Suspension

Components of a Suspension System

A vehicle’s suspension is a complex system that is designed to maximize the contact between the tire and the road. The goal of a suspension system is to provide steering stability while maintaining handling and ride quality. Components of a vehicle’s suspension can include the following:

  • ball joints
  • control arms
  • coil springs
  • leaf springs
  • trailing arms
  • shock absorbers and struts
  • sway bars, sway bar links and sway bar bushings
  • tires.

Indications of a Worn Suspension System

All suspension components wear and should be inspected periodically and replaced as necessary. Indications that suspension components are worn and should be replaced include:

Leaks from the shocks and/or struts.

Top quality shock absorbers, like Monroe’s Reflex and Spectrum shocks & struts are gas charged. As the seals in these components dry and wear, leaks may become evident. This is an indication that the component is worn and should be replaced. As shocks and struts wear, a vehicle may seem to sway and feel more like a boat than a vehicle.

Diminished ride quality, handling or braking.

Diminished ride quality is often evident in vehicles with worn shocks and struts. As shocks and struts wear, a vehicle may seem to sway and feel more like a boat than a vehicle. Diminished handling may be evident when turning at higher speeds. A vehicle with worn suspension components may not corner at higher speeds as well as it did when the components were new. Similarly, a vehicle’s braking ability may diminish as suspension parts wear. Remember, a goal of the suspension system is to maximize the contact between tire’s contact patches and the road. If this contact is not maximized, braking distances will suffer.

Abnormal tire wear.

Worn suspension items, especially worn shocks and struts, may cause improper tire wear. Cupped or scalloped tires are a good indication that tires are not maintaining contact with the road. If a tire skips, tire wear will be uneven. As suspension items wear, alignment angles change. For this reason, it is generally a good idea to have an alignment performed when suspension items are replaced.

Noises coming from either the front or rear suspension.

Noises coming from your car can mean anything, and should definitely be checked. Stay safe and on the road!

Suspension Components Offered at Sant Automotive

Sant automotive offers a wide selection of suspension components including Moog, Monroe, AC Delco, and Motorcraft. Depending on the application, original equipment parts may also be recommended. When purchasing suspension parts, remember that quality matters. Even top manufacturers like Moog may offer different lines of suspension parts for your vehicle. If you choose the highest quality, you’ll be happier.

If you have any questions about your vehicle or its suspension, please give us a call at 314-849-2900. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have. For more information about your vehicle’s suspension system, check out this video from our partner AC Delco: