Suspension sits between you and the road
The suspension is part of the chassis, which includes the frame, the steering system and the wheels. The suspension system supports the vehicle’s weight, reduces the effect of shock forces and maintains proper wheel alignment. It’s critical for proper steering, stopping and stability. Every time you hit a pothole, a bump, or object in the road, your suspension absorbs that impact and maintains control.
Most suspension systems are made up of several parts (springs, shock absorbers, struts, torsion bars, leaf springs, pull rods, air springs, etc.) that connect the vehicle to its wheels.
Signs of a faulty suspension
As you can imagine, your suspension has a lot of joints and pivots points that allow your wheels to move up and down over bumps, and to turn as you steer. These joints simply wear out over time. When a joint is worn, the suspension parts don’t fit together as tightly as they should. Handling and steering feels loose, and you may hear strange noises. Your tires will wear unevenly because they are bouncing on the road. A loose joint has the effect of stressing other suspension components so they wear out faster than they should.
Here are some common signs of suspension problems:
- Uneven and premature tire wear
- Excessive play in the steering
- Front of vehicle slumps when braking, bottoms out when accelerating
- Visible damage
NAPA AUTOPRO tip
Proper maintenance according to the manufacturer’s recommendations means having your suspension inspected regularly and repairing or replacing it when needed.
Address a small problem before it becomes a major repair later and avoid additional costs by having parts replaced or the wheel geometry checked to ensure it respects the manufacturer’s specifications. Manufacturers also recommend replacing the shock absorbers at pre-established intervals.
If you suspect a problem, ask a certified NAPA AUTOPRO technician to run a diagnosis and make the necessary adjustments to the front and back suspension.