I have a 2017 Ecoboost that's currently at ~27,000 miles. Recently, I noticed that the rear right side of the car makes a creaking sound when making sharp turns at slow speeds. Sometimes, the noise occurs when driving on uneven (not bumpy) areas. I live in Durham where roads are kind of hilly. Majority of the times though, the sound occurs when making a sharp right turns like when pulling into the driveway. The sound is sort of like your typical bed creaking sound and seems to be coming from the right rear side of the car.

I took it to a well rated auto repair shop in the area and after their diagnosis, they said that it's because the mufflers and the muffler brackets which should be tightly coupled seem to have a bit of play between them due to which the noise is being produced. They applied lube to the brackets and said that that should take care of things. However, as soon as I drove off and approached my driveway, the sound was still there when making that sharp turn. So I spent $130 on nothing.

I took it back and they said that they'd probably have to replace the muffler brackets. However, I'm not entirely convinced by their diagnosis so I wanted to ask a few questions and get some advice here -

  1. Have you had a similar experience and how did you deal with it?
  2. Is their "play in the muffler bracket" diagnosis sound right to you?
  3. How can I actually get this properly diagnosis and fixed?
  4. How much would replacing muffler brackets cost?
  5. Is this a problem I can just ignore?
  6. Would taking the car to a Ford dealership be a better option instead? The car is past the 3 year warranty period, unfortunately.

Any other information and suggestions would be really helpful. Thanks.

2 Answers 2


Check the rear stabilizer links. They are located between the lower control arm and the anti sway bar. They should look something like this:

enter image description here or this:

enter image description here

They can have ball and socket joints or rubber bushings. If the joints or bushing wear out, you'll get thumping or squeaking. They are hard to diagnose because they are under a lot of compression when the car is on the ground and under a lot of tension when the car's jacked or lifted up. You need to get the weight balanced so you can check for loose joints or bad bushings. When mine went bad, I had to remove one of the nuts holding them in so I could move it back and forth to see the bad bushings. Good luck

  • For someone who is uninitiated in where or what to look for, what does the OP do to even check the links? Could you flesh out your really bland answer to include details of what to do to check the links? Dec 7, 2019 at 15:51
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sorry about that.
    – JACK
    Dec 7, 2019 at 17:15
  • Much better! The images help a BUNCH! +1! Dec 7, 2019 at 17:28

I used to work in automotive assembly plant trouble shooting problems, including squeaks and rattles. This one is wack.

This sounds like a taillamp creak.

The taillamp lens is made from acrylic. If the edge of the lamp is in slight contact with painted sheet metal and there is even the slightest movement of sheet metal you will hear an obnoxious creak from inside the passenger compartment.

The fix is to use a bit of felt / flock tape at the backside edge of the taillamp lens , or to add spacers so there is a gap between lens and painted sheet metal body of car.

One of the hints here is your issue occurs at rear right of vehicle. When you understand how complex automotive body sheet metal is fixtured (four way/ two way locator schema) all the variability in the build goes to right rear. (+/- fractions of millimeters)

  • I think you might be right about the problem according to this thread. Unfortunately, I'm unable to recreate the problem by pressing down on the tail lamp. Any suggestions on how I can recreate the sound without driving it? Thanks.
    – Anish Sana
    Dec 8, 2019 at 23:01
  • Note it will take two people to detect this issue if you are just trying to do this by pushing on the lamp. One person inside car, the other placing gentle pressure on the lamp lens in different areas. You CANNOT hear the creak at all from outside the car, yet its crazy loud inside the car. Did I mention that this issue is pretty wack?
    – zipzit
    Dec 9, 2019 at 17:00
  • Reminder, you will see an area where the red tail lamp lens is BARELY touching painted surface. Gap = quiet, full hard contact = quiet. If its this, you could also reproduce the issue by creating your own undulating test track using 2x4 lumber. Lay a series of boards in street approx 3 feet apart, and staggered left and right to induce slight body twist, drive over them SLOWLY.
    – zipzit
    Dec 9, 2019 at 17:00

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