Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Squeaky New Bushings

So I replaced the stabilizer bushing on my 2005 Dodge Caravan, as there was a bit of clunking and some wobble in the front end. I’m sure there’s more to do (other suspension parts to replace), but the bushings were obviously worn when I looked at them. The clunking is gone, and the suspension feels better, but now the bushings make a scrunching rubber sound when I drive over uneven pavement and also when I first accelerate. I assume its the stabilizer bar flexing, but also assume I shouldn’t be hearing it. After all, who would want new noisy bushings? Has anyone come across this before? I’m wondering if there are other things to replace (stabilizer link) that may help to quiet it, or something else to try. Nothing else is new on the front end (except rotors and pads). Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.

I assume you installed the bushings dry. A little silicone based grease in the bushings before you install them will prevent this. At this point, see if you can losing the bushing clamp and us silicone spray to lube them. That should fix it.

Urethane bushings squeak unless they are lubricated. The good news is that they last longer than OEM bushings.

Good to know. I’ll pick up some silicon grease and take them back apart. They’re a pain to access in this minivan, but I can’t drive around squeaking like that. Thanks guys.

Regular axle grease works too.
But I much prefer silicone grease if you can find it. I don’t know why. I’m just funny that way. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

I have Blaster White Lithium Grease, says it’s ideal for bushings and under five bucks. I’ll give it a shot.

Go for it!

I recommend brush-on silicone grease, versus a spray

That would clearly mean essentially doing the job twice, but that’s my recommendation, FWIW

For silicone lubricant, I also recommend a grease rather than spray. I don’t believe spray would stay between the bushing and the metal with the constant movement of the metal in the bushing.

White lithium, while IMHO probably not as robust as other greases, would probably stay in better. It goes on as a grease.

I used to buy 100% PTFE (Teflon) grease from bike shops, but I haven’t been able to find it in years.

There are a few with Teflon, but no 100% Teflon. So should I lube both between the stabilizer bar and bushing AND the bushing and retaining clip, or just the bar and bushing? Thanks for all the advice.

Apply silicone paste to the inside of the stabilizer bushings before installing them (not the outside). It is a large diameter bar with a lot of rotation, O.E. bushings come with a liner inside the bushings to allow the bar to slip, did you buy O.E bushings?

Do not use petroleum based grease on rubber bushings.

1 Like

I’m thinking this squeaking sound will eventually go away without doing anything about it, as the bushing wears a little over time. Are these poly-urethane bushings, or rubber? Question for you bush-experienced folks out there in Car Talk land, do you think like I do that the squeak will go away eventually without doing anything? How long will it take? And do poly bushes squeak more or less than rubber bushes? My understanding is the poly bushes tend to hold up a little longer, structurally, but are more rigid so don’t offer quite as much “give” so produce a bit of a harsher driving experience.

If it’s a grease, there must be some oil that the Teflon powder is mixed into. Teflon is not a liquid.

True, but Teflon CAN be made into a paste (grease). If the centrifugal process is properly controlled and stopped before the tetrafluoroethylene becomes completely polymerized, a grease will result rather than a solid. Dupont used to make 100% Teflon grease.

In liquid form it’s simply called tetrafluoroetheylene. It isn’t polymerized.

I’d be real interested in a reference for this.

I wish I had one. If I did, I could buy some again. I used to use it on my bike cables as well as other applications around the house and it’s great stuff. They stopped selling it years ago.

The physical properties of polymers partly depends upon the size of the chain. Like hydrocarbons, it is conceivable that teflon could behave as a wax like substance with a short number of monomer units.

At any rate, I applied to grease and the squeaking is done. Messy job, but worth it. Thanks to all.

I am not familiar with tetrafluoroethylene in a liquid form. It is a gas or when polymerized, a solid. I am familiar with fluorinated oils like Castro 815Z that have Teflon powder added to increase viscosity.

It’s unfortunate that they stopped selling it in grease form. It was great stuff. It used to come in a plastic hypodermic for injection into bike cable sheaths. It was costly, but IMHO worth every penny.

Believe it or not I was taught to lubricate rubber suspension bushings with talcum powder. Years ago talcum was used on inner tubes and every shop had a can but these days Johnson’s baby powder will work fine… Don’t laugh until you’ve tried it.

1 Like