WARNING SIGNS OF SUSPENSION PROBLEMS

Wednesday 09 Oct , 2013
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The suspension system in a car is one of the sneakiest, difficult, and expensive areas to work on. This is because recognition of a fault in one’s suspension system is not as easy as diagnosing other faults in a car. The suspension is a collection of several parts. It therefore requires careful scrutiny of each and every part when identifying whether there is a problem with an automobile’s suspension.

One of the most common warnings sign indicating a problem in the suspension is the pulling of the vehicle to one side while driving. These indicate that the wheels of your automobile need alignment or the suspension parts have become worn out and need replacing. The moving of the vehicle to one side while driving can also be a cause of tires with different pressures and tread wear.

One other symptom that indicates a problem with a car’s suspension is when a car hits a bump or a pot hole and does not return to smooth driving immediately but rather sways and bounces excessively. This is a clear indication that the suspension has problems. This is caused by worn out shocks and struts. The shocks and the struts are responsible for handling how a car behaves when it hits a bump on the road. The shocks and the struts form a very important aspect of a car’s suspension. Worn out shocks and struts leads the vehicle to becoming shaky on the highway.

An unnatural tilt of the vehicle when taking corners is another warning sign. This is usually caused by a bad suspension as a result of worn out struts. This even goes further into affecting the tires by causing them to have lumps. Thus, one way of checking whether you may have bad suspension is by checking for lumps on the tires.

Another warning sign of bad suspension is the swaying and wandering of the steering wheel while steering. You will notice this by the vehicle swaying from one side to another when you turn the wheel. This is a clear indication that there are bad struts or tie rods.

Another warning sign indicating bad suspension is if there is any clunking/knocking present when driving over pot holes, speed bumps, or other rough road. This might be an indication that there are worn out ball joints or strut bearings, which are components of a vehicle’s suspension.

Talking of ball joints, these are a critical part in any car’s suspension. They form the primary connection of the wheel and tires to the rest of the suspension. Thus any default in them in turn affects the entire suspension system. Ball joints are not easy to see and thus their condition cannot easily be found. Therefore one needs to be on the look out for any of the following symptoms to diagnose ball joints problem as part of the suspension problem: faint intermittent sound that seems to be emanating from a corner of a vehicle, uneven tire wear, vibrating steering, or stiff steering.

While these warning signs may not be 100% accurate 100% of the time, they are used for good measure when trying to diagnose a problem that may be suspension related. Taking the time to understand how your vehicle is running and reacting to the road will give you a good starting point when troubleshooting.

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