If you have ever done any driving across bumpy road surfaces, you know how important it is for your vehicle to have a good suspension system. The suspension system is what supports your vehicle on the road, absorbing much of the heavy shock impulses and friction from the road surface. It also provides support for the vehicle weight and enables stability when using your steering.
In this month’s blog, we look at the suspension system in your vehicle and the common signs that may occur when this critical system breaks down. We also address preventative maintenance tips for your suspension system.
Common Suspension System Problems
The suspension system works hard to maximize driving comfort, ease, and performance. Many suspension system problems are the result of unusual wear and tear.
The struts are a structural component of the suspension system found in most vehicles and serve as a connection point between the wheel and the vehicle body. Comprised of the coil spring and the shock absorber, the strut assembly cushions the vehicle from rough road surfaces.
|Damage from wear and tear.||- Bottoming out when on rough roads or backing out of the driveway on a slant.
- Uneven tire wear or “cupping”.
- Rocking or swaying movement when turning or in windy conditions.
Shock absorbers are dampers designed to absorb the impacts of the road by converting and dissipating energy absorbed from the movement and road surface.
|Fluid leaks which diminish the effectiveness of the shock absorbers.||- The vehicle may shake when driving on rougher road surfaces.
- Bouncing of the vehicle during movement or on rough road surfaces.
The springs in the suspension help to support the weight of the vehicle. Springs also help to dissipate energy from the shock absorbers.
|Damage from wear and tear.||- Vehicle sags or sits lower in one corner.
- When turning, you hear clunking sounds.
The ball joints are a component of the suspension that attach the wheels to the suspension.
|Damage from wear and tear.||- Squeaking sounds when turning the vehicle|
Suspension System Maintenance Tips
Unlike other systems within your vehicle, there is not a long list of maintenance tasks that you can perform regularly to keep your suspension system healthy. Much of your suspension system’s health is determined by the type of driving you do, especially if you are prone to driving in rougher road surfaces.
Here are a few suggestions on how to keep your suspension system running smoothly:
- Avoid rough road surface driving as much as possible
- Be alert to the sounds and sensations that may indicate a problem with one of your suspension system components
- Have your shock absorbers checked and possibly replaced every 35,000 miles driven, or sooner if you regularly drive on rough surfaces
- Make sure to have proper wheel alignment done when you notice uneven tire tread wear or your steering wheel is “pulling” in one direction or shaking during operation.
If you feel that your vehicle may be developing a suspension problem, contact us today at Best Western Transmissions to schedule an appointment. We will inspect your suspension for any possible damage due to wear and tear and perform the proper tests to isolate the root cause of your vehicle’s problems. Our service professionals will provide you with any recommended repairs or replacements to make sure that your vehicle’s suspension system is in top working order.