Clarifying Vehicle Suspension
Suspension can mean many things, dependent upon context and who you ask. Even as related to your vehicle, the word can conjure up varying images. For instance, oil is a suspension fluid, holding dirt away from engine components. However, as related to the quality of your ride, it's a collection of parts that work together to smooth out your experience as your auto crosses uneven surfaces and allows for safe handling and maneuvering. If all that sounds a bit complicated, you don't have to worry. Auto Stop Elite is just down the street at 1202 Downey Drive in Vienna, Virginia. Our ASE Master certified technicians understand your suspension regardless of what make or model vehicle you drive. For reliable suspension repair, give us a call at 571-282-3380 or make an appointment using our online scheduler.
Major Components and Functions
Imperfect road surfaces are everywhere. Every street has dips and angles. Some are even worse, blotched with potholes, cracks, and bumps. As long as the suspension system is in good working order, most drivers notice only the major offenders, not every little inclusion along the path of travel. Why? The suspension system is responsible for allowing your car to "ease" over bumps. Not only does this make your travel experience more comfortable, but it also greatly improves safety. That's because a properly functioning suspension keeps your tires in more constant contact with the road and enables you to steer better and control the car. The suspension works in conjunction with the steering system, wheels/tires, and frame. Specifically, the suspension system bears the weight of the auto and absorbs the shock as you cross uneven surfaces. Major components include springs, dampers, and anti-sway bars. Springs can be found in four designs. These are coil springs, leaf springs, air springs, and torsion bars. They "give" to allow the auto body to "float" over bumps so that you don't experience a harsh jolt, reducing the impact felt by riders inside the vehicle.
Engineers work to balance ride quality with cornering ability by working through different spring designs and locations. As a general rule of thumb, autos that corner well provide a lesser level of creature comfort, while the smoothest riding cars don't corner as well. Shock absorbers, also called dampeners, attach to the frame and axle. They lessen the motion of the spring. This is important because springs are great at absorbing the kinetic energy generated when your car crosses a bump, but they don't dissipate that energy well. Working using hydraulics, the shock uses compression and extension cycles to prevent the auto from bouncing out of control. A strut is a specialized shock absorber that mounts sideways inside a coil spring. It adds structural support. Anti-sway bars are metal rods that reach across the width of the axle. They add stability by reducing extreme side-to-side motion.
Getting Attention for Your Car’s Suspension
Over time or after a significant incident, your suspension components can sustain damage. Perhaps your ride is no longer comfortable, or you have trouble controlling your car, particularly when cornering. If you suspect a problem with your suspension system, get attention to the issue(s) at Auto Stop Elite. Give us a call at 571-282-3380.