Your vehicle's suspension system absorbs the shock of travelling over uneven surfaces, allowing your vehicle to drive smoothly. Naturally, the constant bouncing and bumping can take a physical toll on y our suspension system. Knowing what the most common symptoms of suspension issues are can make it easier for you to spot them before they grow too serious, allowing you to get in touch with your mechanic and save yourself additional repairs and headaches in the future.
1. Body Roll
One of the first signs of a damaged or worn out suspension system that you may notice is an increase in the amount of body roll that your vehicle experiences. Body roll refers to how the chassis of your car moves on the tires as you turn, accelerate and brake. Damaged springs can cause the chassis to move more than is strictly necessary. This is a safety concern, because it places more strain on your tires, struts and springs, and can increase the risk of you flipping your vehicle while turning quickly. You can test the state of your springs when your vehicle is stopped by pressing down heavily on the hood. If the springs are in good condition, your hood will bounce upwards and settle very quickly. Damaged springs will cause the vehicle to bounce up and down continuously.
2. Tire Issues
A clear indication that your suspension system is misaligned is in the performance and structural integrity of your tires. Misaligned tires can cause a few problems, but the easiest ones to spot are a constant pulling to one side while you are driving, which can greatly increase the risk of a collision, and an uneven distribution of tire wear, which you can usually visually spot as the treads of your tires wear away.
3. Poor Steering and Noises
Finally, the last sign of suspension issues that you should watch out for is any sort of looseness or lack of responsiveness with the steering wheel, especially when coupled with noises coming from the tires when you turn the wheel. Grinding and rattling can point to damaged control arms, which link the tires and the steering together, whereas a high-pitched squeal or shriek while turning can point to damaged ball joints, which are the connection between the tires and the suspension system. Obviously, any sort of malfunction or damage to either of these components can drastically reduce your ability to control your car, and as such should be addressed by a car repair professional straight away.
For more information, contact your local auto repair service.