Suspension System: How to Recognize Problems and When to Change It
Your vehicle’s suspension system is extremely important, because it controls the steering and stability, which ensures you stay safe on the road. Therefore, it’s important to have it diagnosed on a regular basis.
Your vehicle’s suspension is constantly hit with high loads, and is prone to significant wear and tear. For that reason, mechanics highly recommend checking the suspension system after every 6,500 to 7,500 miles of driving or whenever there are signs of break. By repairing a worn out or damaged suspension part, you may prevent possible mishaps from occurring - this ensures you keep money in your pocket, because you don’t have to make any costly repairs.
How Can You Tell Your Suspension Has Problems?
There are several signs that your vehicle’s suspension is having issues:
- Excessive amount of bouncing and swaying (low and high speeds)
- It won’t handle the road properly
- The vehicle may not sit level
Each of these signs is very elusive and can be easily overlooked. In fact, it’s possible that you won’t know something is wrong; until you need to do a rapid maneuver that will keep you from suffering a catastrophic accident.
Why is it So Dangerous to Have Worn out Shock Absorbers and Suspension Springs?
When your suspension is defective, it can’t handle the road’s bumps and ruts. This means you don’t get a smooth ride, and it also makes it harder for you to handle the automobile. When there is a road hazard you quickly need to maneuver around to avoid, the vehicle may move in the direction opposite of how you need it to turn. This will cause the inside wheels to come off the ground and make the car flip over.
When your vehicle’s suspension system is in good shape, your vehicle can make sharp turns and has better steering control. Basically, you get a safe, smooth ride.
7 Ways to Learn You Have a Break in Your Suspension System
When you’re driving your vehicle, there are seven ways to find out if your suspension system is having problems:
- Odd knocks while on a rough, bumpy road
- Noise while driving
- Poor stability and handling while on high speed cruise control
- Steering wheel issues
- Rise of body tilt in turns
- Rise in braking distance
- Premature anti-lock brake system (ABS) while braking on uneven surfaces
How Can You Diagnose the Problems of Your Suspension System?
So, what steps can you take to diagnose your vehicle’s suspension system problem? To check the front suspension, you’ll need to look at the pivots and joints, as they are the ones that are crucial for proper vehicle operation. These are also prone to serious wear and tear because they deal with all the road hazards.
- Look at the steering linkage
- Check the condition of the struts and shocks (are there any leaks?)
- Check out all four of the wheel bearings for unevenness
- Look at the rear and front control arm brushing and ball joints
- Check the springs for any damage
- Check for leaky or damaged CV joint boots
- Look at the vehicle’s ground clearance (torsion bars, coil springs, or struts… (Both sides’ measurements should be equal)
After an in-depth inspection, you can get a basic idea of what state the vehicle’s suspension system is in and if you need to do any replacements of parts. To read more about automotive suspension, click here.