The suspension functions

The suspension parts of your vehicle is part of the chassis, which includes important systems such as the frame, the steering system, the tires and the wheels. The main functions of the suspension system are supporting the weight of a vehicle, reducing the effect of shock forces and maintaining a proper wheel alignment. Your suspension is critical for proper steering, stopping, and stability. Every time you hit a pothole, a bump, or an object on the road, your suspension system has to absorb that impact and maintain control. All relevant parts involved allow drivers to control the vehicle direction of travel.

Most suspension systems are made up of several parts (springs, shock absorbers, MacPherson struts, torsion bars, leaf springs, pull rods, air springs, etc.) that connect the vehicle to its wheels.

Check out our different suspension parts or visit a NAPA AUTOPRO branch.

What are the signs indicating 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 has a loose field, and you may hear a strange noise. Your tires will wear unevenly because they are bouncing down the road a little off kilter. 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
  • The front of the vehicle slumps when braking, bottoms out when accelerating
  • Visible damage

How often do you need to maintain your suspension?

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. A faulty suspension can affect the steering and handling, and make your tires wear out fast. This means additional costs to have parts replaced or the wheel geometry checked to ensure it respects the manufacturer’s specifications. Manufacturers also recommend replacing the shock absorbers at pre-set intervals. As for suspension maintenance, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s specifications.

When well maintained, the suspension enhances passenger comfort and allows you to maintain proper road handling. Besides, a suspension that’s in good condition will make your tires last longer and ensure the steering functions properly.

If you suspect a problem with your suspension, ask a certified NAPA AUTOPRO technician to run a diagnosis and make the necessary adjustments to the front and back suspension. 

Learn more about the suspension system from our NAPA AUTOPRO experts in the video below: