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Discussion Starter #1
(80K miles, '12 Versa HB) Just had my AC fixed over 2 weeks ago, and now a new problem: my 2012 Versa HB has started making little creaking sounds when steering.

I asked Google and the first suggestion was to check the steering fluid...but the Versa is an electric assist steering system, so none exists.

That basically leaves the likely culprit to be something with the struts/suspension system. Or have I missed anything else?

Anybody have anything extra to add? How much would you guesstimate this is likely to cost to repair? $200? $500? Hopefully we're going to stay in triple digits? I'm in New England so I was surprised that recently getting my AC recharged plus 2 leaky valves replaced came out to a reasonable $165.

Is my Versa approaching its expiration date, beyond which keeping it may prove to be more trouble than it's worth? We only put about 7-8K miles on it per year so it's really very lightly and gently used, mostly the wife drives it 10 minutes each way to work and neither of us are abusive accelerate-and-brake type drivers.

Keeping my fingers crossed the tranny doesn't go out next... :cautious:
 

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it's hard to say how much this would be before pinpointing the exact issue.

You should try to find out where the noise comes from first: steering column, or suspensions?
 

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try starting with the easy fix: down at the base you would see the steering linkage shaft point. Just where the pedals are.
Start lubing that with grease, that zone might need regreasing from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
try starting with the easy fix: down at the base you would see the steering linkage shaft point. Just where the pedals are.
Start lubing that with grease, that zone might need regreasing from time to time.
Hmm, you might be on to something...today I noticed that there was some small creaks sometimes when I was braking to a complete stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
try starting with the easy fix: down at the base you would see the steering linkage shaft point. Just where the pedals are.
Start lubing that with grease, that zone might need regreasing from time to time.
The shop said that the front right control arm with ball joint & bushings needs replacing. Not entirely surprising considering how bad the roads are here. Quoted me for $433 total, including a 4 wheel alignment. Somewhat strange is that in the last couple of days, the creaking sound seems to have gone away for some reason.

Big surprise is that they said the inside of the tires are worn and need replacing. I was shocked because they are 7 year old Michelin Defenders that I have only about 60-70K miles on at most, and they are supposed to last 90K miles. However, I remembered that I did stupidly go through a 4 year stretch when I failed to do annual rotations of them, which would explain the wear on just the inside. So perhaps this does make sense. Costco happens to have a sale on those same Defender tires right now...
 

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However, I remembered that I did stupidly go through a 4 year stretch when I failed to do annual rotations of them, which would explain the wear on just the inside. So perhaps this does make sense.
Wheels rotation (or lack of it) has nothing to do with the wheel alignment, so do not blame yourself.

In any case, you will do yourself a favor looking for a second opinion about your car. I am not saying anything negative about first shop, they may be perfectly knowledgeable and honest folks, but sometimes it is possible to misdiagnose a problem. And if a second shop confirms the first shop diagnosis, that's even better.
 

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The shop said that the front right control arm with ball joint & bushings needs replacing. Not entirely surprising considering how bad the roads are here. Quoted me for $433 total, including a 4 wheel alignment. Somewhat strange is that in the last couple of days, the creaking sound seems to have gone away for some reason.

Big surprise is that they said the inside of the tires are worn and need replacing. I was shocked because they are 7 year old Michelin Defenders that I have only about 60-70K miles on at most, and they are supposed to last 90K miles. However, I remembered that I did stupidly go through a 4 year stretch when I failed to do annual rotations of them, which would explain the wear on just the inside. So perhaps this does make sense. Costco happens to have a sale on those same Defender tires right now...
it depends on the labour, but I would say it's OK considering the cost of the parts (both arms, bushings and the alignment and labour).
I replaced DIY both lower control arm and the driver side was a pain in the ass because of the TX too close to the arm itself. Didn't replace the bushings.

I would also go somewhere else to have a second opinion. Both sides control arms and bushings...I mean it could be perfectly true but IDK.

anyway, a bad alignment can and do destroy a tire from the inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Wheels rotation (or lack of it) has nothing to do with the wheel alignment, so do not blame yourself.
No, they recommended doing the 4 wheel alignment only because of the control arm replacement. Is that pretty standard/necessary practice? I remember about 5 years ago when I also had a front suspension repair, that shop (a different one) also had me do an alignment together with that repair.

I was just thinking to myself that my neglecting to have the tires rotated for all those years could have resulted in uneven/excessive tire wear on just one side of the tires as the guy reported (he didn't know about my lapse in annual rotations). I have to add that when I did finally get around to rotating the tires after those years of neglect, the tires definitely seemed quieter and handled more smoothly.

Anyway, I checked my records and the Michelin website, and it looks like I'm 1 year past their standard 6 year warranty anyhow.

When asking for a second opinion from a different shop, how much can I expect to be charged for their time?
 

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Just a tire comment: I don't let any of my tires go past 5 years. I usually wear them out by year 3 or 4 but if the tires get the 5 years old, I start looking into replacement, decent tread or not.

I don't have that problem since I average too many miles (I just past 66k on my 2018 and will be replacing the second set of tires in the spring).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just a tire comment: I don't let any of my tires go past 5 years. I usually wear them out by year 3 or 4 but if the tires get the 5 years old, I start looking into replacement, decent tread or not.
I don't have that problem since I average too many miles (I just past 66k on my 2018 and will be replacing the second set of tires in the spring).
Wow, 66K in just 2 years! I average more like 6-8K per year which is why I was initially resistant at the thought of already changing them out. But now, the more I think about it, the more sense it makes...I figure if having newer tires = safer tires esp. in wet/icy conditions, it's actually a very cheap form of extra insurance.

Costco having a nice sale on Michelins and my state having a tax free weekend tomorrow also helps. :)
 

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I just bought some Michelin Pilot Sport AS 3+ for my BMW since they were on sale. My car's actually closer to 3 years old since I bought it in '17. I'm well out of warranty and do most of my own maintenance. Luckily for me, I have friends that have lifts in their garage and one even has a tire mounting and balancing machine in his barn!

I bought my daughter a used car for cheap in February, then covid happened and she has still managed to put 8000 miles on her car since then! I'm actually getting the Versa for her and am researching a winter wheel/tire setup for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
hey, if you go tomorrow to Costco check if they have the Apple Pie and let me know :D :D
:LOL:

well I have to order the tires online from them since they probably don't have my size in-store, but the sales tax is removed anyway ... which is a good thing, saves me from the huge weekend lines
 

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When asking for a second opinion from a different shop, how much can I expect to be charged for their time?
Depends on the shop. If not a dealer, they may do it without a charge. Just tell them about your car's problem, and ask for an estimate. Many independent shops consider free estimates as the cost of doing business.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
it depends on the labour, but I would say it's OK considering the cost of the parts (both arms, bushings and the alignment and labour).
I replaced DIY both lower control arm and the driver side was a pain in the ass because of the TX too close to the arm itself. Didn't replace the bushings.
I would also go somewhere else to have a second opinion. Both sides control arms and bushings...I mean it could be perfectly true but IDK.
anyway, a bad alignment can and do destroy a tire from the inside.
Something strange has happened: after Costco installed my four new tires, and presumably balanced them (don't know if they also do an alignment or not), the creaking sound that I was getting before has mysteriously vanished! Don't know if it's my placebo-driven imagination or not, but the car now rides perfectly.

So, am thinking about just canceling the replacement of the control arm that is scheduled for this week. Noise is gone both during turning, and also when using the brake pedal.

Really weird. Kind of like how I was getting chronic "check engine" lights, cleaned the MAF sensor and it kept coming back, then didn't do anything else to it and that warning light also disappeared inexplicably and hasn't returned (knock on wood).

Beginning to think maybe this car is possessed, lol...
 

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that's odd but I'm happy the car doesn't sound like that anymore. keep an eye (an ear) on it anyway!!
 
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