How Do You Know When Your Car Needs Suspension Repairs?
Your car's suspension provides more than a smooth ride. Your vehicle's suspension keeps it in contact with the road, assisting you with traction, steering, turning, and braking so you can remain in control. It's easy to overlook, but maintaining it is no less important than regular oil changes and tire maintenance. Driving on a bad suspension is not only uncomfortable – it's unsafe. How do you know when your car needs suspension repairs if you can't see the key components?
Get to Know How Your Suspension System Works
Vehicle suspension systems typically include springs, struts, shocks, and links, which connect these components to the frame and tires. Tires also play a role in the system, keeping your vehicle in contact with the road. Each part performs a specific function, distinctly impacting handling. Shocks prevent bouncing by absorbing tire impacts. Struts impact steering and alignment.
Your Suspension Is Not a Maintenance-Free System
Many drivers think suspension components last the car's lifetime. But your vehicle isn't light. It weighs tons, managing that weight (and yours) over miles of winding roads, in stop-and-go traffic, and through bumpy construction zones. Over time, these components wear out. Because these changes are often gradual, you may not notice the warning signs. If you don't pay attention, you may end up needing roadside assistance.
Signs You Need New Struts
These problems indicate you may need strut replacement:
Clunking when you hit a bump
Worn struts bottom out, making a clunking noise every time you run over a speed bump or pothole. Since this issue can lead to more problems, including breakage, we recommend a vehicle inspection ASAP.
Bouncy or bumpy ride
If you’re feeling every bump in the road, or your car feels like it’s floating up and down after riding over bigger bumps or dips, it’s time to contact your local car service center.
Instability at high speeds
If your vehicle is hard to control on the highway or interstate, bouncing up and down or rocking side to side, have an experienced auto mechanic check your suspension at your next scheduled maintenance.
Signs You Need New Shocks
These problems indicate you may need shock replacement:
Shaking/vibrating steering wheel
If your steering wheel vibrates or shakes excessively, your shocks – and potentially other suspension system components - could be broken.
Vehicle control issues when braking
Nosedives - when your car moves forward, then down after braking - make it 20% harder to stop your vehicle. This serious suspension issue requires immediate attention.
Issues Shared by Shocks and Struts
These problems could reflect worn shocks or struts. Our skilled auto mechanics can determine if one or both components require replacement.
Drifting while turning
Worn shocks and struts that cannot support your vehicle could cause it to drift to the side during turns, causing you to overcorrect and struggle to maintain control.
Swerving when braking
A car that pulls when braking indicates worn suspension components on one side.
Anytime you see fluid leaking from shocks, struts, or other components, it’s time to take your car in for immediate service.
Traction issues and irregular tire wear
When shocks and struts can't absorb impacts from the road, they're absorbed by your tires, causing them to wear unevenly. This problem can also cause traction issues, making you slip and slide all over the road.
Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs of a Worn-Out Suspension
When your car needs suspension repairs, you need help from a locally owned auto repair shop you can trust. RJ's Tire Pros & Auto Experts has you covered. We offer auto repair at a lower cost than area dealerships for drivers throughout Yakima Valley, including Union Gap, Selah, Naches, Gleed, West Valley, and East Valley. Contact us at 509-453-8170 or schedule an online vehicle inspection appointment to get a trustworthy quote on suspension repairs today.