How To Tell If Your Car Suspension Is Bad

How To Tell If Your Car Suspension Is Bad – Wrap your fingers in both hands and press firmly on the front fender of your car. The vehicle may sink slightly before rising again, but not roll. That suspension works.

Designing an effective suspension system is as much art as science. There has to be a big compromise between handling and handling, firstly how comfortable the car is and secondly how stable and manageable it is at speed.

How To Tell If Your Car Suspension Is Bad

How To Tell If Your Car Suspension Is Bad

Most modern car suspension systems use steel coil springs – one per wheel. However, if you look under an old car or pickup truck, instead of springs, you’ll see small pieces of metal stuck on top of each other. These are leaf springs.

Technologies That Are Making Car Suspensions Smarter Than Ever

Some spring doesn’t look like spring. This is called a torsion bar. It is a long piece of metal that is attached to the end of the car and the rest of the suspension system at the end of the wheel.

When the car hits a bump, the suspension vibrates, causing the bar to bend and absorb the force. It helps resist all the centrifugal forces acting on the car’s body when cornering, making it lean, which is why it’s often called an anti-roll bar.

A spring is good at compressing and absorbing force, but not so good at releasing it, where it tends to spring back uncontrollably. In a car, this uncontrolled action can damage its ride and handling.

That’s where the air intake or damper comes in. Looks like a fat beefy bike pump. Depending on the type of suspension, it is located next to the coil spring or directly inside it, where it is also known as a strut.

How To Choose The Right Suspension System For Your 4×4

Regardless of the type of shock absorber, its function is to release the spring force in a controlled manner. Most fall into two categories. The upper part is called the outer tube. It is attached to the frame of the car and contains a piston (looks like a plunger).

The lower part, called the reserve tube, is attached to the axle, or to the structure that carries the suspension system. It was filled with a watery liquid.

When the car goes over a bump, the axle rises, compressing the spring and pushing the piston down into the liquid. This movement forces the fluid up and through the small holes in the piston.

How To Tell If Your Car Suspension Is Bad

However, in the next second the piston rises again as the spring returns as the fluid reverses direction and returns to the reservoir tube. All this fluid flow puts a lot of pressure on the damper, slowing down the piston and consequently delaying the compression and rebound of the spring.

Suspension Noises And What They Could Mean For Your Vehicle

As the damper begins to wear, fluid can leak into it and cause it to fail. This affects the vehicle’s ride and handling and accelerates tire wear.

In a car with independent suspension, each wheel – usually the front pair – is attached separately to the car’s body, allowing it to move independently of the other. This is important because there are many different forces acting on the car.

In an independent system, commonly found on trucks and vans, the suspension systems are interconnected by an axle equipped with leaf springs and shock absorbers at each end. A force acting on one side of the car will also affect the other side. It is a green but cost-effective solution.

Some cars, such as the Volkswagen Golf S Mk 7, have an intermediate version of the rear suspension called a twist-beam rear suspension. It allows more independent movement than asil, but not as much as a fully autonomous system. Its main advantage is its simplicity and low price.

Symptoms Of Bad Shocks And Struts

Double wishbone suspension is the basis of independent systems and consists of two pressed steel or aluminum arms for each wheel one above the other, from the wheel hub to the vehicle frame. The damper inside the coil spring is connected to the lower wishbone and its other end to the car body. It is possible to have the system in all four corners of the car.

Named after the General Motors engineer who designed it, this independent suspension system takes the form of a damper inside a coil spring. The top of the muffler is attached to what is called a suspension tower (visible when you lift the hood).

The lower part is attached to the wheel hub, from which protrudes the so-called “steering arm”, which is attached to the frame of the car. It is compact, light and practical and can be used in the front or back of the car.

How To Tell If Your Car Suspension Is Bad

Luxury cars and SUVs increasingly have so-called air suspension, a system that uses air springs (usually air-filled canisters) instead of traditional steel coil springs. As each air spring moves up or down, the system removes or adds air to maintain comfort and reduce body roll when cornering.

How To Maintain Your Vehicle’s Suspension System

It is controlled by powerful microprocessors that can activate the air springs individually or together, for example to provide a self-balancing system or even lift the vehicle on an uneven surface. In addition, the system can lower the vehicle to improve stability and reduce fuel consumption.

Meanwhile, Mercedes’ Active Curve Tilting feature uses a camera to scan the road ahead and adjust for air bubbles so the car leans into a corner instead of away from it as usual.

Shock absorbers are now being transformed from oil hoses that respond to the movement of vehicle springs to components that can intelligently control events. For example, magnetic dampers are filled with a metallic liquid.

An electric current passing through a liquid can instantly change its viscosity or thickness according to the force acting on the liquid. Some systems use a solenoid to control the flow of fluid inside the damper. – Some cars, especially those with front suspension, have struts. While the terms shock and strut are often used together, a strut is a suspension assembly that includes a shock but

Types Of Car Suspensions

Some common symptoms may alert you that your shocks or struts need to be replaced, such as when your car derails, slows, or dips on the road or then jumps. Other signs of a car’s shocks and struts in poor condition are unusual noises over bumps, excessive body roll or sway when cornering, or excessive front end dive when braking hard. Bad shocks can also affect steering control and cause uneven tire wear.

Because the car shakes gradually, you may not notice it as you get used to the relaxed ride quality, just as you get used to driving long distances while your car’s brake pads wear out.

Another way to check the condition of your car’s shocks and struts is to push hard on each corner of the car. If the car continues to jump after starting, the shock absorbers need to be replaced. However, this bounce test may require less power, and with many high-performance SUVs and pickup trucks, it’s not easy to get the power you need to perform a bounce test.

How To Tell If Your Car Suspension Is Bad

Instead, you should have a qualified auto mechanic check the shocks and struts while your car is jacked up, such as when you rotate the tires. The mechanic can detect large leaks (fluid-filled dampers), worn rollers or bushings, or visible damage to the dampers, such as dents, that can interfere with the shock piston rebound control function. or cause leakage.

Shock Value: Keeping Your Car’s Suspension System In Tip Top Condition

Although I advise you to get new shocks or new struts regularly (usually from replacement dealers), such as every 50,000 miles, when you need to replace them can vary by car and how and where you drive. If you frequently drive on bumpy and bumpy roads that put more stress on the shocks and front end, you probably need new shocks and struts for your vehicle more often than if you frequently drive on smooth surfaces. . Carrying heavy loads will also wear out the shock absorber quickly.

The editorial department is your source for automotive news and updates. In accordance with our longstanding ethics policy, editors and reviewers do not accept gifts or free rides from auto manufacturers. The editorial department is independent from the advertising department, marketing and content sponsorship.

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