More than smoothing out bumps and the many potholes in San Diego, your car, SUV, or truck‘s suspension system is an important part of handling and in turn safety. Its job is to isolate the vehicle from irregularities in the road while supporting the weight of the vehicle. When something breaks or wears out you can have a rough ride, bouncing, and swaying calling for a prompt suspension repair.
Your Car or Truck’s Suspension System
A bad suspension can cause your vehicle to sway in the opposite direction from where you’re turning, making it less stable and harder to control. With complicated dynamic forces at play just worn shock absorbers can add 10% to your stopping distance. So there are clearly safety concerns.
The main suspension components include shocks or struts, and coil springs. Heavier or older vehicles may have leaf springs. But a suspension system also includes sway arms, control arms and bushings, ball joints, mounts, and so on. Just about any part can fail, especially without regular lubrication. Shock absorbers and struts simply wear out, leading to a rough ride, less secure handling, and swaying on heavy braking.
Common Symptoms and What They Mean
Steering and suspension problems often cause similar driving issues, so a careful inspection is an important part of any diagnosis. It’s often not clear that there’s even a problem, but considering the risks of further damage or even an accident, if you have any suspicions that you need suspension repairs then it’s time to visit a well-qualified mechanic. Most oil-change and routine-maintenance technicians simply lack the proper training and experience. Here are a few things to be on the lookout for.
- Handling Concerns
- pulling to the left or right during normal driving usually indicates that your wheels are out of alignment
- swaying or bouncing, dipping, or diving (porposing) on an uneven road or taking a nose dive on heavy braking usually means worn shocks or struts
- loose sluggish steering is likely a steering play issue (no surprise!), but it could also be issues with tie rods, tie rod ends, or strut bearings
- Steering Wheel
- feeling bumps and road cracks are usually the result of worn shocks, struts, strut bearings, or ball joints
- vibrating or wiggling back and forth could be a power steering system problem, but can also be caused by out-of-balance wheels, highly uneven tire wear, loose wheel bolts, or brake rotors
- Uneven Tire Wear can result from many factors, including improper inflation, poor wheel alignment, or faulty steering or suspension systems
- Noises can be a minor suspension problem… or serious suspension, steering, or drive train problem. Common suspension system culprits include ball joints and sway bars.
Scheduled inspections and maintenance, including chassis lube jobs, go a long way in preventing these problems. You’ll save on suspension repairs and have a longer-lasting and most importantly a safer vehicle.
So don’t put off maintenance, and don’t delay in paying us a visit if you suspect you need a suspension repair. You’ll likely leave with a more comfortable and safer ride. Pacific Automotive has been serving San Diego for over 20 years. We’re your nearby dealership alternative for in-warranty maintenance and we provide expert diagnosis and repairs with an old-fashioned personal touch. Our team includes ASE certified master mechanics at affordable rates, and we guarantee your satisfaction.