When is it Time for Suspension Repair?

Suspension Maintenance and RepairThe suspension system on your vehicle (i.e., the shocks, struts and/or springs that suspend your car above the wheels) is about more than just giving you a comfortable ride on bumpy roads. When your shocks or struts wear out, they affect your ability to control the car when stopping or during turns. This is why occasional suspension repair is an important part of your car's ongoing maintenance.

What happens when the suspension goes bad?

When shocks or struts begin to fail, it starts to affect how the vehicle handles. Of course, this includes a "rougher" ride on the road, but it's more than that. Here are some of the problems you'll encounter with a bad suspension system:

  • Longer stop time. A car with worn-out shock absorbers takes about 20 percent longer to come to a stop.
  • Quicker or uneven wear on the tires. A bad suspension causes uneven weight distribution on the tires, making the tread wear out more quickly and unevenly.
  • Less control during turns. When you make a turn, your car is affected by centrifugal force. With a bad suspension, the body of the car pulls further into the turn, lessening your control and increasing the risk of a rollover.

Fortunately, your vehicle will usually let you know when it's time to take it to a trusted auto repair shop for suspension repair. Here are a few ways to tell.

Do the "bounce test"

An overly "bouncy" car is a good sign of suspension trouble. With the vehicle stopped, begin pushing down on the front of the car with your full weight and "rock" it a few times. When you let go, it should recoil no more than once or twice. If it is 3 times or more, the shocks should be looked at. (Do the same test on the rear suspension, as well.)

Do the "dip test."

Try this on a low-traffic street or parking lot. Accelerate the car to a modest speed, then apply the brakes firmly. If the car "dips," lurching forward or making you feel like you're in a nose dive, the suspension is not doing its job properly.

Check the tires.

Check the tread on all four tires. If you notice uneven tread wear or balding spots on the tires, the weight of the car isn't being distributed correctly, either because of bad suspension or alignment issues. It's time to have it looked at by an auto repair service center.

Look at the shocks/struts.

Try to look underneath the vehicle directly at the shocks or struts. If they appear damaged or oily, they are likely leaking fluid and need to be replaced.

For quality auto service, maintenance and repairs in Everett, trust the professionals at O.N.B. Automotive. As an independent repair center, their rates are more affordable than those of dealership service departments, and their ASE-certified technicians uphold a standard of quality that keeps their satisfied customers coming back. For a diagnosis on suspension repair or any other auto repair needs, they can be reached at (425) 317-9618.

O.N.B. Automotive Blog

Written and Published By MORBiZ

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