Are you a car enthusiast? Knowing how important a car’s suspension is to its handling, acceleration, and ride quality is important. So, here are several signs indicating it is time to get your suspension replaced.
Pedders is Australia’s leading car suspension specialist. They develop, design, and manufacture replacement and performance suspensions for several cars from Honda, Toyota, and more.
What Is a Car Suspension?
A car suspension is a vehicle’s vital component. At its most basic level, the suspension connects the vehicle to its wheels and helps make driving much more comfortable by absorbing the shocks caused by bumps and uneven surfaces.
Generally, a well-designed suspension also ensures that the wheels keep contact with the ground over all types of terrain, which increases driver control.
What Are the Components of a Car Suspension?
An automobile’s suspension consists of components that provide a smooth ride for passengers. Here are the functions of each.
- Shock Absorber – it reduces the impact of the bumps on your vehicle’s body and wheels.
- Spring – it prevents the wheels from bouncing off-road irregularities, keeping your vehicle stable at all times.
- Stabilizer Bar – ensures that the chassis does not roll excessively when you turn your car or steer through a curve.
- Ball Joints – ensure that your vehicle’s wheels remain connected to its suspension system throughout its movement range.
- Lateral Control Rod – helps keep your vehicle stable in sharp turns.
- Bumper- absorbs shock when you hit something with your front end.
- Upper and Lower Arm – they help control how much movement the wheels have.
- Strut Bar – provides support for the car’s suspension.
- Knuckle Arm – works with the upper and lower control arm to help control how much movement the wheels have.
How Often Should You Check the Car’s Suspension?
You should check your vehicle’s suspension annually or every 10,000-12,000 miles. However, if you begin to notice excessive bouncing or leaning on corners or that your tires are wearing unevenly, you should have your car checked immediately.
What Are the Signs Your Car Needs Car Suspension Replacement?
The main issue with bad suspension is that it makes driving less comfortable. Here are a few more specific signs of bad suspension.
1. Tough Ride Experience
When your car suspension needs replacing, you will notice that your ride is no longer as smooth as before. You will feel every bump and hole in the road, and it may become difficult to drive over speed bumps or curbs because of this.
2. Difficulty Steering
As you drive, the suspension balances your vehicle, keeping the tires in contact with the road and providing a comfortable ride for passengers. If the suspension fails, your car can become difficult to control and dangerous to drive on any surface.
3. Pulling or Drifting during Turning
One possible cause of pulling or drifting during turns is misaligned wheels. If the wheel alignment is off on one side more than the other, you might notice your vehicle pulling to one side as you make a turn, increasing rollover incidents.
4. Stopping Issues
Your car’s brakes are dependent on your suspension for proper functioning. If you notice that your car feels “mushy” when you brake, or if it takes longer than normal to stop, you might have issues with your brake pads.
5. Tire Wearing
If the tires show uneven tread wear signs, take your car in for a suspension inspection and have your tires rotated.
If you catch it early, you may only need to replace one part. However, if left too long, you may have to replace more than one part to get your steering and suspension back in line.
6. Oily and Damaged Shocks
The most obvious sign that your shocks are going bad is if there is oil on them. This means they have been leaking and will need to be replaced. You might also notice that the shock seems to be bent or cracked, which means it needs to be replaced.
7. Bounce Test Failure
The bounce test is an easy way to determine if your vehicle’s shock absorbers or struts are worn out.
To perform this test, simply push down on the vehicle’s hood (or trunk). You should only push down once.
When the car bounces more than once after releasing it, your shocks/struts need to be replaced.
Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Car Suspension
If you have any of these symptoms, you should have your vehicle inspected by a professional. The good news is that these are signs that your car suspension is wearing out, so if you catch them early, you can save yourself some money. But if you ignore them, the damage could be much worse.