When you are driving, you want to enjoy a smooth ride. You don’t want to feel every bump in the road. That’s why the health of your suspension is so important. In addition, a bad suspension can lead to other costly damage in your car.
First, let’s look at the primary components in your suspension system. You have springs, shocks and struts. Most vehicles will have coil springs. That is the most common style of spring, though some older vehicles will have leaf springs and specialty/custom cars may have air-ride suspension systems installed. The springs are there to help absorb bumps and keep the vehicle riding at a consistent height.
Next, you have shocks (shock absorbers) and struts. These terms are often used interchangeably. However, they are actually two different types of suspension components that perform similar functions. Most cars will only have either shocks or struts, though there are some that might have struts in the front and shocks in the rear. It helps to familiarize yourself with your vehicle so you know which components may need maintenance.
Signs of Suspension Problems
There are some common signs that will let you know you have suspension problems. If you think your suspension is having issues, you can bring your vehicle into Simard Automotive for a proper inspection and repairs.
1. Not a Smooth Ride
This is the most obvious sign of suspension problems. If your car is bouncing around or vibrating with every little inconsistency in the road surface, there is a good chance something is wrong with your suspension.
2. Greasy Struts or Shocks
If you happen to look under your vehicle and see the shocks/struts are really grimy and greasy, there may be a hydraulic fluid leak and that will lead to bigger suspension problems. It’s best to get it repaired before it develops into something much more significant.
3. Car Drifts or Pulls When You Turn
If you are making a turn and the vehicle really starts to drift or pull hard to one side, it could be a suspension problem or perhaps a wheel alignment, brake or tire issue that is worth having checked out by a professional.
4. The Front End Dips When You Stop
Vehicles with poor front suspensions will often lurch forward when you come to a sudden stop. If this becomes a noticeable problem, then the suspension may be the culprit.
5. Tire Treads Are Uneven
Many different issues can result in uneven tire tread, including problems with the suspension, wheel alignment, brakes, axles, differential and other components. Beyond just getting your tires rotated every 5,000-6,000 miles, you’ll want to have your car looked at.
6. Try the Bounce Test
One simple suspension test you can try yourself is called the “bounce test.” Simply push all your weight down on the front end of the car (while it is parked, of course) and bounce it a few times. If the car keeps on bouncing once you let go, there’s a good chance you have a weak suspension. Otherwise, it should stop very quickly if the suspension is completely healthy.
Suspension Maintenance and Repair at Simard Automotive
If you think you might have problems with your suspension, it is best to have the vehicle inspected by an auto repair expert. As with all automotive repairs and maintenance, the sooner you can resolve the issue, the less likely it is to develop into further damage that will cost you more to repair. For all your Fairbanks suspension and other automotive repair needs, call Simard Automotive today at (855) 690-0889 (Aeronca Ave. location) or (855) 639-5001 (Gaffney Rd. location). Or, schedule your next service appointment online.