Top 5 Signs Your Car Suspension Needs Repairing
Your car is a beast machine made by putting intricate parts together, with each one of them serving a crucial aspect of the entire experience. From your engine, which is obviously very significant, to the tyres, brakes, and even the air conditioning system; every detail has been designed by talented engineers to fit a purpose. And like any other machine, your car is susceptible to wear and tear.
Today, we are discussing one such part that is mostly ignored by many car owners; Car suspension system. It is widely believed that the suspension system only assists in giving a smooth ride, and that’s it. But what many people do not realise is that the car suspension system has many other functions as well, and some of them are vital for your safety. From giving you a safe turn to making sure your brakes are efficient, a car suspension serves many purposes.
In this article, we are talking about the subtle signs that are apparent when your suspension system is on the verge of giving up. This is very important to notice as it might lead to an accident or a mishap, and we nothing is above safety. Have a look at these signs, and if you’re experiencing any of them, have your mechanic look at it.
Signs that your Car Suspension Needs Repairing/Replacement
A Rough Ride
Starting with the self-explanatory one, suspension is very crucial to have a smooth, bump-free ride. It’s one of the primary purposes is to absorb the shock and bumps from the road, and to avoid the bounce that accompanies it. If every pebble and speed bump makes the car jump and makes your driving rough, it is time to take a look at the suspension system.
More often than not, this car suspension problem is due to driving your car with worn-out shock absorbers. The primary job of the shock absorber is to keep your vehicle on the road and ‘absorb’ the shock. But as they become weak, the bumps on the road send your car flying without any part that pulls it back on the ground. As they wear out, the car performance keeps diminishing, and it becomes more challenging to keep the car in control.
Difficult to Handle
Another easy way to detection a car suspension problem is when you’re having trouble steering the car, especially at low speed. When this happens, it is a direct indication of a lag in the car suspension system. Your car steering and suspension system are linked together, and you have difficulty in handling the car, it is usually the fault in these two. Pay attention to your steering – it gets a great deal done to your vehicle.
There can be a problem with the steering like a low power steering fluid, worn or loose belts, worn-out control arm bushings, etc. You might also notice some squealing or whining, which is indicative of a failing power steering pump. Get your car checked by a service centre, and let them detect the problem.
| Also Read: Car Suspension Guide: What is Car Suspension System? |
Drifting and Pulling to one side
Another significant sign of a worn-out suspension system is that when you are driving straight, your car tends to pull to one side or drift. Now you may argue that this can be due to many other reasons like tires, brakes, or even steering, which is all true!
But it is equally dangerous to drive a car which is not in your control. Eliminate all the possibilities, and then work your way towards wherever the repair is due.
Let’s see how you can go about this.
First things first, take a look at your tyre pressure. More often than not, it is an underinflated tyre that is causing all the problem. Take a good look at the tyres, and gauge their wear and tear. If they haven’t been rotated in a while, get that done too. This is an excellent way to fix the problem, but it is not the only reason.
Wheel alignment is another reason why your car seems to be pulling to one side. Your wheels go through a lot of wear and tear, hitting holes, bumps, and all kinds of rough and rash. There’s a good chance that the car drifting and pulling is caused by the unchecked alignment, which may further lead to tyre wear and tear.
Now when you’ve checked out the tyres and wheel alignment issue, and you’re still experiencing the problem, it may be due to a broken tie rod, spring, or control arm. This will lead to a bigger problem than just drifting, and you will find yourself unable to control the car. It’s time car suspension maintenance.
Car sits low/nose dives
Notice your car when it is parked in the garage, and if you notice that it sits low than usual, this may be a sign of a broken spring. You can also judge this by the clunking sound that your car makes every time you go over a bump or take a turn. This is a sign of bad suspension spring, or it may even be broken and cannot support the weight of the car.
If you ignore this problem, it will put more pressure on the shock absorber and will lead to early wear and tear of that too.
Similarly, if you notice that once you press the brakes, it jerks you ahead right into the dashboard. Braking transfers the weight of the vehicle to the front, and this is checked by shocks and struts which avoid you to nose dive straight ahead. Once the struts are worn out, it will lead to a nosedive and jerks than usual. You can also recognise this fault by noticing that you lean back when accelerated, and the weight of the car transferred to the rear is unchecked.
Damaged or oily shocks
This is an easy way to judge whether your suspension is facing some issue. If you can take a look under the vehicle, you can spot the shocks and struts directly. If you notice they look greasy or oily, there is a good chance that the fluid is leaking; therefore, they are unable to function efficiently. Get this looked immediately by a professional.
The Bounce Test
The suspension bounce test is an excellent way to judge whether your suspension is really going bad. To do this, park your car and go to the front. Lean down on the hood with all your weight, and push a few times to make it bounce. Release the pressure and then watch the car. If it bounces more than 2-3 times after you release it, it is a sure sign your suspension is failing and needs a repair or replacement.
You can also try this on the rear of your car.
This brings us to the end of the article. I hope you understood how to recognise the signs of a failing suspension system in your car. This brings us to the end of car care tips for the rainy season. I hope this was informative and helpful. For any questions/doubts, leave your comment below.