The suspension system of a car is designed in a way so that maximizes the friction between the road and the car’s tires. It enhances the comfort of the passengers, improves steering stability, and absorbs all the shocks, keeping the vehicle’s balance. The car suspension systems, though they have evolved a lot over the years, problems persist to this day.
The suspension system of a car is a complex combination of springs, rods, shock absorbers (struts on some vehicles), pistons, anti-roll bars, control arms, etc. All these elements go through the daily struggle on bumpy and potholed roads, dirt, gravel, and other scrap materials, and so the suspension system can get damaged from time to time.
There are various symptoms to tell if your car’s suspension system is going through a rough phase and needs to be repaired in a car service station. Let’s see what some of the common symptoms of a bad suspension system are:
1. Wheel Alignment Issues
A car’s wheels should point in the proper direction, and if they are not, your car’s steering won’t be centered when you are heading straight and, in turn, will increase the tyre wear. The wheels lose their alignment due to potholes and bumps. The springs, control arms, and other components of the suspension system also affect the alignment. The issue can be spotted while driving if the wheels are pulling to one side.
2. Excessive Bumps
The shock absorbers contain fluids that diminish the bouncing on a bumpy road and keep the tires on the road. Leakage of these fluids decreases the shockers’ performance and, in turn, reduces the suspension performance of a vehicle. Schedule for a car suspension repair to check if your shock absorbers need to be replaced or not. A worn-out leaf spring can also result in excessive bumps.
If the vehicle’s suspension has struts in place of shock absorbers, there is a knocking kind of sound when driving over bumpy roads. If the strut assembly of a vehicle fails, it can be a threat to your safety. So, it is better to get it checked if you find anything faulty.
3. Vehicle Tilted To One Side
Springs are an important part of a car’s suspension system. They hold the weight of the car, and when they break, it can result in the vehicle getting tilted to any one side. One might hear clunking noises when the car goes through bumps, and the steering gets difficult too. The shock can also add to this issue by putting extra weight on the spring and leading to lowered sitting height on one side.
4. Ball Joints Issue
These are the pivot points that connect the wheels to the suspension and absorb some of the shocks in an up-down movement and rotate when the steering angle changes. If these ball joints squeak and creak while driving, especially while in turns, they need immediate replacement. Waiting for the ball joint to wear out completely can severely damage the suspension system.
A mechanic of a suspension shop will be able to tell if the ball joints need replacement by monitoring the amount of wheel movement they can force by hand or by wearing indicators on the ball joints.
5. Brake Problem
The brakes, if they are not working properly, may be due to a brake pads issue. It can lead to the vibration of the steering column, thus causing difficulty in driving and damaging the suspension system. The car might also shake and vibrate because of the loose steering wheel, which then needs to be repaired separately.
6. Control Arms Problem
The control arms are the hinges that hold the wheels to the frame and connect the wheels to the steering, thus when one is turned, the other responds. The lower control arm bushings are crucial components of the suspension system and are more likely to wear out on front-wheel-drive cars than on rear-wheel-drive cars. They need to be checked and replaced on a regular basis.
The bushings and other metal parts also help absorb some amount of shock, and when they wear out, they can result in ride and handling problems and increase tire wear. Symptoms of wearing out include clunks and rattling noises.
The suspension system is one of the vital parts in the working of a vehicle, so it should be kept in proper working order to ensure a smooth and bump-free journey. The suspension system absorbs the shock and keeps the tyres on track, improves stability for the driver and enhances the overall balance of a vehicle.
If you are in search of a car workshop in Perth, you can consider SAI Auto Care – Car Service Perth who provide services on suspension and related issues. It is better to take your vehicle for regular maintenance to ensure everything, including the suspension system, is in perfect working order.