Suspension and Shock Absorbers
Your vehicle's suspension system is effectively a complex series of components designed to work together to limit the vibrations and undulations from the road surface, providing a smooth, controlled and comfortable driving experience. Designed to maximise friction between the tyres and the road surface, suspension is the term given to a system of components:
- Shock Absorbers [or Shocks]
- Along with the frame these parts connect to a vehicles chassis and wheels
The principle suspension components include a coil spring and a shock absorber or, as it is sometimes known, a dampener. These components work together to dampen down and cushion the vehicle by absorbing the impact from potholes and other minor imperfections in the road. This keeps your vehicle stable and your tyres firmly in contact with the road surface for the maximum amount of time which is essential for your brakes to work effectively. Worn shock absorbers can add up to 2 metres to your braking distance when travelling at 30mph as tyres have less contact with the road.
Maintaining a healthy vehicle suspension system is vital if you are to gain the optimum comfort, stability and handling characteristics from your vehicle.
If all roads were perfectly flat then there would be no need for vehicle suspension, but the forces from dips, bumps, pot holes and curves mean that wheels need to move up and down in order to give drivers and passengers a comfortable ride.
The suspension system absorbs the forces created by road imperfections. Without a suspension system, tyres would lose contact with road surfaces and the forces from this ‘bumpiness’ would cause serious chassis damage to vehicles. Sound suspension maximises road holding, steering, acceleration and braking control for drivers.
This is why it’s so important to keep your vehicles suspension system in full working order.
Problems with Suspension Systems?
It is not always obvious that a problem in your vehicle suspension system is present. This is generally due to a gradual loss of performance in the principle suspension parts and because this happens over time a motorist may not always feel the gradual decrease in suspension performance. Call in to ABC Tyres for a free suspension safety check today. Our trained suspension specialists will inspect your vehicle and quickly identify any problems with your suspension system. The technician will provide a full report and show you any issues we find, along with a clear quotation for any work, where required.
Track rod ends
Vehicle steering wheels are connected to the rack and pinion system which turns the wheels using track rod ends. The track rod ends are adjusted to make sure the wheels are perfectly aligned. These parts are prone to wear and are simple to replace.
Constant Velocity Joint
A CV joint is the part allowing the car to move up and down as well as allowing the wheels to turn from side to side. Wheels move up and down continuously when in motion due to irregular road surfaces. Therefore these are commonly worn and usually need replacing as vehicles age.
Constant Velocity Joint Boot
The CV joint is covered with a CV Boot which is a protective rubber component, which can wear over time. If the boot breaks in any way the CV joint is exposed to the elements. This will quickly damage the joint prematurely and if left unattended this can cause further problems with the rest of the suspension components.
Springs and Shock Absorbers
Springs and shock absorbers are the main component that absorbs the forces from wheels when they move up and down. The springs coil and re-coil as the wheel moves but shock absorbers are used to dampen the springs natural flex, controlling the car and keeping it steady as the forces act on the spring. Shock absorbers are filled with hydraulic fluid or gas.
Over 100,000 miles a suspension spring can move in excess of 100 million times and the increase in speed bumps in recent years means springs are more likely to sag or snap.
Shocks can be tested simply at home, by pressing down on one corner of the vehicle and letting go. Any more than one bounce means your shocks may be faulty and should be checked at the earliest convenience.
Here at ABC Tyres, we undertake a free car suspension inspection, giving you the peace of mind that your vehicles occupants are safe and comfortable. We can supply suspension repairs and replacements for any make and model of car and all our parts and labour come fully guaranteed.
Feel free to drop in at a time that suits you, or simply give our expert staff a call with any queries you might have.