Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
gwallwin806

Winterhoff Hitch - Really Bad Creaking Noises!

Recommended Posts

Hi All

 

I got my Compass Omega 505 serviced (2007) last week, and I asked the engineer to change the pads in the winterhoff hitch.

 

Thinking that all was well, we hitched up and drove off, aiming to head away for the weekend.

 

The caravan hitch was seriously noisey - very very creaky! To the extend where it sounded like the caravan was going to de-hitch itself from the car! I phoned the engineer and he came straight away, aiming to fix the problem. He tried his best - cleaned the pads, sprayed brake cleaner etc. . The problem still exists. He said that it was safe to go away for the weekend, and we did with no problems, but it's still very noisey. The engineer said that he's no idea what to do, apart from changing the pads (again) or getting a new hitch.

 

Would anyone have any suggestions as to how the problem can be sorted? How can the noise be stopped? I'll have to get new hitch if all else fails!

 

Thanks, Gareth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Alko did this for a while, I suspect it just needs to 'bed in' for a while.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. Thank-you for the reply. Just to make things clear though. .. I don't think it's case of bedding it in. It's extremely noisey - the noise travels through the chassis of the car and would drive you crazy! It's particularly bad when turning at roundabouts etc. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. Thank-you for the reply. Just to make things clear though. .. I don't think it's case of bedding it in. It's extremely noisey - the noise travels through the chassis of the car and would drive you crazy! It's particularly bad when turning at roundabouts etc. .

Yes, I had people stopping, staring and trying to stop me :) They can get REALLY noisy. It is just friction vibration. If everything is clean and tidy and you have cleaned the paint off the towball then I suggest it needs bedding in. Failing that get somebody else to take a look.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a good clean with some fine sandpaper and then a clean with some brake cleaner.

 

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same problem,but changing the pads cured it. It does sound as though there might be

contamination somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had this with my new Winterhoff, it is a bedding in process.

The tow ball was very smooth and shiny, so I deglazed it with

medium emery cloth, the friction pads I used sandpaper on.

Everything was washed off with brake cleaner spray.

We did 150 miles in perfect silence, then on entering the

campsite it began to groan, oh! how it groaned, the Lioness was

so embarassed. I unhitched and wiped the ball and hitch with a wet

cloth recoupled and went on across the site in perfect silence.

It did not do it again for the rest of my ownership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had the same problem with our previous van after it's last service. It was perfect before it had the service but when we got it back it creaked and groaned really loudly. We part exed the van so hope the dealer will sort it before they sell it on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should of asked if you have cleaned all the paint off the ball as this will just contaminate the pads ?

 

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all. Ta for the replies. All the components are very clean - including the tow ball. I have already had a few creaks, but when I changed the pads, I thought that the problem would be sorted - but obviously not! I use emery cloth and brake cleaner etc everytime I hitch - just giving it a quick wipe. But the problem persists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all. Ta for the replies. All the components are very clean - including the tow ball. I have already had a few creaks, but when I changed the pads, I thought that the problem would be sorted - but obviously not! I use emery cloth and brake cleaner etc everytime I hitch - just giving it a quick wipe. But the problem persists.

Just a thought, the brake cleaner may be causing the problem.

OK clean the ball and hitch then leave it overnight before coupling

this will allow atmospheric moisture to repenetrate the components,

a little like I did with the wet cloth but on a molecular level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same problem, and cleaned the towball and friction pads but the noise was still there, I tried everything, then one day, while I was moving the van around the storage compound I heard the noise.

Being as it wasn't attached to the car, I knew then that it wasn't the hitch. I got under the van, grabbed and shook the brake rod because sometimes they can squeak, it wasn't that.

 

As a last resort, I shook the spare wheel carrier and hallelujah I found it. Sprayed some grease on it and ever since has been totally silent.

 

Don't always assume that the noises always come from the hitch, sometimes it can be something simple as I found out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same problem, and cleaned the towball and friction pads but the noise was still there, I tried everything, then one day, while I was moving the van around the storage compound I heard the noise.

Being as it wasn't attached to the car, I knew then that it wasn't the hitch. I got under the van, grabbed and shook the brake rod because sometimes they can squeak, it wasn't that.

 

As a last resort, I shook the spare wheel carrier and hallelujah I found it. Sprayed some grease on it and ever since has been totally silent.

 

Don't always assume that the noises always come from the hitch, sometimes it can be something simple as I found out.

:goodpost: thats using your loaf :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the responses. It definitely is the hitch - the noises are much worse when I turn left/right. I will try the other suggestions that people have mentioned. Everything is very clean, a real mystery. I'm going to France in July and need it sorted before then! Gareth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Gareth I've Just fitted new clip in friction pads to my Winterhoff WS3000 to try and prevent creaking.

 

It made no difference whatsoever, in fact it's probably worse than before.

My towing vehicle is a 2018 Superb with a factory fitted tow bar with all the paint previously removed from the new tow ball.

 

After completely removing my Winterhoff WS3000 and inspecting the mechanism I can see that the linkage pins are all  worn and loose in the main casting, which is probably resulting in not enough clamping force on the tow ball, hence creaking.

 

The Winterhoff is 8 years old and tows to Spain each winter so it's time to order a new replacement.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the same problem I've tryed everything and the annoying creak is still there if i loosen the stableiser and drive theres no creak attach it back down then creaks again. It's like it's to tight on the ball 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take it on a long trip with winding roads, not motorways and the noise will go away.

 

I've read all the de-glaze the pads, change the pads, clean the towball with brake cleaner advice and am not convinced by any of it.

 

I tried all that on my Orion, none of it worked for long, but the long trip did.

 

When I got my new Pursuit, with new towball, it creaked like mad.  From what I learned from the Orion I ignored it and low and behold 300 miles later it was nice and quiet and remains so.

 

All I do before each trip, is wipe the ball over with a dry tissue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just fitted a new Winterhoff  WS3000 coupling to try and solve the creaking suffered from the old one.

 

It worked fine for the first 150 miles of towing and now creaks as bad as ever. 

 

Not sure what to do now, but I'm at the stage of considering spraying the tow ball with silicone spray before coupling up the caravan and hoping the stabiliser effect is not too diminished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Skoti said:

I'm at the stage of considering spraying the tow ball with silicone spray before coupling up the caravan and hoping the stabiliser effect is not too diminished.

 

Doing that will totally negate the friction element of the hitch stabiliser and make it useless !!!

 

Thorough cleaning of the towball and hitch head is all you can try , use brake cleaner every time you hitch up after rubbing the towball with a piece of fine emery paper or a scourer.

 

If you only encounter the noise when moving slowly on site just release the friction on the towball.

 

When driving on the open road and it happens at roundabouts, just ignore it !!!its only a noise, it is not going to kill anyone !!!!

Edited by Brecon
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply, but I won't just ignore the noise, I need to solve it because it spoils my towing pleasure.

 

Creaking at roundabouts and carparks etc don't concern me.  

But creaks and bangs when driving on motorways over the slightest ripple on the road surface are not acceptable.   

 

The vehicle, is an 18 month old Skoda Superb which has a factory fitted tow bar, so it's unlikely the tow ball is worn unevenly but not impossible.

The ball measures 49.75mm diameter so perhaps the Winterhoff coupling pads are not gripping the tow ball tight enough? 

 

 I keep an aerosol can of brake cleaner and a scotchbrite pad in the boot for use each time before coupling up the caravan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. We put new pads in a Winterhoff hitch in our previous Elddis.   Awful noise. Particularly when in turning one direction ( can’t remember which). Turned the radio up and ignored it, but fully appreciate that it spoils towing and may not be an option for you.  Did eventually stop after a particularly long tow.

I suspect that some part of the new pads was sitting proud, and the long tow wore it down. You could go for an “ enthusiastic” clean with emery paper, particularly on the face in contact with the tow ball making the most noise when you turn. 

Good luck

nanamel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You only have to think how the tow hitch works to understand what causes the noise.

 

The pads grip tightly to the ball in order to overcome / reduce the caravan swaying about.

 

When cornering, the hitch is going to swivel on the ball, regardless of how tight it is being gripped.  The same will apply to undulations in the road when traveling, regardless of speed.

 

The tighter the grip the better it works, however when the turning forces have to overcome the frictional grip, something has to give and that is always going to be the grip on the ball.  This will occur multiple times as the caravan turns and straightens.  This creates the groaning noise you hear and dislike so much.  The hitch is just doing its job with maximum effect.

 

This will cause the pads to wear and at a sweet point, the noise will stop.   When it stops, the hitch isn't working as efficiently  but will still be working, slowing down the swaying of the caravan.  The pads will continue to wear and at some point will need adjusting and ultimately replacing.  But this will take many years.

 

I've said it before, (see my previous post above) and will say it again, leave them alone and take your van on a long journey with lots of twisty turns and the noise will go away after a few hundred miles.  Motorway towing would take thousands of miles to achieve the same effect.

 

As others have said, they need to bed in.  If you rub the pads and ball with an abrasive, you will accelerate the wear, but it will be uneven.

 

Just get out more and go  further away avoiding, as best you can, motorways for the journeys and live with the noise until it stops.

 

It's not rocket science, just a bit of physics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I've said it before, (see my previous post above) and will say it again, leave them alone and take your van on a long journey with lots of twisty turns and the noise will go away after a few hundred miles.  Motorway towing would take thousands of miles to achieve the same effect."

 

 

Thank you, it all sounds like logical advice, but as I mentioned in my earlier post the new WS3000 worked fine for the first 150 miles then started creaking and continued creaking for the next 500 miles (from Prague to Scotland).

 

I'm thinking of removing the pads and fitting thin plastic spacer washers between the pads and tow hitch housing as the pads are a fairly loose fit in the housing.

I was hoping this may increase the clamping effect and perhaps reduce the creaking. 

 

I have another 650 miles of towing at the end of this month and would prefer if it was creak free!

 

 

 

BTW

I towed the same caravan with my last car (Skoda Octavia) and never had any problems with creaking from the WS3000 hitch... 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the suggestions on how to cure the creaking noise from my new Winterhoff WS3000 hitch.

But up until now all that has been suggested has failed to cure the creaking noise.

 

I wondered if maybe the friction pads were not gripping the tow ball tight enough, so I made a washer from brake pad backing shims and fitted it between the front most friction pad and the hitch housing.

 

So far I've towed over 700 creak free miles in the last few days and feel hopeful that the problem is now solved. 

 

Hope this helps other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...