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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last couple of weeks, my Escape has developed a nasty creak in the front end when I turn. The colder it is the worse it is. Last week was warm and I didn't hear it much. Since it's been really cold this week, it now sounds like the worst squeaky door you've ever heard. Until this week, it was only when I turned left. Now I'm hearing it when turning right as well (but it's not as bad). I will also hear it when I go over the occasional bump in the street. I don't think it's the steering rack. It sounds more like it's part of the suspension... any ideas?
 

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How many miles do you have on your 'scape? Is the power steering fluid topped up (dumn question, I know)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
62k on the ticker. I didn't check the fluids but I had the power steering unit power flushed and filled by the dealership about 6 months ago. This is my second rack and it's a refurb so I try to have the fluids checked at each service and I flush the rack once a year... :shrug:
 

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So it's more of a creaking sound than the "whooosh" sound that a power steering system normally makes?

Lemme see if there are any TSBs for front-end noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is definitely a creak and not a "whooosh". Like I said, almost exactly like a creaky old door. It sounds like a suspension problem but it happens when I turn the wheel... if that makes any sense... :confused: Thanks for checking.
 

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No problem! I wonder if the noise could be the stabilizer bar bushings. When they harden, they can make noise when the bar moves inside them. Teflon spray sometimes works on those!
 

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Stabilizer links! The "lifetime" grease isn't very lifetime on those. I upgraded to MOOG links which have a grease fitting and a lifetime warranty (so I've heard).
 

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I couldn't find any TSBs from 2001-2004 relating to front-end noise.

The only one that was even close was a 2002 TSB, #02-5-2, which was for a power steering leak. That one mentioned replacing the intermediate tube with a steel tube, and replacing the spring-type hose clamps with worm-gear clamps.
 

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I would bet money on those links being the culprit. The grease in the socket dries up and it seizes to the ball, then makes horrible plastic creaking noises when you turn.
 

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That makes two of us.

:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Squishy said:
I would bet money on those links being the culprit. The grease in the socket dries up and it seizes to the ball, then makes horrible plastic creaking noises when you turn.
Thanks... that sounds exactly like what I have. I think I may have already had them replaced because of other creaking/rattling noises I've had... I guess I need to check. Or maybe not since both the dealerships that did my service have closed... :wall:

Squishy said:
Stabilizer links! The "lifetime" grease isn't very lifetime on those. I upgraded to MOOG links which have a grease fitting and a lifetime warranty (so I've heard).
Where did you get the MOOG links? I can't do the work myself (mechanically incompetent when it comes to cars) so I'm going to need to find a mechanic to install them.

Thanks again guys :peace: :thumb:

I gotta tell you, the front suspension on my Escape has been a nightmare for the last 2 years or so. It seems like every 3-6 months, some sorta bushing, link, bar or arm goes bad and costs me $200 - $600+... :cuss: :wall:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nevermind... found them on RockAuto. I swear I've had these ef'in things replaced 2 or 3 times already... Why would they keep going bad after a year?
 

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Not sure why they would go bad so quickly...my factory ones lasted three years, which is still very bad.

When you order the MOOG, make sure you get actual MOOG parts. Sometimes TRW parts come in a MOOG box and vice versa (I got MOOG parts but ordered TRW...not complaining). The TRW links will be black and look like the factory links (they are).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the heads up :)

The last dealership actually replaced the passenger side control arm because they said it was bent and causing the link to go bad. I thought (hoped?) that would be the end of it. This latest creak seems to be coming from the drivers side. I guess we'll see...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Finally got this fixed yesterday. I had one mechanic look at it last week when I had my tire issues. They didn't hear the noise and just told me the stabilizer links looked new (they are less than a year old). I didn't trust these guys to fix it so I took it to another mechanic near my office. He heard the noise and instantly diagnosed it as either the stabilizer links or a ball joint. After looking at it he called me and said it was actually the outer tie rod. He replaced both outer rods and $186 later ($79 parts + $95 labor + tax) no more noise... thank God!

I also had him change the belts on the motor to fix a terrible squeal that I heard last Monday when the temp went down below 20 degrees. That day the noise lasted for the entire ride to work. I heard it for only a few seconds the day before and the day after. The weather warmed up after that so it disappeared. Hopefully it's gone but I'll have to wait for colder weather to know for sure.
 
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