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I've got a 2004 VW New Beetle and, sometimes, at low speeds, mostly when turning but sometimes when straight, it makes creaking noises. They seem mostly to come from the front end but I've also heard some that seemed to come from the rear end. I've got a short recording on YouTube that captures the sound:

Creaking New Beetle

I assume this is some sort of suspension problem? Should I be worried about driving it like this or is it relatively benign?

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I have a Jetta of the same generation that shares almost all parts with the NB except the sheet metal, and I've had to replace numerous rubber parts over the years. No way to tell what it is from the sound, as many worn rubber parts can make a sound like that. The best way to identify the worn part is to put the car on a lift and look for movement while levering and forcing various suspension parts to move.

In my opinion, it's relatively benign, with the proviso that if you eventually wear completely through a rubber part, you'll start damaging steel. So plan a repair in the next few months.

Shooting from the hip, any of the following could be producing that sound, all of which I've replaced on the Jetta at one time or another:

Sway bar bushing

Sway bar link bushing

Dog bone mount

Rear axle beam bushing

Rear shock mount bushing

Front strut upper mount

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You can slow wear by spraying white lithium grease on all the rubber parts mentioned by MTA in the answer, above.

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