Your car's suspension is complex and consists of several interdependent parts; your springs, shock absorbers, control arms and ball joints all work together to distribute the weight of the vehicle evenly and to give you fluid and responsive handling. The interdependent nature of your suspension components means that any problem with one area of the suspension needs to be taken seriously, as one failing component places stress on the others that they are not designed to handle. Thankfully, maintaining your suspension system is easy and mostly involves following your manufacturer's suggested schedule for tire rotations and alignment to prevent stress on your suspension. You'll also need to be vigilant for the signs of a failing suspension and promptly take your car to a suspension repair professional, like Gitt's Spring Company, if you think anything is wrong.
Monitor Your Tire Pressure Regularly
This is routinely done by technicians at every oil change, but it's a good idea to do it more often. You should check your tire pressure with a tire gauge every one thousand miles; make sure that the tires are all filled evenly to the level your car manufacturer recommends. If you don't know how much pressure your tires need, it will be listed in your owner's manual. Additionally, there's often a label indicating the correct pressure around the bottom of the interior of the driver's side front door so that technicians can check it easily when they're performing oil changes and checking your tire pressure. Your suspension is designed to operate best when all of your tires have equal pressure; uneven pressure will place additional stress on the suspension system and can wear out springs and bearings more quickly.
Rotate And Align Your Wheels On Schedule
Most cars include tire rotation and wheel alignment on their routine maintenance schedule. Make sure that you follow your manufacturer's recommendations and keep current on rotations and alignment. While few cars require routine maintenance on the suspension system itself, driving with wheels that are out of alignment or on tires that have uneven wear will put strain on your suspension, since the weight of your car will be distributed unevenly on your springs.
Have Your Suspension Checked Out After Even Minor Accidents
Due to their weight, collisions between cars even at very low speeds carry a lot of momentum behind them. A minor parking lot fender bender at under fifteen miles an hour can do serious damage to your suspension. Your wheels can be knocked out of alignment, bearings can crack and your springs can be seriously damaged. You should always have your car's suspension inspected by an experienced suspension repair technician after an accident, even if you believe that only cosmetic damage has occurred. It's very likely that your suspension system has suffered some damage and you will need some parts replaced or your wheels realigned.
Pay Attention To The Way The Car Handles
Problems with your suspension are most often discovered when your car suddenly starts handling worse than it used to. Speed bumps in the road may start to cause your car to shake violently, your front or rear bumper may begin to scrape the ground when pulling out of your driveway, or you may notice a looseness to your steering that wasn't present previously. You should also pay attention to unusual noises coming from the area above your wheels; grinding or screeching noises are a major red flag indicating damage to your car's suspension. These warning signs shouldn't be ignored; if your car's handling changes, you should take your car to a suspension repair shop and have it inspected.