With the amount of traffic on the road these days, you don’t want to risk anything going wrong and cars are full of various bits and bobs that can cause you trouble both in the short and the long term, particularly if they aren’t looked after with regular maintenance.
Your car’s suspension is one of the most under-rated but safety critical items that is actually keeping you on the road. The main two parts in your car’s suspension are the shock absorbers and springs, and of course these are also the most obvious, but what you might not realize is that there is a lot more going on under the hood. These items generally cover tens of thousands of kilometers without needing maintenance, but when something’s wrong, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible.
We’ve listed five ways you might notice that you have a suspension problem.
Bouncy or rough ride
The most obvious sign of worn shocks is a car that bounces. Shocks are designed to keep you as level as possible, regardless of the bumps you drive through. If you find that the whole cars rocks when accelerating or braking hard, it’s quite likely the shocks are worn. This can also be seen after driving over a bump if the car continues to bounce, instead of leveling out.
Your car’s springs are under permanent stress. If you’ve parked on a level surface, and one corner of your car is sagging, it’s possible that the spring or mountings has been damaged, meaning the wheel is not properly supporting the car. Pushing on that corner of the car will also yield little movement.
Squeaking or rattles
Some may think cars don’t speak to us, but they do. They do it by making funny noises, rattles or squeaks, especially when you’re driving on an uneven surface. Rattles can indicate a loose or broken mounting, while squeaks are indicative of wear on either the shocks or suspension joints.
Uneven tire wear
Your car is set up so that when driving, the whole surface of your tire experiences the same forces, and thus wears at the same rate. If you find that that any of your tires seem to have worn more in one area than others, it could indicate a problem with either the wheel or the alignment of the suspension system as a whole.
When driving in a straight line on a flat surface your car should continue in a straight line. If you find that it drifts in one direction, or while turning you feel an additional pulling on the steering wheel, there could be issues with the alignment of your wheels and the suspension.
If you ever experience any of these problems, you should take your car to the nearest service centre to get it checked out. Performing standard scheduled maintenance is the best way to ensure you never experience any of these suspension related problems.