When we think of a car's suspension we think of it as just there to absorb the impact of any bumps or debris on the road. Our suspensions keeps us comfortable, and suspension systems have been smoothing out bumpy journeys on trains, carriages, trams, buses, and cars for a very long time.
It's purpose is actually three-fold. It's there to:
- Provide the maximum contact / friction between the tyres and the road surface (and as far as possible) regardless of surface quality
- Provide steering stability with good handling
- Provide a cushion between the bumps and other debris on the road in a way that ensures you and your passengers safety and comfort
If the roads we drive our cars on were all perfectly smooth with no bumps, potholes or other imperfections, suspensions wouldn't (in theory) be necessary at all. As we know however, Irish roads can be far from perfect. As such, your cars suspension is taking a fair degree of punishment every time it's driven.
Steering & Suspension IssuesIf there's a problem with either your steering or suspension, at best you're in for an uncomfortable journey. More serious issues with either can pose a real danger. Some tell-tale signs that you may be having some trouble with your steering or suspension include:
- If there is a knocking sound or noise when driving over bumps or squeaking when turning a corner
- Vehicle appearing to "bounce" on bumpy roads. This can happen when the shock absorbers become worn and / or start leaking
- Vehicle sitting unevenly. Your car springs hold the weight of the car, and if one (or more) become damaged or break that side (or sides) of the car can sit lower than the others
- Uneven tyre wear may point to issues with suspension (best to have a mechanic diagnose this)
- Wandering wheels / loose imprecise steering. This may be caused by the cars's control arms (hinges that hold the wheels to the frame and connect the steering to wheels) becoming bent or worn