A rough and bumpy ride is typically down to problems with the suspension. If it’s not the suspension, then it’s likely to be either an issue with your wheels or tyres, your transmission or the engine.

To get your car back to its smooth and stable engine idling, first, you’ll have to pinpoint the problem. Fixter can help with that. We’ve got the finest network of fully qualified mechanics ready and waiting to put any problem straight. Get in touch today to enjoy our completely contactless end-to-end service.

Why does my car suffer from a rough, bumpy ride?

A rough, bumpy ride is usually caused by one or more of the following areas: wheels and tyres, suspension, transmission, or engine issues.

A bumpy ride doesn’t just affect your passenger’s comfort; it can lead to severe damage to your car or a dangerous accident.

What are the common causes of a rough, bumpy ride?

Wheel and tyre issues

Risk level – High

What to do – Repair or replace the problem components or have your wheels balanced if that’s the issue.

Check your tyres for too-low or too-high pressures and that they are the same in each tyre. Are your wheels secured properly? Is there a nail or other foreign body stuck in the tyre surface that rolls over the road?

Poor wheel alignment results in nasty vibrations or your car pulling to one side, drifting, or fighting against you when you steer. None of which are much fun for you or your passengers.

Problems with your car suspension

Risk level – High

What to do – Repair or replace all faulty components.

Your suspension controls much of your car’s performance, including the comfort of your passengers and road handling while driving. If there’s damage to shock absorbers, struts, or springs, you’ll feel it as soon as you drive over any surface that isn’t in tip-top condition.

Your car can lean, pull to one side, vibrate, bounce, and show all kinds of issues under braking with damaged suspension, but one thing’s certain, it’ll feel rough and bumpy on anything less than a perfectly level surface.

Misfiring engines, transmission and gearbox issues

Risk level – High

What to do – Find the culprit and repair it—ASAP.

Vibrations and heavy lurching can come from the drive of the car and not necessarily from its connection to the road. A misfiring engine can cause a bumpy ride, as can an issue with your gearbox or transmission. Both areas can be costly if they’re not spotted and sorted straight away. Replacing ageing engine oil or transmission fluid or a tune-up could be all it takes, or you may need a new gearbox or a full service of your transmission.

Damage to the axle

Risk level – High

What to do – Repair or replace where appropriate.

It’s not uncommon to bend or break the shaft that connects the transmission to the wheels. Driving over large items in the road or bouncing through potholes and over curbs is often all it takes to deliver the damage.

Some axles can be straightened out, but many will require replacing—quite a costly repair.

It could even be your brakes

Risk level – Medium

What to do – Replace damaged components.

If there’s anything lodged within the brakes, or they’ve suffered some hard wear or damage, then they could also be the culprit of your bumpy ride. Anything out of the ordinary in your braking system can cause quite nasty vibrations and jumps, especially when you press them.

Damaged brakes are usually an affordable repair. If your brakes are the problem, you should be grateful it wasn’t as costly as replacing your gearbox or fitting a new axle!

What could cause a rough, bumpy ride?

A sudden solid blow or hard collision with a solid object in the road can break or twist the components in your suspension, your wheel alignment and balance, or even the drive and steering. Bottoming out the suspension when speeding over low bridges or dips in the road can also create the same problems.

Is a rough, bumpy ride dangerous?

It really can be. If there’s anything wrong with your wheels, tyres or suspension, then the problem could soon escalate into a blowout or complete suspension failure—both areas that could cause a serious accident.

Can I prevent the problems that lead to a rough ride?

If you look after the components that keep your ride healthy and smooth, then you should receive miles of great service from them. Regularly check tyre pressures and the condition of your wheels and tyres, and protect your car’s components by doing your best to avoid potholes, hitting kerbs, and driving over any objects in the road.

What are the signs of worn suspension?

Worn suspension delivers a range of warning signs, from clunking sounds when you hit a bump in the road to the bumpy, rough ride we’ve been talking about. The front end may feel like it’s hovering, or you could notice uneven tyre wear. Then there are the vibrations during driving, erratic braking performance, or leaking fluid. Any or all of these symptoms are failing or failed suspension warning signs.