Common Suspension FAQ’s
Some of the most common signs of a suspension problem can often indicate other issues with your vehicle as well. If your auto is experiencing any of the following symptoms, your suspension could be in trouble.
- Your car is pulling to one side while you are driving.
- You can clearly feel every bump in the road.
- One corner of the car seems to be sitting lower than the others.
- Accelerating makes your car nosedive, roll, or lean back.
- You are having a difficult time steering your vehicle.
A suspension system is designed to help your vehicle maneuver uneven terrain. It is designed to take the impact away from the vehicle’s frame. Without a suspension system, the wheels of a vehicle would lose connection with the street and slam back onto the surface. The suspension system keeps a vehicle moving smoothly forward despite bumps in the road.
The suspension system is made up of ball joints, shock absorbers and struts, and springs. The suspension helps the wheels maintain proper contact and friction with the road and its obstacles. Since the suspension system is large and such a critical component of your vehicle, repair a suspension can cost upwards of thousands of dollars depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Luxury cars and specialty vehicles typically cost more.
Due to the stress that can be put on a suspension system, it is wise to repair or replace both sides of the suspension for equal wear and tear. If you believe your vehicle is in need of suspension work, bring it into Automotive Hospital for servicing and to get a quote on your repair.
There are two main types of suspensions used in vehicles: the dependent suspension system and the independent suspension system.
In the dependent suspension system, both wheels of the same axle are rigidly connected to the same suspension system. The force acting on one wheel then affects the motion of another wheel. The advantage of this suspension system is that it has a higher weight carrying capacity than any other suspension system. This system is typically seen in heavy-duty trucks, buses, and commercial vehicles.
In the independent suspension system, both wheels of the same axle are connected to a different suspension system. The force acting on one wheel will not affect the motion of the other wheel. This system provides more comfort compared to the dependent suspension system and is seen in most cars.
- Wheels and tyres
- Shock absorbers and struts
- Bushings, bearings, and joints
- Steering system
Your suspension system is meant to perform basic functions which help keep your vehicle riding smoothly on the road. These are six basic functions that your suspension system helps accomplish:
- It helps maintain the correct vehicle ride height.
- It helps to reduce the effect of shock forces.
- The suspension system maintains correct wheel alignment.
- It supports vehicle weight.
- It keeps the tyres in contact with the road.
- The suspension system controls the vehicle’s direction of travel.
Driving a vehicle with a broken suspension will feel unbalanced, unstable, and can cause you to lose control over the vehicle. The damaged or worn part will need to be repaired or replaced before you drive your car. If you let your damaged parts go for too long, it will create more damage and the potential for more repairs needed or an entire suspension replacement needed. The sooner you detect a problem and repair it, the less costly it will be for you and your vehicle.
No, this needs to be fixed immediately. A car with a damaged steering linkage cannot be relied on to turn when you want it to, which is extremely dangerous.
Yes, however, it will be extremely uncomfortable. A broken shock absorber results in a car that feels every bounce and bumps. Your car will be harder to control, especially at higher speeds. You should never drive your vehicle at high speeds or in areas that require sudden turns and abrupt stops with a damaged shock absorber.
Damaged springs can greatly affect the alignment on your vehicle, which is why you should not drive with damaged springs. You ride will be rough and the car will be difficult to control, especially if you had an emergency. If the springs have collapsed and leave your car body resting on your tyres, it is unsafe to drive your car and it needs immediate repairs.