Signs Your Car Needs Suspension Work

March 11th, 2017

Your vehicle’s springs and shocks or struts usually last the life of the vehicle, but not always. If you have a truck or van that regularly hauls heavy loads, or if your Suspension Repair in Abbottstown PA vehicle gets driven hard, you can end up with shocks or struts that have gone spongy before their time. These are all some sure warning signs that they are no longer doing their job:

Rough ride: A harsh ride can also be the result of worn tires, but if your tires are okay and you suddenly are noticing a real drop off in ride quality, suspension parts might be the problem. A more sure-fire sign is a tendency for the vehicle to continue to “bounce” after hitting a bump – it means that the shocks or struts can no longer damp the up-and-down motion of the vehicle that comes from spring action.

Body lean: You’ll feel this more than actually see it. It’ll feel like a “drifting” or “pulling” sensation while cornering, but what’s happening is the shocks/struts can no longer counter the centrifugal force from cornering. This loss of stability is actually pretty dangerous and can lead to a greater risk of rollover.

“Nose dive”: The laws of physics come into play while braking. The vehicle’s weight actually shifts forward pretty drastically when you hit the brakes, which is why front brake pads need to be replaced more often than rear brake pads. If you feel the vehicle lurch forward and downward when you brake, it means that your shocks/struts are going soft and can actually increase stopping distances by 20 percent or more.

Uneven tire wear: This can show up in a “cupped” or spotty wear pattern that means that the suspension is putting undue amounts of load on the tires, rather than bearing the vehicle’s weight itself.

Still wondering if your shocks or struts are worn? Put a knee on the front or rear bumper and bounce the car several times. It shouldn’t continue to bounce for more than a bounce-and-a-half. If it does, it’s a sure sign you’ve got problems. Suspension issues can be dangerous and can cause a loss of control. Don’t take chances – make an appointment with us at L-M Tire and Wheel in Abbottstown, PA! 

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101