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Monday, 18 March 2019

Five Common Car Suspension Problems


The shocks, struts, bushings and other related car components present in the suspension system are built and specifically designed to maximize friction between the road surface and car tyres, provide steering stability and make passengers comfortable. It’s a given that a lot of improvements have happened over decades in suspension systems and modern vehicles are just more advanced than ever before. Nonetheless, some problems still occur from time to time.

Most times it is easy to notice warning signs but very difficult to diagnose or determine the source of suspension issues. Damaged or worn-out shocks, struts, springs, tie rods or ball joints can cause serious problems for your vehicle and make your vehicle unsafe to drive.

It is therefore crucial to pay rapt attention to how your vehicle handles and also listen for any strange sounds you hear - in order to address problems as soon as possible. Wear and tear only becomes an issue when the problem is completely ignored or the repair is continually deferred.

Having at the back of your mind that you will rarely be involved in an accident and walk away with no damage is one reasonable argument to take any small initial signs serious. Any seemingly harmless fault can grow into a significant I-need-to-tow-my car issues in the middle of an expressway in the future. 

Here are some common suspension issues you will face when your suspension is in need of repair:

A ROUGH, BUMPY RIDE 

A very rough ride is a obvious sign your shocks or struts could be worn-out and need replacement as quick as possible. When every bump, big or small, on the road makes your car bounce, i.e no shock absorbing effect, this means you’ve got suspension issues and you need to take your car for a check up. 

One thing you can try yourself is the bounce test. 
Park your car. Rest all of your weight on the front end, release, and see how the vehicle responds. If it keeps bouncing back and forth like three times or more, the shocks and/or struts are worn-out and need replacement.

Shock absorbers are designed to keep your tires on the road. If they refuse to do so, your car will bounce all over the place. Shocks usually contain fluids that lessen and diminish the bouncing. When these fluids leak, the shocks operation begin to fail.

HARD STEERING

If you find your steering feeling like it wants to slip away from your grip when you turn the wheel or maintain a turned position, well something might be wrong with your suspension. This can even happen while driving slowly. Any of the below components in your power steering system could be responsible: 

Faulty power steering pump
Worn control arm bushings
Low power steering fluid
Worn-out power steering belt

WHEN ONE CORNER OF THE VEHICLE IS LOWER THAN THE OTHERS 

The connection between the shock and the spring is important in the way your car sits on level ground. If you notice one corner of your car is bending or sitting lower than the others, you’ve likely got a damaged spring. It becomes difficult to drive through a sharp corner as the spring can’t carry all the weight. You may also likely notice a clanking noise when driving over bumps. A damaged shock may have caused an overcompression of the spring hence the lower sitting height.

One thing you can also try yourself is the spring test. It is one of the easiest way to diagnose spring problems. 

Push down on the trunk of the car. Listen to how the suspension responds. If you hear a squeak, you've definitely got a problem with the shocks, springs, bushings or any other related parts. You should be extra observant because even the slightest loss of height in one or more corners of the vehicle could indicate a problem or an impending failure in your shocks or springs. 

 CAR PULLING TO ONE SIDE

Pulling to one side whether left or right is the most common sign of suspension issues. It can also be one of the hardest problems to determine without the help of a professional.  

A common reason for car pulling to one side is the tyre - an under-inflated tyre. Tyres need to be perfectly aligned. Poor alignment causes uneven tire wear, car pulling, a constant war to keep the steering wheel in control, and even reduced performance. Your vehicle could be pulling to one side for any of the below reasons:

Uneven tire wear
Sticking brake caliper
Poor alignment
Uneven tire pressure
Bad tie rods or steering rack

WEARING OUT OF CONTROL ARM

Signs of wearing and tearing here include clunking and rattling sounds because the wheels move loosely back and forth in acceleration and braking. This happens majorly on front-wheel-drive vehicles than on rear-wheel-drives. 

Control arm is that hinge suspension link that hold the wheels to the frame and connect the steering to the wheels. Lower control arm bushings are important suspension components. Bushings are rubber and/or metal parts. They absorb the shock, and when they wear, they can cause ride and handling problems. 

Take your vehicle for proper inspection and don't wait until it starts dragging along the highway. You can always get a replacement for any faulty suspension part here at Motormata. Our online catalog features the full range of aftermarket parts and accessories for many years and car models, so you're sure to find just the right suspension and other car parts you need for your car. 

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