Many of us have a dream car. It could be an offroad vehicle like the Jeep, or a sports car like a Mercedes or Ferrari. Of course, for most of society these cars often stay dreams. However, cars in and of themselves are each complicated, and in many ways already more luxurious than you may think.
Every car has a suspension system that’s in place to absorb all the bumps one might feel on the road, and keep your drive a lot more comfortable. Without it, driving in a car would be pretty unpleasant. While one might not think about it, the suspension system is a really important part of the car’s structure, and makes sure that your wheels stay on the ground at all times. Each little bump or hole that one might feel while on the road is reduced by the suspension system.
How Does It Work?
Cars need the suspension system to keep you comfortable. When driving, the only part of the car that is touching the ground is your tires, but they can’t handle all the imperfections on our roads by themselves.
There are different types of suspension systems ranging from dependent systems to independent systems. When you drive your car you may drive over a pothole. You may also find yourself crossing over speed bumps quite often. Newton’s Law of Motion states that force has a magnitude and a direction, meaning that when you cross that speed bump, the car will be forced upwards. To prevent your car’s wheels from coming off the ground, it has a suspension system that keeps the wheels on the ground when crossing over bumps in the road.
The suspension system has a lot of different components that allow your ride to be as smooth as possible. It consists of the shocks, springs, struts, arms, (bars, linkages, and bushings), and joints, each of which has an important purpose.
Besides making a bumpy ride more comfortable, shocks have some other pretty important jobs. The (shocks) are there to absorb kinetic energy transmitted from bumps on the road, and reduce the impact felt on the frame.
Struts, similar to shocks, are part of the system that absorbs the kinetic energy from the upward and downward motion of potholes and bumps. In many front wheel drive cars, they’re what connect the front wheels (and sometimes the back) to the frame of the car.
The springs dampen the movement when going over a pothole or bump. The spring will bend to help reduce movement and absorb the kinetic energy produced by the upward motion of the road.
4. Control Arm
The control arm is what connects the wheel of the car to the frame while allowing vertical movement whenever the tires come in contact with a bump on the road.
The tires are the only part of the car that’s touching the ground. They’re what takes the first bit of impact from any road imperfections. They’re also part of the system that helps absorb the impact and force from bumps or holes on the road.
These are what hold a large portion of the suspension system all together. The rods and linkages are strong metal rods that connect the different components together.
7. Bushings, Joints
a. Bushings are used on the ends of steering joints to reduce noise and vibration from the vehicle.
b. The ball joints connect different components in the suspension system, allowing them to move in different directions.
Signs your suspension may be in need of service
Your suspension is constantly working hard to keep your drive as comfortable as possible. Just like any part of a car, your suspension system can develop problems after so much use. Over a 50,000 mile span your shocks or struts will bottom out over a million times.
A “Pulling” On Your Vehicle
One sign that your suspension system may need to be serviced is if your car tends to pull to one side. This could be a problem with the amount of air in your tire, which may cause your car to pull to one side. Your wheels could simply be aligned at an improper angle, or your shocks could be going out, causing your vehicle to pull to one side.
Lurching and Dipping
Lurching and dipping can often be caused by worn out shocks on your vehicle. Having worn out shocks can be deadly, poor weight transfer can cause your braking system to not work properly, increasing the possibility of crashing.
The suspension system is there to keep your drive as smooth as possible, absorbing bumps, and other imperfections in the road. If you’re driving and begin feeling more bumps in the road than usual, or more of a bounce, this could mean that your shocks or struts have gone bad. You’ll notice the bounce as there’s no longer shock dampeners to absorb the motion from these bumps, causing the springs to do all the work.
Each part of your car is important for the safety, and comfort of all passengers in a vehicle. If you notice any of the problems listed above you can contact us at (916) 444-7216, or schedule an appointment with us on our website. We’d be happy to inspect and service your vehicle.