A lot of people think that car suspension is just for creating a smooth ride, but did you know, it also has other important functions such as keeping your vehicle in control on the road and your passengers safe.
The underside of your car is made up of a number of important mechanical parts that keep your car in control and on the road, struts, chassis, shocks, springs and torsion bars all work together to absorb the impact and energy from bumps, curves, and holes in the road. You may not have thought too much about it, but these parts need to withstand a huge amount of stress over long periods of time. This means they can become subject to wear and fatigue over time.
Springs are your suspensions first line of defence. springs are there to absorb the up and down motion that your car experiences due to holes and bumps. There are 3 basic types of springs used at present, coil spring, leaf, and torsion bars.
Coil springs, just like their name infers are like an industrial grade slinky. Coil springs are great for absorbing up and down energy but they do not do much for side to side motion. Coil Springs are usually found on all 4 wheels of your average car, and in the front suspension of SUVs.
Leaf Springs are a set of curved steel strips stacked on top of each other, these curved steel strips are called leaves. They are stacked in such a way that the flex absorbs the motions bumps, humps, and uneven roads. Leaf Spring Suspension is generally more robust than Coil Springs but doesn't offer as smooth a ride, you will generally find them on 4WD rigs, vans, and SUVs.
Torsion bars, as their name suggests, absorb energy through torsion or twisting. Torsion bars are only used in front end suspension but can be found on all different types of vehicles.
If you are experience a bumpy ride it is possible that your springs are wearing out, but a bumpy ride is not the only indicator that your suspension might need a looking to. Excessive swaying or leaning when turning or changing lanes, poor or delayed steering response is another clear indication. Sometimes you will see uneven or unusual wear on your tires, and in a drastic cases your car could even look unlevelled, lower on one side when parked.
Continuing to drive with faulty or worn out suspension can be not only uncomfortable but also extremely dangerous, as it can affect everything from your breaking to your steering and handling. If you experience signs of suspension wear, we recommend that you have a qualified person look over your suspension.
If you have any questions at all about suspension, or you are thinking about upgrading or maintaining your existing suspension Suncoast Vehicle Accessories have experts ready to take your call. You can contact us on (07) 5445 5588 or come and visit us at 43 Enterprise St Kunda Park, Sunshine Coast.