2005 Equinox suspension noise


Old 04-19-09, 07:07 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,051
Question 2005 Equinox suspension noise

I posted a while back in regards to a loose feeling knocking or rattling sound coming from the front suspension of my 2005 Equinox with 60,000 mainly highway miles. Still on the first set of brake pads. I have had the vehicle since new. A sugestion I was given on this site was to check the sway bar links. I have grabbed both front links but there doesn't seem to be any play or loosenss either at the sway bar or mount connections on either side. They feel tight. Could the links still be the problem? I have heard on other sites that these vehicles often have front suspension noise from other owners and wonder if there are any Chevy TSB's around this condition. I am now also wondering if the front strut rods have free play in the shafts, and that is what I am hearing. Has anybody seen and corrected this on other Equinox vehicles? The noise is heard from time to time when travelling over uneven road surfaces and when turning corners. It sounds like something is not tight in the front end, and it is a fairly quiet but dull knocking sound but I can't feel any loosenss of the sway bar links. The car brakes and steers normal.
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Old 04-19-09, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: usa
Posts: 8
It could also be worn wheel bearings or a floating brake caliper / floating brake pads.
With 60,000 miles it's unlikely that it's the caliper(s), those usually don't start with the crap until past 1-200,000.

But 60,000 ain't no joke either.
With that many miles on it, probably wouldn't hurt to go ahead and pull the wheel, replace the pads
and while you got that all off the car it ain't but one more step to inspect and re-pack the bearings.

Because you gotta pull all that crap just to get to the bearings anyhow, might as well replace the pads,
see and the other way around also, so it's a two-in-one all done job, make sure to do both sides.
Yes, always do both sides, if one side needs it the other usually isn't far behind.

You will need:
Front Disc Brake pads, maybe a tube of disc brake quiet.
Grease for the bearings, two seals, a special bearing packer tool, a grease gun.
Two cotter pins, two new nuts (check the manual, not all cars need this) and possibly two of the inner cover.
Cost you maybe $100 for everything, DIY.

Good chance it might take more than one trip to the store, having an alternate vehicle available for this would help.
Especially if a bearing turns out bad, or anything else comes up.
Again, if one is bad replace the other, too.

DIY takes an easy afternoon, for both sides.

While you're under there you can check the tie-rod ends and the control arm bushings,
might even hit up the zerks with the gun.
Old 04-23-09, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hammond, Louisiana
Posts: 94
ya i agree it might be the bearings. to check and see if they are bad ( to save a trip to the store during your teardown) put your hands at 12 and 6 o'clock on the tire and gently but firmly shake it back and forth. if there is any slack ( you will definatly feel it) then go ahead and buy some new ones. when checking the bearings when you shake it down, if the bearings are bad it will move slighly and then stop, if not then just repack them for assuranse
Old 04-30-09, 09:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 57
Hey, hate to say this but you can't just repack or replace bearings on this vehicle...The bearing and hub are a one piece unit and a couple of hundred bucks a side...you still check for play the same way though...I am a GM tech and there is a tsb for this vehicle...there is an updates strut mount I believe...The most common problem tends to be the sway bar links though...I have found that even though they feel tight occasionally when you remove them you find the ball stud loose or rough...replaced them on my 02 saturn vue and fixed the issue I had (the vue and equinox chassis are about the same) Good luck
Old 05-02-09, 04:11 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,051
Thanks Firstshack. It all makes alot of sense to me. Your advise is exactly what I was looking for because you know the specific product issues. If there is more to it around the strut mounts beyond the links, how big a deal is that in cost and work? Is there any kind of GM 'policy' warranty around either of these failures? You are also right that the first Equinox was built from the older Vue platform. Thanks again for your help.
Old 05-02-09, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 57
Well, if you find it is the sway bar links it pretty simple to do - about 30min. I'm not sure of aftermarket prices but I just did a set on Friday for about $100 each for the parts - but that was GM's price which is always crazy high. I just took a look at the tsbs and found 2 that may be helpful - first # is 04-03-08-008B - 2nd is #07-03-08-004 - I'm pretty sure you can look up this numbers somewhere online - maybe someone on here would know - if you can't find them I'll post the bulletins for you.
Old 05-03-09, 04:08 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,051
Thanks again Firstshack. I tried finding the TSB"s but all the sites I found are looking for money. It would help me alot if you could post them, and I suspect it would also help other owners having the same issues avoid additional expense by having various unnecessary parts replaced using the generic trial and error approach. I would guess for example that alot of people have paid to replace both front struts, only to find the problem still occuring. As I am sure you know there are a number of issues around this product as in other recent GM products related to ignition switches, head gaskets, warped rotors, rad hoses to list just a few. That said I still love the vehicle, and want to keep it around for some time to come. Your great support on this is exactly what this forum is all about.
Old 05-04-09, 07:53 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 57
I'm all to familiar with intake gasket issues on the 3.1 and 3.4...we're not seeing the same problems with the equinox 3.4l engines though...I think GM finally fixed it...I personnally think the equinox is great for a small suv, I'm actually looking to replace my vue with an equinox sport in the next few months for the wifey...anyways..I'll see if I can cut and past the tsb for you...

Some customers may notice a "popping" noise while driving over bumps. The popping noise typically occurs over a sharp bump or a large road swell that could unload the front suspension.

To verify this bulletin pertains to the customer's concern, try to reproduce the concern using the following procedure:

Replication Procedure:
Lift the vehicle on a hoist until the front wheels are off the ground.
Slowly lower the vehicle back to the ground.
Listen for a "popping" noise as the weight of the vehicle settles back on the suspension.
If no noise is heard, push down on the front bumper to bounce the suspension and listen for a "popping" noise.
Vehicles with this concern will "pop" during one of the two events.
If no noise is heard, continue to diagnose the customer's concern using the diagnostic information found in SI.
Engineering has determined that the noise comes from "rubbing contact" between the lower spring seat and the front suspension spring. To confirm the noise source, do the following steps:

Confirmation Procedure:
Hoist the vehicle until the wheels are hanging in full rebound.

Insert a piece of paper or piece of plastic between the spring and the spring seat as indicated in the above diagram.
Repeat the "replication" procedure to confirm the isolator prevented the noise.

Sorry, the GM tsb has nice pics and layout...that should help...let me know if you need any more info after trying this...
Old 05-14-09, 06:45 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2
Rattle Noise = Steering Column

I had the same issue with my 2005 Equinox. It was not the sway bar, but rather the steering column. Remove the black shield underneath the drivers side steering wheel. You will notice a little play in the steering shaft which causes the rattleing noise over bumps. Loosen the bolt that regulates how far the the one shaft is slid onto the other. Slide the lower shaft as far as it will go onto the higher shaft and tighten the bolt. Walla! Problem solved!

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