Vehicle suspension is an important aspect of every vehicle. It keeps the car balanced, stable, and able to react to maneuvers during operation. It's one of the less obvious systems of your car, but it's one of the hardest working. Without suspension, your car's safety and comfort would be severely compromised.
Read on to learn more about this essential system:
What is Car Suspension?
Suspension refers to the overall system of tires, springs, and shock absorbers that connect the car body to its wheels. The suspension system performs two main functions: assisting with the car's handling and braking, and providing a comfortable ride for the passengers. Without suspension, the vehicle would be at risk for tipping over and passengers would experience a bumpy, jarring ride.
Over time, vehicle manufacturers have utilized different suspension types, including: leaf springs, torsion beam suspensions, springs (coiled), air springs, and various gas/hydraulic fluid pressure systems. Suspension systems may be chosen and tailored depending upon the anticipated use of the vehicle (standard, commercial, racing, off-road).
Signs That You Need Vehicle Suspension Repairs
While you may not need to know exactly how car suspension works, you should be able to identify when the suspension system is not working properly or needs replacement. Here are early warning signs that may indicate your car's suspension needs repair:
- The car rides roughly (i.e., you feel bumps and dips in the road more acutely than you previously did)
- The car drifts, pulls, or leans when turning
- You experience "nose dives" when braking (the car dips forward), or "squats" when accelerating
- The shocks or struts are visibly greasy -- this may indicate a fluid leak in the suspension system
- Vibrations or tire noise
- Visible damage to any suspension components
- Uneven tire tread
If you suspect that your car's suspension may be failing, it's best to schedule an appointment with a professional mechanic to have it inspected. Addressing problems right away will avoid more damage to the system and help prevent a major breakdown, or even an accident. Suspension issues are often connected with alignment and steering as well -- be sure to have all of these checked to ensure maximum vehicle safety.
A Word on Suspension Modding
Suspension systems can have prominent aesthetic effects on a vehicle, and modifications are commonly employed to create different looks. For instance, a vehicle may have had its suspension system modified if it appears to be "lifted" (set higher off the ground, usually for off-road purposes), or "slammed" (lowered to the ground to create a faster-looking profile). Such mods also add some performance advantages to the car, mostly in terms of handling and road feel.
Mods can be a fun way to create a whole new "car personality" from a stock vehicle, and some get very complex and nuanced depending on the driver's desires. Needless to say, suspension modifications should only be performed by an expert, as there are safety rules and specifications that need to be adhered to when modding.
To keep your car running comfortably and safely, it's essential to take good care of the suspension system. If your car needs repairs or adjustments, stop by Convoy Auto Repair today for professional suspension care -- our team of experts will provide you with top-notch service.
We hire only ASE and Master mechanics, and use only the highest-quality parts in all our auto repairs. And we're AAA-Approved and BBB-Accredited. Schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (858) 217-4279.