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Pontiac G8 - Rear Suspension Squeak - Recent Replacement of Shocks

Hey, I am just looking for some pointers or discussion regarding a squeak that persists after I replaced the rear shocks. The noise started with just smaller bumps, but has no progressed to every little variation in the road. It sounds like a squeaky hamster wheel (embarrassing).

The links are tight, and even so I wouldn’t suspect that they would make a squeak. In fact, one of them made a clunking noise, and I tightened it. Problem gone.

I have heard a lot of people talk about ball joints, but frankly I wouldn’t expect it to start all of a sudden after replacing the shocks; so I’m not pursuing that course.

It squeaks like a creaky bed when I bounce it under my own weight in the back. Also, it makes more of a creak when settling after braking to a stop. I’ve looked underneath and checked the linkage visually. The removal process did take some doing to pry the old shock out and to put the new one in. I did not remove the whole lower control arm (perhaps I should have).

It is annoying, and perhaps this discussion won’t lead anywhere, but I thought I’d check to see what other people thought.

Thanks for the help in advance.

Those types of squeaks tend to be the rubber suspension links - shocks tend not to make that type of noise. You could spray them down with something simple (I guess WD-40 would work) and see if it stops. If you’ve got some time on your hands, you could spray them one at a time, and give the fluid some time to work, and figure out which one is squeaking. The squeaking one has either failed, or is getting ready to. You should be able to find a buddy to push it up and down while you try and trace out the squeaking one.

Yeah, I guess shocks can make a noise like that - but if they do, your car should be bouncing all over the place (in other words, they’ve completely failed).

The shocks are new. It only started happening after I replaced the shocks, springs, and sway bar links. Only on the drivers side does it make this noise. I’m gonna spray the parts one by one with some WD40.

A little new information… The noise goes away when it rains and everything gets wet…

Is this a strut-type suspension in the rear, you know coil springs surrounding a shock absorbing gadget? If so, where that unit attaches to the body can make a sound like you describe. There’s often a sort of bearing there which might need to be rejuvenated or replaced. My Corolla is starting to make a little squeak, too weak in volume to hear when the engine is running, but noticeable when the engine is off and I’m just getting into the drivers seat for the first time of the day, and I think that’s where it is coming from.

The shocks are new. It only started happening after I replaced the shocks, springs, and sway bar links.

Yeah, I read that. I didn’t think you replaced them with used parts.

OK. If you climb under the car and look around, you’ll see multiple links back there. I’m pretty positive you didn’t replace them all.

The lower arm is mounted on rubber - those can squeak.
The upper arm is mounted on rubber - that can, too.
The control arms are rubber mounted - those, too.
The sway bar (or anti-roll bar, depending on your vernacular) is rubber mounted - that, too.

Every part that moves is capable of squeaking - and most of them back there do.

Good luck with the WD…

Yeah, I read that. I didn’t think you replaced them with used parts.

I guess I was just unnecessarily responding to your last bit about them being shot… haha…

Anyways, I didn’t replace anything else since there were no issues with them prior to the replacement. No squeaks, creaks, or anything of that type. It just suddenly happened after replacement, so I was thinking there was a chance it might have been due to an assembly error by me. I did at least visually inspect the parts for damage, and there was no apparent damage.

That said, if I did cause damage in my work, there are a limited number of pieces that could be squeaking.

I suppose I was wondering if anybody ever ran into a problem like this that wasn’t linked to a bushing, but rather an assembly error that was experienced (I.E. spring rubbing on seat of the shock absorber) That doesn’t seem to be what most have experienced.

Thanks for the discussion. It confirms for the moment that at least I probably didn’t make any errors in reassembly.

I’ll post what I find out.

Shocks and struts can squeak, especially when new. The seal is in the best shape it ever is and wipe ALL the oil off the rod leaving no dry film to reduce seal friction. Sounds like you’ve isolated this to the drivers side. Try and further isolate it to the seal-area of the shock. If it is a dry seal, it will go away with time. A little silicone spry, or WD-40 can make it go away for now. If you take it all back apart and hand stroke the shock it will likely squawk.

Also, yes,it could be an improper spring install on the shock. There are rubber spring pad isolators that can be improperly installed as well as not clocking the spring properly in the spring seat top or bottom that can cause this. This may or may not go away without taking it apart.

And this IS a shock, the G8 has a multi-link coil-over shock suspension not a strut rear suspension.

That was suggested to me when discussing with a friend here at work. I’m still hoping maybe that’s what it is, but I got a little bit concerned when the noise increased in frequency. I think that’ll be the first place that I spray with WD-40.

Believe it or not, the rear spring seat has no rubber pad. It struck me as a little odd that it was manufactured that way by design. I didn’t cut any rubber pieces to fit because I figured it was done that way for a reason.

Well, I used some WD-40 and it’s still squeaking. It doesn’t seem to be coming from any of the linkage, but rather the shock assembly itself.

I am pretty sure I coated the parts a well enough. I’ll have to try again maybe tomorrow when I can take the wheel off.

I am starting to lean toward a spring that isn’t seated quite right.

Thoughts or recommendations aside from reassembly?

Just curious, what is the difference in the design of a coil over shock vs a strut? They both seem to have some sort of shock absorbing element inside a coiled spring. Is it that for the strut the spring is pre-compressed, making it better as a structural supporting element?

A coil-over shock absorber places the coiled spring around the shock absorber as an assembly. The alternative is to have a spring independent of the actual strut or shock absorber.

The coilover comes out as a full assembly with an upper mount and seat, and a lower spring seat on the shock absorber itself. You have to compress the spring in order to properly assemble prior to installation.

The spring’s purpose is to support the weight of the car and to maintain ride height. The struts and shocks primarily maintain stability and proper road contact while absorbing impact.

A strut does 2 jobs, it acts as the damper and as the upper control arm or a double A-arm suspension. A strut takes bending forces as well as axial movement. A buddy explained it as a “telescopic structural device.” If you remove the strut the car falls over. The shock is just a damper. Other parts take the bending forces. Both may or may not hold the spring. Usually the strut holds the spring, too.

All springs mounted on the strut or shock and held by an upper mount should be pre-compressed, otherwise they clank and rattle over ride swells and get off-seat when you put the car on a lift. On a strut the spring will almost always be tilted off-center so it reacts against the side-load. That helps damper friction.

If the lower spring seat doesn’t have a rubber isolator, look for witness marks - shiny spots - around the spring seat area and the spring. They shouldn’t rub. You can slip a thin tube over the spring for about one coil to act as an isolator if that’s what you find. But it still sounds like seal squawk from the shock.

Well, if it’s the latter I hope it goes away soon… it’s embarrassing :smile: :

Well, it looks like the proper diagnosis was the mechanic…

I’ve been embarrassed before, but this one made me laugh. There were so many points in which I noticed the problem, but completely missed it.

I got the bolt for the shock switched with the one for the knuckle. I had so many opportunities to catch it. The box wrench that wouldn’t fit over the bolt on the knuckle when reassembling. The fact that it seemed to take years to get it threaded through the hole on the knuckle. The fact that bolt on the shock was so easy…

Lol… I got a good laugh with the techs at the shop over it. Needless to say, the squeak is gone.

Assembly error. … Lol