Suspension Ovehaul: Signs that Will Indicate that Your Car Needs It

March 29, 2018

Instead of suspecting suspension trouble, the car's tyres are blamed. If they're not causing the bumpy ride, then the poorly maintained road is criticised. Trouble is, the wheels aren't at fault, nor is the road. Actually, the vehicle's suspension is falling into disrepair. Unfortunately, this example illustrates a problem because drivers ignore vehicle springs and shocks. Let's fix that problem by identifying the signs that indicate an imminent suspension failure.

That Bumpy Ride is Getting Out of Hand

Every pothole and crack causes a jolting bounce. That bounce is normally dampened and imperceptible. If the automobile is really feeling the raw strike of every road blemish, then a suspension overhaul is due. Otherwise, the rough ride will take a toll on the rest of the vehicle's mechanical assemblies.

Feel the Erratic Chassis Movement

You steer into a turn, but the car feels like it wants to pull in the opposite direction. The car drifts to one side of the road when it's cruising an even surface. Check wheel alignment first. If the wheels are balanced, the shocks are the likely culprits. Essentially, car shocks compensate for centrifugal force. They lean into the turn. If the car is drifting during the turn, the shocks are failing. A vehicle that can't handle a turn could roll. Secondly, cars should come to a balanced stop. If the vehicle dips its nose as you brake, the suspension system has a problem.

Inspect Those Tyres Now

Here's a dead giveaway, a symptom that proves the shocks aren't functioning properly. There's tread wear on one rubber tyre but not the other three. On closer inspection, the wear pattern is only present on the outer shoulder of the tyre. Now, wheel misalignment snags also cause uneven tread wear, which simply means you should have the wheels aligned before you opt for a suspension overhaul. If that simple garage check doesn't yield any negative results, the shock absorbers are suspect.

And so it goes, with the driver looking for signs that this expensive investment isn't riding the road properly. The steering is also feeling unusually unresponsive, especially when the car is moving at lower speeds. Get down on your knees, after laying down your knee-protecting dropcloth. Is there oil or grease lining the shocks? They're leaking, and your ride is getting rougher. Springs or struts, shock absorbers or ball joints, there are many movement-dampening parts in motion under your car. If just one component develops a problem, you should divert to a garage and see if your car requires a suspension overhaul.

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