Back when cars were first being manufactured, at the turn-of-the-century and the first several decades, if you were considered an upper-class citizen, you were more likely to be able to afford one of these horseless carriages. And if you were fortunate enough to afford one of the earliest type of cars on the roads, then you probably had a number of back related problems and were sore at the end of your ride.
Today, suspension is one of the most crucial components with regard to comfort and safety on the road today. Suspension is responsible for creating as smooth a ride as possible. However, because of increased speeds on the roads, any flaw that is in the road surface will be magnified the faster that you travel.
For example, if you are driving at 30 miles an hour down a relatively smooth road, and you hit a pothole, you will certainly feel it and your car will feel it as well. However, if you were traveling at 60 miles an hour down the same road and hit that same pothole, you will feel it in a magnified way. The impact will be much more significant.
Over time, the suspension in your vehicle would begin to wear down. It doesn’t matter whether you have shocks, struts, leaf springs, or some other combination of suspension, including air ride suspension, in time it will begin to wear out.
Many people simply don’t realize when the suspension in their car is beginning to have problems. They ignore minor issues until it is too late. However, suspension related problems can lead to a loss of control and accidents. It can also cause your car to take longer to stop than it normally would.
Here are five signs that your car might be trying to tell you that suspension repair is necessary right now, whether you live in Sacramento or anywhere else.
- You experience a bouncy ride.
If you notice that you are bouncing around a lot more now then you used to, it’s probably not your imagination. This is one of the most common things, or signs, that people miss with regard to their suspension. That bouncy ride is an indication that the struts or shocks are wearing out. The more that they wear out, the less ability they have to absorb imperfections, bumps, rises and dips, and other issues in the road.
What does it mean to be a bouncy ride?
Essentially, if you go over a small bump in the road and your car bounces more than twice, your suspension is likely old and worn out. Hitting a small bump should be absorbed after one rise and one fall of the car, both front and back. So if it bounces more than that, then there is an issue with the suspension.
- You feel loose steering when you are in a turn.
When you are driving down the highway, and you turn the wheel hard because of a major curve in the road, over time you will get used to the way your car handles. If you notice that steering seems a little looser now, it might be related to the sway bar or sway bar linkage, but it could also be the struts or shocks.
When you turn, your car will displace weight from all four wheels evenly to the two outside tires. If the suspension on those tires is worn out, your car will dip more and that will lead to a sensation of having loose steering. This can be a very dangerous situation because if you are used to a specific type of steering, you could lose control or underestimate the turn with regard to your worn-out suspension.
- You’re feeling bumps in the road more now.
As we mentioned, speed is going to determine how much of an impact the small bump or pothole will have on your ride. If you are noticing that the ride is rougher now and that the bumps rattle your teeth more now than they ever did before, it is probably directly related to the struts or shocks getting worn out.
- Clattering every time you drive over a pothole or bump in the road.
Maybe you are hearing the sound of metal rattling when you’re hitting these bumps that you’ve never heard before. This could be the struts or shocks banging against each other because there is no more gas to absorb the impact. It could also be the struts or shock mount that is worn out. It may very well be the sway bar bushings that are worn out as well.
If you hear clattering when you hit a bump, you need suspension repair as soon as possible.
- It has been over 80,000 miles since you had any type of suspension repair done.
Depending on the type of suspension, the quality of shocks and struts you purchase, and other factors, including stop and go traffic, the suspension might last for 80,000 miles, 120,000 miles, or somewhere in between. If it has been at least 80,000 miles since you had your suspension checked out, it is probably ready to be repaired.
What is the difference between shocks and struts?
One of the most common questions that drivers have is the difference between struts and shocks. For most front wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles, you will find struts on the front and of the vehicle. Struts are much larger style shock absorbers that will have spring connected to the system.
Shocks are more isolated to the back of the vehicle. They essentially do the same thing, but struts will generally cost more money to replace than shocks.
If you have other questions related to suspension repair or other vehicle issues in Sacramento, contact Standard Auto Care today.