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Vehicle Suspension: Shocks, Struts and Springs

Your vehicle's suspension impacts many areas of your driving experience. Areas such as ride comfort, fuel economy and handling are all effected by the suspension. Read on to learn more about some of the impacts of poor suspension, as well as some maintenance tips. 

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What Does the Suspension in my Vehicle Do?

Suspension (this includes the shocks, springs and struts) is responsible for two main things:

  1. Ride Comfort: Dampen bumps and vibrations when driving. Without suspension, every small bump in the road would feel massive, as it would bounce the vehicle up and down. 
  2. Handling: Stiffer suspension allows for tighter handling, meaning corners can be taken with more speed, the vehicle will be more agile, and will be able to handle rapid turns and adjustments. Softer suspension makes the vehicle feel more 'sluggish' and heavy in corners, and does not allow for rapid cornering and adjustments. Softer suspension does allow for a softer ride though.

Minor third consideration, Fuel EconomyJust as a flat tire can lower fuel economy, so too can soft or broken suspension. The kinetic energy of your vehicle is wasted bouncing up and down on the soft suspension instead of moving forward. 

It is important to balance ride comfort and handling in a way that is comfortable for both the vehicle's occupants, and the vehicle's handling. 

How Can I Tell If My Suspension Needs Repair?

As a general rule of thumb, your vehicle's suspension should be checked at least once every 100,000 kilometers. This is a maximum distance, and it is recommended to get it checked earlier. The following are some symptoms of poor/broken suspension:

  • Vehicle feels 'bouncy' - Upon hitting a bump the car will bounce for several seconds after clearing the bump. Proper suspension should dampen the bump, but not bounce the car afterwards. 
  • Vehicle sways back and forth during corners - Almost like a strong wind is blowing it back and forth. 
  • Vehicle 'bottoms out' without much effort - This means that the suspension has been maxed out. This should not happen unless hitting large bumps at speed (something that should not be done). Bottoming out the suspension can throw off the alignment of your vehicle and impact steering and handling.

Where and When Should I Get My Suspension Repaired?

If you suspect your suspension is wearing out, or it's been a long time since you last had it checked, then you should take your vehicle into Hansma Automotive to get it checked out and repaired. Good suspension is key to the proper handling and ride comfort of your vehicle, and can even effect fuel economy. Click here to contact us today!