There are a number of things that can affect how smoothly your car drives. Some factors include wheel alignment, tire treads, tire pressure, brakes, differentials, wheel bearings and axles. However, your suspension system will have the biggest impact on the ride of your vehicle, and that’s what we want to focus on in this article.
Components of Your Suspension
There are three main components you need to know about when talking about your vehicle’s suspension system:
Most modern cars will use coil springs while some older vehicles use leaf spring designs. Then, there are custom air-ride systems, as well. The springs help absorb bumps on the road and maintain a consistent vehicle height to balance against rough road conditions.
Many people refer to shocks and struts interchangeably. The truth is they are two completely different components and most vehicles will have one or the other in their suspension systems. Shock absorbers (shocks) are there to absorb shock for a smoother ride.
Struts provide similar shock absorption functions as shocks, but they also perform a support function. It’s important to understand if your vehicle uses shocks or struts when it comes to maintenance and repair.
Just like anything in your vehicle, your suspension components can wear out with time and use. It helps to know common suspension issues that you can look for. If you notice any of these symptoms, bring your vehicle into LightHouse Automotive in Colorado Springs for suspension system maintenance and repairs.
1. Bumpy Ride
Obviously, if it seems like you feel every single bump on the road, then you may have a suspension problem that is worth getting checked out by a professional.
2. Car Drifts or Pulls While Turning
Does it seem like your car is drifting or pulling hard to one side while you are turning? If so, it could be a suspension issue. It could also be something with your wheel alignment, tires or brakes.
3. Uneven Tire Treads
Again, this could be a symptom of various problems, including possible suspension weakness. Getting your tires rotated regularly will help even out the wear, but it’s still a good idea to get your vehicle looked at if the tread wear is really uneven.
4. Dipping Front End During Stops
Your vehicle may lurch forward more when you come to a stop. This is often a sign that the suspension is getting worn out.
5. Greasy Shocks or Struts
If you look under your vehicle and notice that the shocks or struts are very greasy or dirty, hydraulic fluid could be leaking and that is not good for your suspension.
Try the Bounce Test
While your car is parked, push down on the front end with your full weight and bounce it a few times. If the vehicle continues to bounce after you’ve let go, then it’s a sign your suspension is getting weak. If your car has a good suspension, it should steady very quickly once you let go.
For all your suspension repair and maintenance needs, including replacement of worn shocks/struts or installation of aftermarket suspension components for specialized performance, count on the auto repair experts at LightHouse Automotive in Colorado Springs. Call our shop today at (719) 465-0302 or schedule your service appointment online.