Strut mounts are an important element of any vehicle as they help to secure the struts of the car to the chassis of the vehicle itself.
They are also there to help provide a quieting effect, dampening the sound of the moving parts that are located underneath the vehicle itself.
That being said, strut mounts can be noisy! This means that not only will they allow you to hear the noises of the moving parts under your vehicle, but you will also hear the noise of the mounts.
As you can imagine, if these strut mounts get noisy, every single little noise will be amplified, resulting in a noisy and annoying vehicle. You may be wondering how to make noisy strut mounts quieter. Luckily for you, we have the answers.
In this article, we are going to be exploring how to quiet noisy strut mounts. The good news is that there are a few different methods you can try out to attempt to quiet things down again.
First and foremost, it is important to get an understanding of why your strut mounts might be noisy…
Why are my strut mounts noisy?
Noisy strut mounts can be caused by the mount wearing out. It could also mean that they are not lubricated enough. The noises you might hear could sound like many different things.
What noise does a bad strut mount make?
They have been described as grinding noises, and clunking noises by some car owners. Others describe the noises of the strut mount as more of a creaking or knocking noise.
These noises may become more clear or amplified when you are driving the car, such as driving on uneven roads, over potholes, hitting speed bumps, and when you are driving at a low speed. Strut mount noise over bumps is very common.
You may also hear strut mount noise when turning.
Suffice to say, if you hear any noise at all from the strut mounts then it is worth checking to see if they have indeed worn down or if they need lubricating. Keep on reading to find out exactly how to fix this issue.
How to Quiet Noisy Strut Mounts
Here are some strut mount failure symptoms and fixes.
Lubricate the Binding Strut Spring
Whilst there are not typically that many lubrication points on your strut mounts, there are ways that you can lubricate them to stop the noise. The main way of doing this is by binding the strut spring with some lubricant.
The strut spring does not behave in the same way as other types of springs. This is because rather than just compressing in a straight line, they rotate on the insulator (also known as the spring seat insulator).
If the seat insulator is not lubricated then this can cause the spring to jerk and make a noise. This may sound like clunking or grinding. To fix the noise you need to lubricate the spring seat insulator.
How do you lubricate strut mounts?
The best way to lubricate your spring seat insulator is by using a suitable lubricating spray such as Dry Silicone Spray. The brand Tri-Flow also has a superior lubricant that will work well.
Simply jack up your car and remove the wheel or wheels with the issue. The aim is to spray the top of the spring.
You will also need to use this spray on the bottom of the spring. Do not be tempted to forget about this just because it doesn’t move very much.
One thing to bear in mind is that it needs to be left for 24 hours. This means that your car will be without a wheel (or wheels) for a whole day. Consider this before you do it.
The 24 hours is essential for making sure that it dries. When this time is up replace the wheel or wheels and you should be good to go.
How do I stop my top mount from squeaking?
Your best bet is to lubricate it as we've described above.
You may have seen a lot of advice that you should simply spray some WD40 to lubricate your strut mounts. That's bad advice.
The reason for this is because WD40 is a ‘water displacing product’ not a lubricant.
Because it is not technically a lubricant it can actually have a detrimental effect on your vehicle as it can wear away any of the grease on the strut mount. If you use WD40 then you will likely have to replace the bearings.
You should also take extreme care to avoid getting any form of lubricant or grease on your rotors. This could be dangerous and damaging and will affect your ability to brake and stop your vehicle.
Check the Rubber Vibration Insulator
This insulator is what you will find between each of the two metal plates of the strut mount. This part is made from rubber and provides the filling in between much like an anti-vibration pad.
If you are hearing a clunking or grinding noise or even knocking, then it could be that this rubber has worn down or worn off completely.
You should check this to ascertain whether this might be the issue so you can act on it accordingly.
It may even be that the metal plates have separated from the rubber. If the rubber is still intact then you will not need to replace it.
Sadly, if the whole of the rubber has worn down you will need to replace the whole strut itself, as there is no way of being able to replace only the rubber.
However, if the rubber is still intact but just a little worn or has come loose, then there is an easy fix for this.
All you need is to use some sort of adhesive on the rubber and the metal plates. This will be able to rebuild the rubber vibration insulator.
To do this, you will need an adhesive such as a Urethane based windshield adhesive. Remove the whole strut from the vehicle first so you can work on it accurately and safely.
You need to do this to be able to access the whole of the area, as an equal amount of the adhesive needs to be placed on the whole circumference of the insulator piece.
The aim is to put as much of this adhesive in the cavities as possible and allow adequate time for this to dry. This could take around 24 to 48 hours depending on the amount of adhesive you have had to use.
Replacing the Strut Mount
As we have already mentioned, there may be a case for actually totally replacing the whole strut mount if you're hearing top strut mount noise.
Sometimes, this is the only way to fix it, especially if the noise keeps happening even after you have attempted to try some of the other quieting methods we have suggested.
This is especially true if the reason why your strut mount is making a loud noise is that the rubber has worn down. You may also need to replace the whole strut mount if the metal plates are damaged in some way.
Sure, this is not the most convenient option and you may need to take the vehicle to a professional to do it, but you will have the piece of mind that the strut mount will be new, safe, and won’t be making any annoying and loud noises.
Check the Shock Mounting Nut
You should also bear in mind that whilst it is unlikely, it is entirely possible for the mounting nuts to become loose in your strut mount. Loose strut nut noise is probably the easiest to resolve.
Anything that is loose can wear down and cause noise, such as those noises often described in relation to strut mounts.
Tighten up all of the nuts and see if that improves. If there is no improvement then you can try any of the fixes we have suggested above until you figure out what the issue is.
In order to tighten these nuts, you need to locate the shock absorber section of the strut mount.
This is the part that will be bolted down to the center of the mount with a nut on one end to keep it in place. You will need two different wrenches in order to tighten this nut.
One will be used on the shaft of the strut to keep the whole thing in place and the other on the nut itself to tighten it.
Whatever you do, do not use a vice grip on the shock absorber. It can cause irreparable damage and you will certainly regret it.
There is such a thing as a shock absorber nut tightening kit for your strut mount. You can use one of these to do this job too, as it will ensure it is done accurately and properly.
As annoying as a noisy strut mount is, try not to worry!
The fixes are relatively easy, and even in the worst-case scenario, all you will need to do is replace the whole strut mount, which you can get a professional mechanic to do if you are stuck.
Try out all of the suggested fixes above to ensure that you have exhausted every option first, and in no time at all, you will have a super quiet strut mount.