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Car Suspension Repair

What Causes Car Suspension Problems?

Many components make up a vehicle’s complex suspension system. It is crucial you properly inspect and maintain each part to ensure a safe and road-worthy vehicle.

Any number of things can cause problems with a vehicle’s suspension system. In fact, if damage occurs to one component from wear and tear, it may easily affect other parts. The result is that more than just one part of the suspension needs to be repaired or replaced. We offer car suspension repair services that can keep you on the road!

Car Suspension Components

The many suspension components of a car are all part of the vehicle chassis, located under the body of the vehicle. The main components that make up the suspension of a vehicle are:

  • Frame: The frame carries most of the load of the vehicle, most importantly the engine and body, all of which the vehicle’s suspension system supports. If an accident causes the frame to bend or break, the vehicle is no longer safe to drive.
  • Suspension System. These components support the weight of the vehicle and dampen or absorb shock when encountering bumps in the road. The suspension system also aids in maintaining correct tire contact with the road surface.
  • Steering System. These are all the components that allow the vehicle to make turns when turning the steering wheel. If a power steering system fails while the vehicle is in motion, it may lead to a serious accident.
  • Wheels and Tires. Tires need to have ample traction or grip with the road surface. A bent wheel or a bad suspension system, such as a vehicle that needs an alignment, can disrupt the way tires grip with the road and cause sliding.

Suspension Parts and Components That Affect a Smooth Ride

The Sway Bar

The sway bar actually helps to keep a vehicle from rolling over when making fast, sharp turns. A vehicle may have a front or rear sway bar or even both.

If the front sway bar wears out, it may seriously affect the steering. If the steering feels loose, the vehicle may become uncontrollable and dangerous to drive.

The rear sway bar affects how a vehicle rides. If the vehicle feels like it is swaying when making turns or changing lanes, it is probably a worn rear sway bar. If the vehicle leans or sways when turning, it may also be worn shocks or struts.

Shocks and Struts

Struts and shock absorbers have two important purposes. They support the weight of the vehicle and keep it from bouncing so the vehicle has a smooth ride on nearly any road surface.

Some vehicles have shock absorbers on both the front and rear while others have front struts and rear shocks. When braking, if the front end seems to take a nosedive, the rear shocks may be worn and need to be replaced.

If you have noticed any unusual bouncing while driving, you can do a “bounce test” to check your shocks. Push down on one corner of the car. The car should only bounce once when you let go and settle back to its normal position. If it bounces more than twice, it is time to get the shocks and struts inspected.

Tie Rod

This is part of the steering system and a critical part of the vehicle’s front-end suspension alignment. If the tie rod goes bad from wear and tear or damaged in an accident, it could result in loose steering, making the vehicle difficult to handle.

Control Arms and Bushings

The control arm connects the front suspension to the vehicle’s frame. Some vehicles have control arms on the front and rear. These are important parts of the suspension system as the bushings work to provide a buffer against vibrations and small bumps.

Bushings have a hard job to do in the car’s suspension and handling and tend to wear out faster than other parts. Even though you can still operate a vehicle with bad bushings, it is best to have them inspected and replaced when they start to feel worn.

How Do You Know If Your Suspension is Damaged?

If you notice your vehicle has more play than usual in the steering wheel, seems to lose traction with the road surface (even on a dry surface), or if your vehicle seems to sway or bounce more than usual when you hit a bump, you should have your suspension inspected as soon as possible.

Other signs that your suspension is damaged include uneven tire wear from a vehicle that needs new ball joints or a wheel alignment. Since your steering system is also part of the suspension system, if you notice that it is getting difficult to turn the wheels, you should get the system inspected for fluid leaks or other problems.

If damage occurs to any one of the suspension system components from wear and tear, abuse or an accident, it will adversely affect the overall handling of the vehicle. A damaged or worn suspension system can mean a vehicle that is difficult to control on the road and may even lead to an accident or more damage to the system.

Drive safely — contact us today for car suspension repair in the Tewksbury area!