Many car owners tend to forget about their vehicle’s suspension system. But after the support that it gives to tons of metal every year, the shocks can soon wear out and suspension repairs will be needed. There are people who mistakenly assume that suspension is just about having a smooth ride and they think that repairs are not as essential as other maintenance problems such as brakes or oil changes. However, a bad suspension can have a big impact on your ability of controlling the vehicle, particularly when turning or stopping so it should be in your best interest to pay attention to this one equally vital aspect of car maintenance.
How will you be able to tell if it is time for suspension repair? Usually, your vehicle will be the one to tell you that:
- Rough ride – Many drivers can tell if their struts or shocks have already worn out once they start to feel all the bumps in the road or when each bump causing a bouncy feeling to the car’s body. A rough ride is the most obvious sign that your suspension will need some work soon.
- Pulling or drifting during turns – When the suspension system has failed, you will feel that your car pulls or drifts when your turn. Basically, it means that the shocks can no longer keep the stability of the vehicle against a turn’s centrifugal force and this can increase your chances of a rollover. Once you feel this kind of sensation when turning, it is time that you take your vehicle to the auto repair shop for servicing.
- Uneven treads on tires – Check your tires. If you observed that the tread wears down unevenly on the tires or if you saw some balding spots, this is sometimes a common symptom that the suspension has failed to hold the car evenly that it is a lot of pressure is placed on the vehicle’s tires.
- Noise dives or dips when you stop – Once the shocks have worn out, chances are you will feel the car body lurching downward or forward with the nose first every time you apply the brakes. It usually affects your ability of quickly stopping the car.
- Oily and damaged shocks – If you can check under your vehicle, check directly the struts or shocks. If they already look oily or greasy, there is a high chance that they leak fluid and will not be able to work probably. It means that it’s time for you to replace them.
- Do the bounce test – If you think that you have a bad suspension, you can try doing the bounce test. Put the car in “park” then press down on the front part of your vehicle using all your weight. Then, bounce this several times before you release. Do the same at the back of your vehicle. If your car continues to bounce or rock more than 2 to 3 times after you released it, it means that the suspension has worn out.