When they hear the word ‘suspension,’ drivers may think back to those energetic days of grade school. Well, your car’s suspension is actually a good thing because it keeps your car up off the road and helps provide a comfy ride around . Its job is to keep your wheels firmly planted over bumps and through curves. Your suspension system has many important parts. If you look under your car, it’s basically everything that connects your wheels to the ’s frame. These are heavy duty parts that do a lot of work. They need to be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time for this is when you get your annual alignment service at .
Here are some warning signs of suspension problems:
- the car pulls to one side
- it wanders
- the steering is erratic
- you see uneven tire wear
- you experience a poor ride or handling
- you see oil leaking from shocks
Basically, you just don’t feel in control when you’re driving.
Some suspension parts just wear out with use. Shocks and struts eventually lose their ability to control your ride. Wheel bearings need to be repacked every couple of years. And some suspension pieces need to be lubricated when you get your oil changed. Your service advisor at can perform a diagnostic examination and tell you what problems you may have.
If you’re in an accident, your suspension can be damaged or knocked out of alignment. Even a minor accident, like hitting a curb around or even a large rock can mess things up for drivers. With a minor accident it’s tempting for many auto owners to just get an alignment or wheel balance to correct the problem. But if there’s damage, a simple alignment won’t actually fix the problem, and you’ll just have to align it again after the repairs are made. So if you have an accident, get your suspension system inspected right away. Suspension problems are a major safety issue because they can lead to unsafe handling.
One big cause of suspension damage for drivers is potholes – those nasty magnets that form in roads in freezing weather. They seem to draw our tires right into them. Here are some tips for avoiding damage from potholes: First, keep your tires at their full air pressure. That gives tires their maximum resiliency and will hopefully keep your wheels or other suspension parts from crunching on a big hole. Next, just pay attention. When you see a hole you can’t miss, slow down before you hit it. Driving at a slower speed will limit the damage, and may keep your drink from spilling. But avoid the temptation to brake directly over the pothole. That will cause the car’s weight to shift forward and add to the potential damage.
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