New bushings and struts?

repair
acura
integra
selling
struts

#1

My '96 integra with 101K miles has developed a squeak when it goes slowly over speed bumps. My mechanic says that the bushings are going and need to be replaced. And while he’s at it, I should probably replace the struts/shocks. I drive less than 7000 miles / year and have maintained the car pretty well until now. (new brakes, clutch work, timing belt, routine oil changes, etc)

1. is this worth fixing for an estimated $3000 for both front and rear?

2. what other big system repairs await if I choose to invest rather than get a new car?



The car also has a mysterious periodic hum that I wonder if its some kind of pump, often just after I first start the car. Of course I cant get it do make this sound on demand. I think its unlikely to be related to the squeak, but it might be one of those big ticket items waiting to pounce after I spend $3000 on the suspension.



suggestions?




#2

My initial recommendation is to turn up the radio.

Most cars seem to squeak when they go over speed bumps, especially as they age. I don’t think the recommended repairs are going to solve this though. It could be any of a number of things but my first guess would be the spring seats are where the noise comes from. When the car was new, there were thin plastic sheets between the springs and the seats. The plastic has probably worn away and now its metal to metal. I really wouldn’t worry about it.

The hum is probably normal too, likely the fuel pump


#3

Just my opinion, but that 3 grand for struts and the repair of this squeak sounds way high to me.
Odds are the squeak could be a strut spring on a spring pad, sway bar bushing, or control arm through bolt. Replacement of struts means the spring/pad issue should be resolved then with a bit of grease.
Sway bar bushings and control arm bolt squeaks are easily solved with a bit of grease.

I would seriously rethink this 3 thousand dollar thing. Around here it would be more like a 1000-1500, give or take a bit depending on the route taken with the repair.

The hum could be a sign the fuel pump is becoming worn and noisy. Not minor, but also not terribly major.


#4

I agree with OK4450 that the price sounds way high.

By the way, getting the bushings replaced should be very affordable. It’s the struts that are driving the price up. As a matter of fact, the squeakers may be the sway bar bushings, inexpensive rubber parts easily replaced. As the sway bars move, they rotate in the rubber bushings inside the brackets that hold them to the chassis. Besides the rubber drying and shrinking over the years, the holes they rotate in become enlarged, and channels actually wear in the sway bars themselves. They can easily develop squeaks while going over speed bumps.

In short, you can likely have the squeaks fixed inexpensively without changing the struts.

The hum is unrelated to the squeak. It could be the fuel pump, could be an acoustical sound from the EVAP canister purge system, or any number of other things. Without hearing it it’s hard to guess. Sounds like this are not usually serious.


#5

Price is way too high, but I would get the squeaks hushed up. My cars are about the same age, both with higher mileage. I recently swapped out the sway bar bushings and a control arm because of squeaks. The control arm had the louder squeak, as the front bushing (rubber) was cracking away from the arm ever-so slightly. I could have driven awhile longer on it, but it was getting annoying.

As soon as I fixed that, I heard a VERY quiet, almost imperceptible squeak going over bumps from the other side. It didn’t make noise all the time, but just now and then. I never could have heard it over the other squeaks - but it was an outer tie rod end going dry. It was an original factory part that was nonserviceable. So I grabbed a nice high-end greaseable Moog part, and replaced that tie rod end. $30 and 30 minutes of labor, and the car is nice and quiet (as quiet as a 13 year old car gets).

My point? That almost imperceptible noise could have turned into a more serious safety issue, or by the time I did notice it, it might have worn the inner tie rod enough that it would have demanded that part get replaced, too. Since no parts store carries the specialized inner tie rod tool for that car, the simple repair could have turned into a safety issue and a $200+ trip to the shop.

If a little grease can quiet the bushings, that’s fine, but make sure that the noises are identified and dealt with properly, via grease if acceptable, or replacement if necessary.