You can’t avoid a few bumps in the road – but you can control how your car handles them. If you’re noticing a bumpier ride, it may be time to get your car’s suspension system checked.
Not only does it impact the quality of your experience driving, but it can also impact wear and tear on other parts of the car. It’s important not to delay suspension repair service when you notice a difference in how your car handles bumps and corners. mechanic or highlighted in your owner’s manual.
Related: Signs It’s Time For an Auto Tune-Up
Related: Is Your Car’s AC System Performing
What Does Your Suspension System Do?
Basically, your car’s suspension system impacts the ride and handling. When you drive over a bump, whether it’s a pothole or debris on the road, the suspension system isolates that impact so that your car can continue without skidding. This also has to do with keeping tires in contact with the road so that you retain traction.
When you brake, accelerate, or turn corners, the weight of your car has to shift in order to keep all tires on the ground. A well-functioning suspension system will ensure your car handles these movements by transferring weight in corresponding directions depending on the motion of the car.
What Makes Up the Suspension System?
There are several key parts of the suspension system, each of which serves a purpose towards how your car drives and maneuvers. Understanding which parts serve which purpose can help you pinpoint what auto repair service you may need and help you go into the mechanic informed.
Shocks help ensure a smooth ride. They absorb the impact of bumps in the road so that you don’t feel them in the passenger compartment. Put another way, they absorb the vertical energy of the wheels, isolating that movement so that it does not cause the whole car to bounce.
In some ways, struts are similar to shocks. They help absorb vertical motion from bumps in the road so that the abrupt motion is limited to your wheels and tires. This also isolates movement to only the tire being directly impacted, meaning all tires remain on the road and you don’t lose traction. In addition to that, your struts provide structural support for your suspension system.
Coil springs work with your car’s shocks and struts to absorb impact while driving as well as structural support. Mainly, the coil springs will work with the shocks to ensure your whole car does not continue to bounce after going over a bump. They also work with the struts to provide support for your car and keep it at a safe height from the ground.
Signs Your Suspension System Needs Attention
Because your suspension system provides both support and stability to your car, there are several different ways in which a worn suspension may show signs. Here are three key symptoms of a worn-out suspension.
Prolonged Bouncing or a Bumpy Ride
Ever been behind a car going over railroad tracks or a bump in the road and you watch the rear end of the car continue to bobble? That means their suspension needs attention – most likely their shocks and/or coil springs. Likewise, if it seems like you can feel every bump in the road when driving, you should make an appointment for a suspension repair service with your trusted local mechanic.
Uneven Tire Treads
As your suspension wears out over time, the support it provides your car will become inconsistent. This can result in uneven wear on your tires and sometimes bald spots. This is because uneven pressure is being put on them. Your struts and coil springs are key parts of your suspension that help provide support and hold up the structure of your car, so if you notice uneven wearing, those parts could be wearing out.
It’s possible you may notice visible evidence that parts within your suspension system are wearing out, most noticeably the shocks. The fluid is used in shocks to help them absorb impact from bumps and uneven driving surfaces. If they have become over-worn and are leaking fluid, it’s time to schedule a shock repair service appointment with trusted mechanics.
Get back to a smooth ride by visiting the AAMCO Bay Area mechanics. We can take care of any necessary suspension repair services, including shock repair, strut repair, and coil spring repair. You can trust us with any Bay Area auto repair needs, whether it’s your suspension or any other essential part of your car.