling a burned oil smell, but my oil is not low and I’ve noticed no leaks. My gas pedal is sticking badly (I have to jam it down sometimes to get the car to move forward) but I’ve had that happen on and off over the years and have just gotten the throttle body cleaned. I’ve put it off a little longer than normal this time, which I think is why it is so resistant now. But I suspect it has nothing to do with the creaking. Does it?? Or could the probelm maybe be the shocks? That occurred to me today.

But again, I know zip about cars. Not to say that women don’t know about cars – one of my best friends, a female, was a mechanic – but I, also a female, do NOT know what to do. I know nothing about cars and don’t want to get ripped off by a mechanic.Does anyone have any thoughts they could share? I’d really appreciate it. Help, anyone? Thanks in advance. :slight_smile:

I think you are right, this squeaking problem you describe sounds like the shocks (or struts is actually what you probably have rather than shocks, but its the same idea.) A good mechanic could easily confirm one way or the other.

The sticking gas pedal is a differnent problem I’d expect. Could be the throttle body, throttle plate, or the linkage. YOu’d have to have a shop do a visual to make a proper diagnosis.

@GeorgeSanJose – Thanks for the quick reply. :slight_smile: The shocks – or struts – thing only dawned on me today but I had no clue if I was on to anything. I’ll get it checked out. The gas pedal is driving me nuts so I have to go in anyway!


In my opinion these are good possibilities

Worn/dry sway bar links and bushings

Worn lower ball joints

Worn control arm bushings

Take the car to a competent independent shop. If it’s as obvious as you say, it shouldn’t be extremely difficult to diagnose.

@db4690 - More good suggestions, thanks! These will help me to not be taken totally by surprise at what the mechanic might say, should one of these items be mentioned. Yes, the noise is pretty obvious – I forget about it until I get in the car, but it starts as soon as I move the car. It reminds me of a woman’s tight girdle, in the old Three Stooges movies. Creak, creak, creak on down the road. I feel almost like I’ve betrayed my loyal vehicle to have let it get to this point, but for the longest time I thought it was the steering. I was, I guess, doctoring the wrong thing. I’ll get my car into the shop soon as I can. Thanks again for the further suggestions!

As regards the burning oil smell when idling, I’d suspect that either you have oil seeping through the valvecover gaskets and getting onto the exhaust system (probably the manifold) or you’re burning a bit of oil and the small is occasionally wafting up from the tailpipe when the car’s not moving. Somebody would have to look to find out.

The onlt relationship this has with the creaking is age. Both symptoms are typical of an aging car. The explanations are lengthy, and if you’d ilke just say so and I’ll describe them, but they’re both signs of aging.

@the same mountainbike – Yes. Sadly, the car is getting older. I have liked this vehicle better than any I’ve ever had and always said I’d drive it until it fell apart. But speaking from my current financial viewpoint, I hope that isn’t about to happen. It has a bit over 140K on the odometer and has been just such a great vehicle. I hope that what it takes to keep it in repair for a while longer is still worth spending, as I’m not ready for a car payment. Maybe in a year or so (though I’ll be loathe to let this car go, I’m sure). Thanks for commenting on the oil smell. I wasn’t sure what to think, knowing that my oil level is staying up and no lights are coming on. Between all the answers here, I think I have somewhat of a handle on how to proceed with a mechanic. Glad I wrote in.