Your vehicle’s suspension system is responsible for every bump you feel in the road. It helps keep the vehicle operating properly, ensures proper performance, and gives you control. If there is a problem with your suspension, chances are good you will have difficulties with handling. Yet, the suspension is one component of your vehicle you may not be putting enough attention into – and that can be a mistake.
How do you know when to look for auto repair in Paradise Valley? If your suspension system isn’t working well or you suspect it needs to be looked at, be sure to give Borst Automotive a call. Don’t put off suspension problems.
Why Your Suspension Matters
Suspension systems are like most every other major component on your vehicle. Over time, parts wear down. Rubberized parts – which are some of the more common components to fail first – tend to dry out or loosen up. You’ll also have elastic components that simply wear down until they are no longer functional enough. The longer the suspension system goes when it is not operating properly, the more likely an accident occurs or the system has a significant failure.
You’ll notice changes in your vehicle as you drive it. Pay attention to some of the most common problems and you’ll know when it is time to bring your car in for a repair.
Pulling to One Side
This is perhaps the most common suspension problem. If you are driving on a straight road, and take your hands off the wheel for a moment, does the car tend to pull or drive towards one side? If so, that’s a common sign of a suspension problem.
However, there are other causes of this too, such as a vehicle with a tire that does not have enough air pressure in it. If the tires have not been rotated in some time, this can also cause the vehicle to pull. Poor wheel alignment is another common cause of pulling.
Why does this happen? Alignment is off – there are very specific angles that need to be maintained properly to ensure the vehicle is able to perform properly. If these angles are off even just a small amount, that can lead to significant problems.
If the other minor problems are not the cause of your pulling, it’s time to have a technician take a look at the undercarriage of the vehicle. They can determine if there are alignment problems pretty easily. This may include a front end with worn out bushings or an idler arm that needs repair, for example. Until these problems are fixed, the vehicle will not remain in alignment and will continue to pull.
Steering Wheel Shaking
Have you ever felt the steering wheel of your car vibrate under your hands as you get up to speed? This vibration is one of the most difficult things to diagnose in a vehicle in terms of why it is happening. It can happen as a result of a tire balance problem or a failing tire. In addition, a road force variation can occur.
If this happens when you are braking, that’s often easy to diagnose. It nearly always happens because there is a brake system failure, such as too much wear and tear on the brake or the disc brake pads.
If this and the tire balance are not the problems, the suspension problem can be more difficult to determine. That’s because there are a dozen or more parts that must work together in order for the suspension system to work. This includes everything from the idler arm, brushings, upper ball joints, lower ball joints, and tie rod ends. Worn shocks can also be a factor. That’s why it is so important for you to turn to a suspension expert to determine these more complex problems.
Strange Sounds Coming from the Vehicle
Sometimes you’ll hear a strange clunk or a bit of a squeak. These are all problems you do not want to ignore even if they seem smaller. Clunks or pop-like noises coming from the front of the car tend to be due to ball joint wear and tear. This is the steering knuckle in the suspension controller arms, much like your shoulder joint.
It’s not uncommon to have ball joint problems. They need to be maintained, though, especially older model vehicles. Newer versions have sealed upper and lower ball joints, which help to prevent this problem. If the ball joint fails, you may notice the vehicle seems to hit the pavement whenever you turn the corner.
If you hit a bump, your car should not jump up and down like it has added shocks. If this happens, it is likely the shocks are damaged. Shock absorbers, which are meant to help reduce vertical motion on the car from the springs, can cause this type of bounce to occur.
Excessive Play When Steering
It is not always easy to pinpoint this problem either. These problems tend to be due to a worn steering box or steering rack. Sometimes it may be due to wear on the idler arm, Pitman arm, or the tie rod engines. If your car has over 100,000 miles on it, and the steering seems to be too loose, that could be there are other suspension components with wear and tear on them as well. That’s a good reason in itself to reach out to a repair technician.
Remember, your vehicle has over 30,000 parts. All of them have to work properly to create that smooth rid. If something is not responding the way it should, or you notice changes in the operation, reach out to your auto repair technician.
Schedule an Examination of Your Suspension System Today
It’s not uncommon for a car’s suspension system to need help from time to time. For auto repair in Paradise Valley, give our team a call at Borst Automotive. We do not want you to wait until the problems become significant before getting help. That tends to lead to much more expensive repairs.