The Importance of Vehicle Suspension System Maintenance: A Guide from Northside Auto Repair

NAPA Insta Strut

Today, we’re discussing a topic that’s essential for your vehicle’s safety and comfort – the suspension system. This system, including shocks and struts, is often overlooked during regular vehicle maintenance, but it plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and safe ride. Let’s dive in!

What is the Suspension System and Why is it Important?

The suspension system in your vehicle is a complex network of parts that work together to absorb shocks and bumps, maintain tire contact with the road, and control the vehicle’s movement. It includes components like springs, shock absorbers (or struts), and linkages.

When working correctly, the suspension system ensures a comfortable ride by minimizing the impact of road conditions on the vehicle’s occupants. More importantly, it enhances the safety of your vehicle by helping maintain control during acceleration, braking, and cornering.

How Does the Suspension System Work?

The key players in your vehicle’s suspension are the springs and shocks or struts. The springs absorb the energy from bumps and potholes, while the shocks or struts dissipate this energy to prevent it from shaking the vehicle excessively. In essence, these two work together to ensure your car doesn’t bounce continuously after hitting a bump, and that your tires remain in contact with the road surface for maximum control.

The Risks of Poor Suspension Maintenance

Ignoring your vehicle’s suspension system can lead to numerous problems, ranging from uncomfortable rides and decreased fuel efficiency to reduced control over the vehicle and increased stopping distances. In severe instances, poor suspension could even lead to accidents due to loss of control, especially in challenging driving conditions.

Identifying Suspension Issues

Here are some signs that your suspension system needs attention:

  1. Rough Ride: If you start to feel every bump and dip in the road, it’s a clear sign your shocks or struts may be worn out.
  2. Drifting or Pulling: When taking a turn, if your vehicle drifts or pulls, it means that your suspension system isn’t keeping the vehicle stable against the centrifugal force.
  3. Uneven Tire Treads: If you notice uneven wear on your tires, your suspension might not be holding the car evenly, causing uneven tire pressure.
  4. Dipping Nose and Squatting Rear: If your vehicle dips forward when stopping or squats backward when accelerating, it’s time to check your shocks and struts.

Regular Maintenance is Key

At Northside Auto Repair, we recommend having your suspension system inspected at least once a year or every 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, if you frequently drive on rough roads, you might need more frequent checks.

Regular maintenance of your suspension can prevent minor issues from turning into costly repairs. Plus, it can significantly improve your vehicle’s performance, fuel efficiency, and lifespan.

Never underestimate the importance of a well-maintained suspension system. It’s not just about comfort; it’s about safety and longevity for your vehicle. So next time you’re in for an oil change, ask about your suspension – our team at Northside Auto Repair is ready to assist!

Remember, when it comes to vehicle maintenance, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Drive safe!