The suspension is the part of the car that connects the wheels to the rest of the vehicle. But it serves a greater purpose than simply holding things together. It also absorbs and regulates the shock that comes with driving over uneven terrain or through sharp curves. In short, it makes the experience of riding in your car more comfortable. If you feel like you need your suspension checked, we are a suspension shop in Perth, WA.
When the suspension is operating as it should be, the up-and-down motion of the vehicle will be tightly regulated. But this system is going to wear down and require maintenance over time. Preventative maintenance goes a long way toward avoiding a total breakdown, so we thought we’d share a few key warning signs that your suspension needs to be checked.
Begin with the ‘Bounce Test’
Before we get into the various warning signs, let’s start with the ‘bounce test’. If you suspect that you may have a problem with the suspension, begin by parking the car, standing in front of it and pushing down on the front end. A healthy suspension will absorb the shock of this action almost immediately – cancelling out any bounce.
But if your suspension is in need of repair, the vehicle is going to bounce up and down several times. This is a sure sign that your suspension is either broken or leaking fluid. But if you’re still not certain, there are some other warning signs to look for. We’ll go over a few of them in the next section.
Warning Signs That Your Suspension May Be Broken
If you notice any combination of the following, it may be time to repair your car’s suspension:
- Uneven tyre treads – Uneven tread can cause your vehicle to pull to the side. But it’s also worth noting that if your car is constantly pulling to the side already (because of a suspension problem, for example), this will wear the tread unevenly. Uneven tyre tread is usually an indication of mis-alignment in the steering, or wheel out of balance, and doesn’t necessarily mean you have a suspension problem, but it’s a strong warning sign.
- Oily shocks or struts – The suspension system uses hydraulic fluid to maintain resistance. Your shock absorbers and struts should be dry and clean. If you see fluid on them, your suspension system may be leaking.
- Car lurches when stopping – Your suspension does more than absorb the shock of bumps in the road. When you brake, it also absorbs the angular momentum this action creates. If your car lurches forward when stopping, the suspension isn’t doing its job.
- Sense of rolling when cornering – The same goes for cornering. The centripetal force created when cornering should be cancelled out by the suspension. If not, it will feel as if the car could roll over.
If you suspect that your suspension may be experiencing problems, it’s always better to have it checked out. Not only can ongoing problems pose a safety risk to those riding in the vehicle, they can also lead to the need for much more expensive repairs down the road. Contact West Coast Suspension today and save yourself from future headaches.