Thanks to car suspension you no longer feel every bump in the road.
It is designed to absorb those lumps and bumps in the road surface to make for a comfortable ride, accelerate, brake and turn safely. It also ensures that your tyres keep contact with the road at all times.
It is a critical safety feature too and is integral to the overall performance of the car and must be maintained.
How does it work?
There are a number of components which make up the suspension system, from the frame, to steering, to tyres and wheels. They work in tandem to make the car stable. The two main components of suspension are the springs and dampeners.
Each wheel has its own set and when a dump or trough in the road is hit, the spring compresses or expands as the car is moved up or down respectively. The dampener or shock absorber is used to remove any reactions from the spring being compressed or expanded, effectively stopping the car from bouncing for a long period of time.
To stop the car from tilting too far one way or the other an anti-roll bar is used to keep each side of the car at a similar height when one side is higher or lower than the other. Effectively stopping it tilt too far one way especially when going around corners.
As with all wear and tear on a car these do become damaged over time from all the impacts which it takes and the ride becomes rougher showing more imperfections in the road. It can ultimately effect your stopping distance by up to 20% so if you notice the difference have it checked out as soon as possible.
How To Recognise Problems
It is difficult to spot suspension issues, so we have a few tips and tricks for you to watch out for:
You will notice that one side or corner of your car is lower than the rest. It can mean that the spring has broken causing that corner to drop.
Pull up on a flat surface and at each corner of the car push down with all your weight and let go. If the car bounces more than 2 or 3 times there is an issue and you should speak with us and bring it in.
If you are finding that the ride is bumpier than normal, then this could be related to suspension issues. They wear out like anything else so they end up not absorbing defects in the road as well.
The lubricant in the shock absorbers from the compression and expansion can cause the lubricant to be pushed out. Have a look under the car at the absorbers and inspect them for oily residue on the surface, this could mean there is a leak and should be looked at as soon as possible.
Tyre Or Tread Depth
Inspect your tyres for unusual wear where the tread has reduced more than the rest of the tyre.
If it wears too much on the inside or the outside of the tyre this could mean that your wheel tracking needs attention or a poor performing suspension system.
If your vehicle is pulling to either side of the road and you are correcting your direction a lot then wheel alignment could be the cause. Turn a corner and you may notice that the car drifts more than experienced before. With more tilting than normal and a knocking sound also, this could be your suspension system or your anti-roll bar which should be looked at immediately for safety reasons.