Being able to spot when there’s something wrong with your car is part of being a motorist. As a driver, nobody knows your car as you do, so when something isn’t running quite as it usually does, then it’s time to find out why.
When it comes to your car suspension, the tell-tale signs are often obvious. With significant damage or a broken part somewhere in your suspension system, you should undoubtedly feel a bumpier or bouncier ride. Alternatively, the car could dip drastically where a coil spring has finally given up. Then, there are all those knocking and grinding noises likely to emerge from the offending article.
Did you know that even a worn suspension system could cause your braking efficiency to be reduced by around 20%? Also, your car’s suspension plays a huge part in vehicle handling, responsible for containing sway or roll while cornering and dipping and lifting under braking and acceleration.
It’s not only uncomfortable when your suspension fails—it’s dangerous.
5 signs that your car needs a suspension repair
There isn’t one sole fix for suspension problems. Instead, each car is likely to experience a range of suspension issues throughout its lifetime, requiring a specific repair or replacement.
As well as the list of symptoms below, it’s essential to remember that the wheels and tyres play an important part in your car’s drive comfort. Flat or deflated tyres can cause a few of the following symptoms, just as failing wheel bearings could, so before you reach out to your mechanic, it’s sensible to check those most basic areas first.
1. The car rides rough
It’s probably the most specific symptom; if the car doesn’t drive as it usually does, bouncing all over or banging your teeth together as you pass over every bump, it’s time to check the suspension for broken coil springs or failed shocks.
2. You feel the car drift or pull while turning
If your shock absorbers are failing, they won’t provide the usual stability they offer when cornering. As a result, you may feel like the car is about to roll over as it tips dramatically.
3. Nosedives are exaggerated under everyday braking
You would expect the front end to dip during an emergency stop, but if the same type of lunge and dip happens during everyday driving, it’s another sign the shock absorbers are failing. It’s essential to carry out this repair immediately, as lower braking efficiency leads to real danger.
4. You spot uneven tyre wear
As discussed, your wheels and tyres play a big part in your suspension, so if you notice one side of the tyre wearing faster than the other, it could be down to the suspension. As a result, you could find irregular wear patches or bald spots, showing that the suspension isn’t holding the car evenly.
5. Oily deposits on your shock absorbers or struts
If you can get a clear view through to your shock absorbers, and you spot any grease or oil on, around, or coating them, it’s a likely sign that they’ve sprung a leak and need replacing.
When suspension problems aren’t always so obvious
The previously discussed symptoms result in actions or indicators that are relatively hard to miss. However, many suspension issues get left untreated, as slower, general deterioration often goes unnoticed. That slow decline may disguise what’s happening to even the most aware driver until the suspect component finally breaks.
That’s why many service professionals offer free suspension checks—Fixter included. It’s worth booking one in during your car service or if you feel the tiniest difference in your car’s handling.
When it comes to road safety and the care of your passengers, it’s far better safe than sorry.
How to fix car suspension
Depending on your skill level, we’d suggest complex suspension repairs are left to a trained mechanic. On the other hand, an experienced DIY mechanic may be capable of taking on some repair or replacement operations with the right tools and equipment. Still, not many such repairs are suitable for the average Joe.
If you think fixing your suspension is within your grasp, then make sure you’ve got all the tools and kit you need, ready and waiting before starting the job, and enough time to complete the process.
For most suspension repairs, you’ll need specialist tools, the correct replacement parts, jacks to elevate the vehicle, a level work area, and plenty of space.
However, the easiest and quickest way to rectify suspension problems is to book in with your local Fixter mechanic right away.