Signs of Suspension Problems
You rely on your car to carry you safely from place to place. If anything should happen, you trust that it will shield you against any danger. Its chassis and bumpers will keep other vehicles from crushing your body during an accident. Its windshield and other windows will block flying debris from hitting you while your drive. Your car may even have extra modern safety gadgets that will brake and accelerate to avoid an accident.
Cars have some amazing safety features, and you take care of these features so they’ll take care of you. However, even in you maintain the parts listed above, you’ll still overlook one of the most important safety features in your vehicle: the suspension.
Your car’s suspension absorbs the shock from everything your car passes over, including any bumps, dips, debris, or other obstacles. Without it, your car wouldn’t provide such a smooth ride. Nor would it respond well after going over a speed bump or even coming to an abrupt stop.
You need your suspension if you want a comfortable, safe ride. Watch for the warning signs below to ensure this important safety feature never wears out.
1. You can feel every bump.
Your suspension has parts called shocks and struts, and these parts work together to keep your vehicle’s body stable and steady as you drive. They ensure that you don’t feel every little pebble that you run over.
However, if your feel your teeth chattering from the vibration as you drive, you probably have suspension problems. The shocks and struts can no longer make up for everything under your car’s wheels—they don’t respond quickly enough, or they can’t move enough, so you feel everything.
2. The car feels unstable or “boaty” when you turn.
When move people watch car movies or TV shows, they expect to see some drift as the racers or spies turn sharply around a corner. However, if you experience this in your own car every time you go around a turn, it means that the shocks and struts in your vehicle’s suspension no longer have enough strength to keep your car balanced and stable.
This drift or pull sensation can signal a serious problem. If you ignore the problem, you could have an increased risk of a rollover.
3. The car lurches when stopping or accelerating.
This signals the same kind of problem as a drifting turn. If your car lurches forward or backward while you stop or accelerate, then your suspension can’t keep your car steady anymore, and this could lead to a rollover.
You’ll likely notice this problem with sudden stops and starts at first. However, eventually it will happen every time you stop or start.
4. The car fails the bounce test.
To do the bounce test, take the following steps:
- Put your car in park.
- Get out of the car, walk to the front, and place both hands on the hood.
- Press down on the vehicle with all your weight and bounce it a few times.
- Repeat with the back of your vehicle.
If the car continues to rock or bounce more than a few times after you’ve released it, then you know your suspension has begun to wear out.
5. You hear a rusty door hinge or rattling noise.
As your suspension continues to wear out, you may hear a sound like a rusty door hinge opening and shutting. This indicates that parts have started to grate against each other. Rattling also indicates that parts have starting grating against each other, but it can also mean that pieces of your suspension have come loose.
6. The tires don’t wear evenly.
Ideally, your suspension supports your car evenly, which means your tires wear evenly. If you notice bald spots on some tires but not on others, then you may have the beginnings of a suspension problem.
7. The shocks have oil all over them.
Shocks and struts have fluid in them. When they start to wear out, that fluid leaks. Peer under your car’s body at the suspension to see if it has oil on it. If you see oil leaking everywhere, then you probably have a suspension problem. Your mechanic can tell you more.
Remedies for Suspension Problems
You can do some car repairs yourself. However, you should not attempt this one unless you have years of mechanical experience and you have the tools to back you up.
But since you probably don’t have the tools or experience requisite for suspension repairs, you should slowly and carefully drive your car over to the mechanic as soon as possible. Don’t drive quickly, as this will put excess strain on your car, and you don’t want to completely break your suspension.
Once you arrive at the auto body service centre, your mechanic will get to work determining what caused your suspension problems and then fixing them. Make sure you arrange for someone to pick you up because the mechanic may have to work on your car for a while.
For more tips on maintenance and repairs, check out the rest of our blog.