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auto maintenance February 10, 2018

Learn To Identify A Suspension Problem

Unknown to many, the suspension system in your vehicle is perhaps one of the most important components it contains. Aside from keeping the ride smooth for the passengers, it also keeps your vehicle in one piece. As your car, truck or SUV glides over the uneven pavement, the suspension system dampens the up-and-down movement that can do severe damage. The involuntary bouncing movement naturally created as you drive over bumps and through potholes does more than make you uncomfortable — it also leads to unwarranted wear and tear to your vehicle. Learning to spot the signs of a failing suspension system allows you to make the necessary repairs before it becomes a bigger problem than just new shocks or struts.

Every time your tires hit the pavement, your suspension system sustains abuse brought on by road conditions and what is considered by the industry as extreme driving conditions. Every time you hit your brakes hard (or slam on the breaks as you may think of it) you do a bit of damage to your suspension system. Even though this is what it is intended for, the damage is still done.

So how do you know when the damage has accumulated to the point repairs are needed? Let’s talk about that.

  • Feel the shimmy and shake? No, we are not talking about the latest dance craze, we are referring to the shaking feeling while stopping, accelerating or even simply cruising along. This shimmy is likely attributed to worn suspension that needs attention.
  • Feel the bounce in your ride? Again, not a reference to a bounce in your step, but in your seat as you travel the streets of Burke, VA. The bounce you feel with even the slightest of bumps is not normal — that is a sign your shocks or struts are wearing and most likely need to be replaced.
  • Does it feel like your vehicle is harder to control than before? When the roads are icy, the lack of control may be expected. However, when driving on dry or even wet pavement, you should not feel like you are waging a war against your car. The out-of-control feeling is a good indicator your struts are worn and need replacement.
  • Seem like your car or truck sits lower than it used to? You probably didn’t get taller, so instead, look at your torsion bars. These spring steel rods twist to absorb the up-and-down movement of your vehicle, and when they are worn out, the vehicle may sit lower.

For more information on the signs of suspension problems in your vehicle, stop in and see us today.

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