WHEN I BOUGHT THE JEEP ABOUT 3 MONTHS AGO IT HAD...
2007 Jeep Liberty
December, 17, 2012 AT 3:15 AM
When I bought the jeep about 3 months ago, it had regular factory tires on it, and it rode smoothly and quiet. Since then, I had new more agressive tires on it, and the ride is still somewhat smooth, but bumps in the road are not taken near as well, and the noise factor is making me wonder if I need more heavy duty struts, or just something I have to deal with. The bumps in the road make the struts sound like they're "popping". I hit a "dip" in the road at low speed yesterday, and the suspension squeaked very loudly! Any help out there? Thanks!
Sounds like the new tires have stiffer sidewalls. You would need weaker struts and shock absorbers to make up for that. Since the sidewalls can't flex as easily to absorb road bumps, the entire suspension system will need to bounce up and down easier.
The noise is a result of the tread pattern. Not much you can do about that except make it worse if the alignment is off. You need a centered steering wheel and no pull at highway speed when you let go of the steering wheel to tell that, and over time you need to keep an eye on tire wear patterns. If the tread wears smoothly all the way across, and evenly side-to-side across each tire, the noise won't get worse.
Squeaking is not normal regardless what you have for tires. There is a tool you might be able to borrow or rent from an auto parts store that borrows them called the "Chassis Ear". It is a set of six microphones, a switch box, and headphones. You clip the microphones to suspect points, then drive around while listening with the headphones. You can move the microphones around to zero in on the source of the noise. Be aware that many mechanics have never seen or even heard of this tool. Suspension and alignment mechanics use it to find rattles, squeaks, and other noises.