Your car's suspension system is made up of many components, including the shock absorbers (struts in some cars), control arms, anti-roll bars and springs. These parts form a first line of defence against the ills on the road surface, from potholes, railway tracks and gravel to rain, snow and all kinds of dirt and grime. Because of this, any component of you suspension system can get damaged/worn out after years of usage. Below are some common problems and how you should deal with them:
1. Wheel misalignment
When you're going straight, your steering wheel should be centred. If this doesn't happen, not only does it create confusion with steering, but it also hastens the process of tyre wear. Wheels become misaligned over time, but the problem can also be triggered when you hit curbs and potholes. The state of other suspension parts can also affect alignment: damaged control arms or springs interfere with alignment. Leaving suspension or alignment flaws for too long can shorten your tyre's tread life.
2. Shock absorbers and struts
Shock absorbers are what prevent the car from extreme shaking or bouncing over bumps or on rough terrain. The shock have some fluids which dampen the bouncing. These fluids can leak, which causes performance to deteriorate. In other vehicles, shock absorbers are replaced by struts, which are mounted inside coil springs to control amount of bouncing when the springs absorb and release shock.
Shock absorbers and struts can go a long time without replacement, but they should be checked if your car is experiencing excessive bouncing or shaking. Remember that other suspension faults could also cause shaking and bouncing, so it's important to schedule a service visit as soon as you notice shaking, excessive leaning during a turn or inexplicable handling issues.
Shock absorbers and struts will wear faster in harsh conditions: driving through very rough roads, carrying heavy loads, or driving recklessly. With responsible usage in moderate conditions, however, your shock absorbers/struts can last the life of your vehicle.
3. Ball joints
Ball joints are pivot points connecting the suspension system to the wheels. They absorb shock created by rotation and up-down movement in steering wheel changes. If you hear squeaking or creaking when turning the wheel, your ball joints are due for replacement. Worn ball joints can also cause wandering of the steering wheel. Do not wait too long, because if they break you'll have suspension parts dragging under the car as your drive.
Ball joints should be checked periodically, such as at every oil change visit. The mechanic examines wear indicators on the joints. He/she will also raise the car off the ground and attempt to move the wheels by hand. If they move excessively, this indicates ball joint wear.
You may end up replacing ball joints just once or twice in your car's lifetime. Just like the above-mentioned parts, they deteriorate faster if driving on rough terrains, as this stresses the suspension even more. Remember that failing to fix a worn ball joint can cause bigger problems in the wheels or suspension system when the joint breaks.Share
28 August 2017
Hello! Welcome to my blog! My name is Stan and this is my brand new blog. I hope you like it. This blog will be dedicated to the topic of how to keep the tyres and wheels on your car are in good condition. I learnt about this subject the hard way and it is my hope that this blog will prevent you from having to do the same. It all started when I was driving down the road and I heard a very loud bang. The next thing I know, I can see one the wheels of my car travelling down the road next to my vehicle. However, it was not attached to my car! The guy in the auto repair shop fix it up and explained how I could look after my wheels and tyres in the future.