What is the Suspension System?
The car’s suspension system is located between the frame of the car and the road, it is a protective network of components which includes, coil springs, shock absorbers or dampers, (or struts) rods, linkages and joints, bearings, bushings.
Comfort, Stability and Safety
The system is designed to soak up the impact from any bumps in the road offering a comfortable and stable ride that allows the driver to brake, accelerate and corner safely. It also helps the tyres remain in contact with the road which increases friction making steering and handling more stable and ultimately, safer.
The comfort of the cabin of the car (where the passengers are seated) is dependent on the suspension system, as this absorbs the energy transferred through the wheels of the cars and provides comfort to passengers when travelling across bumps in the road. Without a suspension system, travelling along imperfect roads would be extremely uncomfortable with lots of knocks and jolts. It is also essential for the safety of the vehicles, allowing it to remain stable on the road.
The suspension system can help to increase the lifespan and durability of the other components of the vehicle, as energy from bumps and holes in the road is transferred from the tyres to the suspension system rather than the rest of the vehicle, protecting the other parts from impact.
What are the Main Signs of Wear to the Suspension System?
When the suspension system fails, the vehicle may appear to pull or drift when turning corners. This is sometimes accompanied by a knocking sound which may be the anti-roll bar. When the vehicle drifts, it means that the shocks are no longer keeping the body of the vehicle stable. This is dangerous as it increases the risk of the vehicle rolling over.
A Rough and Bouncy Ride
When the components of the suspension system eventually wear out, this can make the ride feel bumpier as the system will no longer be absorbing energy from bumps and potholes in the road. It can also affect the stopping distance by up to 20%, making it very important to get any suspected issues inspected and repaired as soon as possible.
Uneven Tyre Treads
In many cases, uneven tyre tread can be due to poor wheel alignment however, sometimes it is a sign that the suspension system is not supporting the weight of the car evenly. This is often caused by wear to particular parts.
If the vehicle feels as though it takes a nosedive when the breaks are applied, this could indicate that the shocks on the suspension are worn out, meaning that braking distance is increased.
Greasy Shocks and Struts
If the shocks and struts are greasy, it is likely that fluid is leaking and are therefore not working properly.
When Do Components of the Suspension System Need Replacement?
Suspension systems are subject to intense wear in a regularly used vehicle – supporting several tonnes of metal and the additional weight of passengers, after several years on the road it is likely that the suspension system will need some maintenance and as with any component of your vehicle, over time, it will eventually need replacing.
The extent of wear and tear will vary between different makes and models of vehicle, the number of miles driven and the age of the vehicle itself. Driving style and where the car is driven can also impact the rate of wear, for example, routinely driving on bumpy roads with potholes may mean that it is necessary to replace the shocks and struts sooner than someone that drives on a smoother surface.
If you have any concerns about your suspension system, it is important to get them checked out immediately by a certified technician. We offer a wide range of services including suspension replacement. Get in touch today for more information.