Why Is Your Car’s Suspension So Important?

While it is common to see both lowered and raised suspension cars, your car’s suspension isn’t just an aesthetic choice. It actually plays a critical role for your safety on the road. A vehicle’s suspension is sturdy and if used under standard operations conditions, can live a long life, commonly lasting for many years. However it can also be critically damaged in the blink of an eye by hitting a pothole or curb. If your car often carries heavy loads or you drive off road frequently, your suspension will likely wear down a lot quicker. Why does this matter? In this article we explore how car suspension works and what can happen when complications arise with your car suspension.

What is car suspension?

In the simplest terms, your car’s suspension works as a shock-absorption barrier to ensure a smooth and safe drive. When your car has high quality suspension, it successfully absorbs the impact from bumps, holes, road debris etc so that you don’t have to feel them inside the car. It also improves tyre traction which keeps your car safely on the road.

Your car’s suspension system is comprised primarily of:

  • Springs – either coil springs, leaf springs or torsion bars – that are attached to the axle and can flex under the weight of the car, keeping it level and even.
  • Shock absorbers / dampers – the most common form of shock absorbers are a piston in a cylinder filled with oil . As the name suggests, these absorb shock, protecting the chassis from sudden bumps, holes and other forces. This enables a smoother drive and stops the tyres bouncing suddenly from the road surface.

How your car’s suspension works

Almost all roads have bumps, cracks or potholes. If your car didn’t have suspension, you would feel the impact of every single one of these as it forces your wheel up and down. Very small imperfections would not cause a severe impact as they transmit only small amounts of force or kinetic energy. However, a bigger bump or pothole would send a jarring jolt through your car. This not only causes an uncomfortable driving experience but can also impact on your car’s traction or grip on the road, causing the wheels to lift from the surface and crash back down. A bounce like this would be uncomfortable at best, but could also damage your car or cause an accident depending on the severity. This is why car suspension is so important.

Signs of worn car suspension

There are 5 complications that commonly occur with car suspension systems, and it is important to know the signs so that you can get your suspension repaired or replaced. Your car’s suspension may have a problem if you are:

  • Feeling every bump on the road. You’ll know your car’s suspension is in need of repairs or replacement when the car is bouncing on every bump. Not only does this cause a rough and uncomfortable drive, it can cause significant damage to your shock absorbers which leads to bigger expenses and risk of accidents.
  • Involuntarily pulling to the side. If you feel your car pulling to the right or left as you drive, you likely have suspension problems. Uneven tyre alignment can be triggered by blowing through a pothole or hitting a curb, and needs to be addressed straight away.
  • Sitting low on one corner. Have you noticed one corner of your car sits lower than the rest? You may have a damaged spring that isn’t supporting the weight of your car properly. This can compromise your car’s ability to react to sudden changes, so it is important to get a professional to inspect the suspension in this case.
  • Finding it difficult to steer. Damaged suspension can make it difficult to steer or cause the steering wheel to slip, especially at low speeds. Without proper control over your steering, you are at greater risk of accidents so it is recommended to get this checked as soon as possible.
  • Nose-diving, rolling, or leaning back. Your car diving forward when braking, rolling to the side when you turn a corner, or leaning backward when accelerating are all sure fire signs of a problem with suspension. This usually indicates worn or broken shock absorbers.
  • How we can help

    Have you noticed any of these signs that your car suspension may need repairs? Ignoring these signs can have serious consequences for not only your safety but also the safety of others on the road. The team at Australian Mechanical are experienced mechanics with years of experience. We can diagnose a problem with your car suspension and have you back on the road driving smoothly and safely in no time. Get in touch with us online or give us a call on 07 3356 1538 today.

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