One of the big mistakes people make is assuming that their suspension system (i.e., struts or shocks) is mainly about providing a smooth ride, and therefore these repairs are not as important as other maintenance issues like their brakes or oil changes. However, faulty suspension can greatly affect your ability to control your vehicle, especially when you are stopping or turning. It’s also a big contributor to uneven tire wear (along with bad alignment of course) which leads to uneven tire wear and a shorter tire life (i.e., much higher costs). So it is in your best interest not to ignore this part of your vehicle’s maintenance.
What is the Suspension System?
The suspension system consists of springs, tires, shock absorbers, and parts that connect your vehicle to its wheels and allows for motion between the two. The suspension system is responsible for regulating the bouncing motion that your car might go through while on the road. Having the suspension system in great working order means a more comfortable, manageable and more luxurious feeling ride. Equally important: proper maintenance of your suspension system also protects your vehicle from damage or wear.
How do you know when it is time for suspension repair?
To prolong the life of your vehicle the steering and suspension system must be checked at least once a year to prevent significant repairs. Any time you feel symptoms of steering or suspension troubles, don’t hesitate to bring your car in right away. Issues that should cause you alarm:
- Your vehicle is pulling to one side
- You are having trouble(s) steering
- Complications driving over uneven roads or dips
- Your vehicle continues to bounce after going over a bump
- Your tires stray or shake
- Your steering seems to be slipping
To help ensure that your steering and shocks are working properly, a technician may examine all of your steering and suspension parts, and will also evaluate:
- Uneven tires or wear
- Unbalanced wheels
- Steering Wheel Alignment
- Problems with alignment
- Power steering fluid
- Tightness of nuts and bolts
- Torn or used power steering belts
- Impacts and/or Struts
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AutoEducaton. The Suspension System. 2015. http://www.autoeducation.com/autoshop101/suspension.htm
Wikihow. How to Inspect Your Suspension System.