A car’s suspension system is an integral part of its mechanical hardware. It suspends tires and more importantly, bears the weight of the vehicle through its complex assembly comprising mainly of shock absorbers and struts. We often tend to take our car’s suspension system for granted and hardly cares for it in the way we devote attention to the engine, transmission, and braking system of the car.
It is important to note that without the proper working of the suspension, one won’t be able to handle the car properly especially during negotiating a turn or applying the brake. It is, therefore, in the best interest of you and your car to take good care of the suspension system. One essential part of the care is to sense early warning signals and to help you out on that, we list down some of the important indicators as follows:
1) Bumpy Ride: Have you suddenly started experiencing bumps inside the car? If yes, then it is one of the most apparent indicators of the worn-out suspension system. If you start feeling every pothole and even small undulations on the road filtering directly into the cabin, it’s an indication that you are car’s suspension system has damaged and required some corrective maintenance. Most of the time, this condition hints that piston-cylinder assembly inside the shock absorber of suspension might be worn out and need replacement. However, this bumpy ride could also be on the part of the damaged strut and hence you should get the whole suspension assembly of the car checked thoroughly.
2) Unnerving Turns: If during negotiating a turn, you feel that the car is drifting or pulling then it means that all is not well with the suspension. This happens because the suspension of the car is not able to contain the vehicle against the impact of centrifugal forces. Just so you know centrifugal forces come into action when you start negotiating a turn trying to throw the car in and out depending upon the direction of the turn. This is a serious concern and you should immediately take your car to the service center. Apprise the technician about this issue and ask him to check the suspension system of the car thoroughly.
3) Nose-Diving: In case of a worn-out suspension system, you might also start experiencing the phenomenon of nose-diving. In nose-diving, you feel that the car’s body lurches forward when you apply the brake. The situation becomes really disconcerting in case of emergency braking when you push hard on the pedal to avoid some imminent collision. The nose-diving has serious implications for your safety and security as it interferes with your car’s ability to stop within the required distance. The impact of the nose-diving on braking can be gauged from the fact that it can negatively affect your car’s stopping time by as much as 20%. In such a situation, you should not delay getting this fault rectified as soon as possible.
4) Uneven tire wear: If you notice uneven tire wear with some bald patches appearing on one tire while none on another, it’s time to get suspension system of your car checked. This is an indication that the suspension of the car is not able to hold tires evenly and might require replacement of the damaged shock absorbers or struts. Tire treads can also wear unevenly on account of misalignment and wrong balancing, and hence along with the suspension setup make sure you get tires aligned and balanced by a professional car set-up.
5) Leaky Suspension: Slip beneath the car and if you notice any oil-leakage from the suspension system, it’s time to visit the workshop. The most obvious cause of the oil leakage is faulty shock absorbers which should be replaced to keep the car from further damage. The replacement of the shock absorbers is a costly affair; however, it will go a long way in keeping other mechanical and driving issues at bay.
6) Bounce Test: One of the easiest Do it Yourself (DIY) methods to find out whether suspension of your car has worn out is to take the Bounce Test. Park your car at even surface and press the front of the car down with your own weight. Go to the rear of the car and repeat the same exercise. You should do it twice or thrice with both front and rear sections of the car and then carefully notice the response of the car. If you find your car shaking even after you release the force then it signals that the suspension system has worn-out and requires replacement or maintenance of the damaged components.
Having revealed some of the important indicators of worn-out suspension, we now recommend you things you should take care while maintaining/replacing the erring suspension.
Ask the mechanic to check ride height during the maintenance procedures and make sure the original ride height is being maintained. Optimal ride height makes sure that the car runs optimally without straining any mechanical component of the car including shock absorbers, struts, ball-bearing, anti-roll bar, etc.
Stick to the original, company-certified spare parts that need to be used not only in the suspension system but also on other mechanical and electric systems of your car. Repairing the car with duplicate, low-cost products do you more harm than good. They might save you a few bucks initially but their cheap quality and shorter life will double your cost in the long run.
When it comes to replacement shock absorbers or struts, we suggest you do it in pairs rather than replacing only the damaged one. This will help to extract optimum performance from your car’s suspension system.
Being a major mechanical work, you should prefer to take your car to the authorized dealership or service center rather than trying to correct things at a local garage. Also, you should preserve receipts of the maintenance work as it’ll come handy if you start experiencing issues related to shocks and struts immediately after the repair.
Remember, the suspension system of the car is one of its vital components which cushion you by ironing out road unconformities. Its optimal working is absolutely mandatory for a safe and secure driving experience. Many neglect its importance due to lack of awareness but then believing ignorance is bliss won’t help in this case. Therefore you should be informed and start closely monitoring these signs to early identify the problem in your car’s suspension system. For such other informative blogs on how to keep your car well-maintained, you can visit https://www.gaadi.com/blog and also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org