Suspension is a critical component of any vehicle. Without suspensions, not only would your car ride feel extremely bumpy, but you would lose road grip, and your wheels will jump up and slam down on the road after every bump. This clearly shows us the importance of suspensions, so taking care of such an important component is key to increasing the life span of your vehicle.
We have made a list of things you can do to look after your suspension system. Read on and find out what they are.
Tips On Caring For Your Suspension System
Struts And Shocks
Cars nowadays either have a strut, shock absorber or both in the suspension system. Struts and shocks help stabilize the car and prevent it from bouncing. They do this by dampening the effects of bumps on the road. Both these components use oil or gas, which gets compressed when the car goes over a bump.
Struts and shock absorbers usually become faulty when their oil or gas starts leaking. You will know when the struts or shocks become faulty because you’ll experience extreme bounciness when you go over a bump. Unfortunately, the deterioration and damage to the struts and shocks happen gradually, and by the time you actually start seeing the effects, it’s too late to save the components.
The only option left will be to replace the struts or shocks. One way to keep a check on your suspension is by having your mechanic check the struts and shocks every time you get an oil change. Some service stations include this inspection in the oil change package. However, even if your service center charges extra for this service, you should get the struts and shocks checked for leakage.
Tires are very closely connected to the suspension system, which is why it is no surprise that maintaining tires also plays a role in keeping your suspension system in good condition.
One way to maintain your tires is by making sure they are adequately inflated. Under Inflated tires will cause your suspension unnecessary damage, not to mention the added fuel costs associated with underinflated tires.
We recommended checking the owner’s manual and finding out what level of tire pressure is appropriate for your vehicle and then making sure to maintain that pressure. As a rule of thumb, get your tire pressure checked every 2000 miles.
Also, make sure your tires are well aligned, and the tread on the tires aren’t worn out. Worn-out treads and misalignment will cause unnecessary pressure on the suspension.
Bushings And Joints
Bushing and joints are other important parts of the suspension system. They need to be inspected every time you get your oil changed. Your mechanic should check them for wear and, if necessary, lubricate the joints of the suspension and the steering system.
For those who aren’t sure what bushings are, they are basically rubber cushions mounted on the suspension to absorb the effects of bumps and control movement in joints.
Ball joints are also part of the suspension system; they consist of a socket and ball. The purpose of the ball joints is to provide a smooth and controlled ride. They do this by providing pivot like movements between control arms and steering knuckles.
Maintaining good bushings and joints just requires regular inspections for wear and regular lubrication.
Torsion bars are also another component of the suspension system, but they aren’t present in all cars. The way to find out if your car has a torsion bar is by bending and just looking underneath your car.
If your car has a torsion bar, then you’ll notice a rod sticking out. It’s perpendicular to the frame of the car. The way to check a torsion bar is by using a flashlight. Check for cracks on the torsion bar also; look out for rust on the bar.
The way to maintain the torsion bar is by regular lubrication. Another way to identify if your torsion bar has become faulty is when your vehicle makes a bang sound when you go over bumps. This will mean the bar has become faulty, and the suspension components are coming into contact.
A faulty torsion bar will have to be replaced. It is recommended to get this done at a service center by a professional.
Control arms are key components in the suspension system. Their purpose is to connect the frame of the car to the assembly that holds the front wheels.
Control arms can have ball joint issues and control arm bushings that can get worn out. A worn-out ball joint can be very dangerous. Because a worn-out ball joint can cause the wheel to separate from the suspension, which will lead to the vehicle getting out of control.
Ball joints and control arm bushing need to be inspected by a professional. The car needs to be hoisted up for the inspection even to take place. There are some tell-tale signs, though, which may indicate control arm issues. Some of these signs are clunking sounds when you go over a bump a popping sounds when accelerating or decelerating. Sometimes you may even feel the vehicle is unstable when braking.
You may not experience these signs every time the control arms are faulty, which is why getting your suspension checked once a year is important.
We hope this article was informative, and now you know how to inspect and take care of your suspension system. The best advice we can give is to always opt for the best suspension system when replacing the suspensions. Skimping on money when it comes to suspensions isn’t going to be beneficial in the long run. The maintenance costs alone will make you regret buying a cheap suspension system, not to mention the added risk you will be putting yourself in. So always opt for premium quality suspension systems.