Automobile Suspension: 6 Clues to Detect a Suspension Problem

November 21, 2019 Tom Clark | Comments Off

Our car’s suspension system is something we tend to take for granted. However, the struts and shocks support tons of metal all the time. Ultimately, the shocks wear out, and we have to get the suspension repaired.

Some people feel that the suspension is required primarily for a smooth ride, and believe that fixing these problems isn’t as crucial as maintenance tasks such as brakes and oil changes. However, if there is deterioration in or damage to the suspension, it can affect your ability to control your vehicle. This is especially noticeable when turning or stopping, so you must prioritize this aspect of auto maintenance.

It can be quite tricky to diagnose suspension issues. Worn or faulty shocks, springs, struts, tie rods, ball joints, or springs can wreak havoc on vehicles and make them unsafe to drive. This kind of wear and tear poses a risk only if you ignore the issue and continue driving your car in that condition.

While it’s quite easy to recognize the symptoms, identifying the source of the problem isn’t that simple. However, you need to pay attention to how the car handles and the things you are hearing. Very importantly, do nor defer fixing the problems as soon as you notice them.

Signs that you Need Suspension Repair

1. The Vehicle Rides Roughly

Most people that drive regularly can quickly tell when there is wear in their struts or shocks. You begin to feel all the bumps in the road, and the vehicle body begins to bounce. If you find that you have a rough ride every single time you are at the wheel, it’s a sign that your car’s suspension needs repairs.

2. Pulling or Drifting While Turning

When you have a failing suspension system, you will feel pulling or drifting in the vehicle whenever you navigate a turn. It means the shocks aren’t able to keep the car’s body stable when they have to deal with the centrifugal force that is created while turning; this increases the chances of a rollover. If you feel this is the case when you are driving, you must take your vehicle to a reputable auto repair shop for repairs.

3. Nose Dives or Dips When You Brake

When the shocks wear out, you will feel there is a lurch in the body of the vehicle. Every time you brake, you will feel the car moving downward, nose-first.

This can impact your ability to stop your vehicle quickly. A poorly functioning suspension can increase the stop times by up to 20%.

5. Oily Or Damaged Shocks

If you get the chance to look under the car, inspect the struts or shocks. If they have an oily or greasy look, they are likely leaking fluid, which is the reason for their poor performance. It might be a good time to replace the shocks.

6. Unevenness In Tire Treads

Check your tires, and if you see any balding spots or unevenness on them, it means the suspension is unable to hold the vehicle evenly. The uneven pressure it puts on the tires causes these problems.

Conduct theBounce Test

If you feel that your suspension is deteriorating due to any of the things we just discussed, conduct the bounce test. Put the vehicle in “park” mode and then push your entire weight down towards the front of the car and then bounce it a bit and then release it. Do the same with the rear of the vehicle. 

If the vehicle bounces more than three times after you release it, your suspension is wearing out. Take your car to a well-established auto repair shop and get the suspension checked.