While we can talk about the many components that propel a vehicle drive down the road, one of the most important systems in a car for the comfort of the occupants is the suspension system. It helps to diminish the shock of potholes, obstacles and countless other potential road hazards while providing a smoother ride.
The problem is that, unlike the engine or the drive train, the suspension is something that you can overlook in four out of five cases. These problems, while annoying, will seldom cause issues that can interfere with the ability to drive a vehicle.
Let’s explore some persuasive reasons that you should seek to repair your vehicle’s aged or neglected suspension system, then we will delve into some of the damage that can be caused by ignoring your vehicle’s suspension.
1. Your Suspension Can Become Uncomfortable
The most noticeable sign of a failing or damaged suspension system is the fact that it becomes unable to dampen the shock of bumps and other imperfections on the road. This translates to you bouncing in the driver’s seat, your car potentially bottoming out on road bumps and potholes and excessive force that will eventually cause wear on the more rigid components of your car’s suspension.
Ford, Chevy, Dodge and GMC pickups are especially prone to this kind of wear and tear because of where drivers tend to take these vehicles and the loads they may carry. SUVs and vans encounter uncomfortable suspension systems for similar reasons.
If your car is unable to dampen the shock of bumps, then anything from your struts and springs to your car’s control arms may need to be replaced.
2. Your Car Makes Odd Noises
Worn suspension systems are notorious for hard-to-find squeaks, groans and other noises. These may sound like worn engine mounts, loose mufflers and a long list of problems that can lead to costly repairs that your vehicle ultimately may not need.
Foreign cars and sports cars like the Chevrolet Camaro are especially vulnerable to suspension damage. This is because these parts are designed to have significantly stricter tolerances than your average commuter car when it comes to suspension damage.
Cars that have high mileage or decades of use tend to have perishable rubber parts that become brittle and shrink with the introduction of time and heat. This shrinking will enable things like control arm bolts to wiggle during driving, which in turn can cause annoying noise while diminishing the comfort of your vehicle while it is driven.
While the specific causes of these noises will depend upon the vehicle, one thing is for certain: a noisy suspension system should not be ignored.
3. Your Vehicle System Becomes Damaged
The greatest, and generally last effect, of a worn suspension system is damage to your vehicle. This damage can extend to something as simple as a bent drive shaft to something as extensive as bent control arms, sheared tie rods, a busted transmission or a dead differential.
The reason for this is simple: your suspension system is designed to distribute the shock of irregularities in the road over the duration of a few seconds. This takes the shock out of these jarring forces, which in turn reduces the maximum force that any component feels at one time.
If your suspension system is shot, then thousands of pounds of force can be displaced upon components designed to withstand only a few hundred pounds at any given moment.
For parts designed to withstand larger shocks, they can still fail prematurely due to a poor suspension system. Pickups, like the Ford and Chevrolet vehicles mentioned earlier, can have their engine mounts fail prematurely. This can cause the engine to bounce at higher RPMs and loads, which in turn can cause damage to manifolds, intakes, fuel injectors and any other component that the engine hits.
While the specific symptoms will vary according to your vehicle, one thing is certain when it comes to a worn suspension system: even the strongest components of your car can fail because of bad suspension.
Pay Careful Attention to Your Vehicle’s Suspension
Just like the drivetrain, the fuel delivery system or the engine, your suspension plays a vital role in ensuring that your car continues to operate at peak efficiency. Anything less will inevitably lead to the premature failure of your vehicle and the costly repairs associated with fixing these components.
The best way to avoid having your vehicle’s suspension cause problems is to ensure that every component is working as it should.
The challenge with suspension systems is that they often require specialized tools, difficult-to-acquire parts and the right skills needed to repair these parts in a reliable manner. That’s where our experienced and resourceful mechanics enter the picture.
When your vehicle’s suspension system needs repair, trust Triangle Car Care for all your vehicle repair needs. Call (919) 787-0966 today to schedule an appointment, or fill out our contact form and someone will get back to you shortly.