Potholes, bumps, crumbling shoulders, cloverleaf ramps...the road can dish out some punishment. To ensure all of the components of your suspension system work properly, have them checked periodically by a professional. The techs at Ken Towery Tire & Auto Care will be happy to inspect your suspension and all of your under car systems.
Your vehicle’s suspension has three important functions:
- Shocks, springs, and struts prevent the force of every jolt, bump, and vibration from being transferred directly to your body. Your vehicle’s suspension isolates you from this pounding and gives you a comfortable ride.
- Four patches of tire rubber, not much bigger than a slice of bread, keep your two-ton car on the road. When you drive over bumps or dips, the suspension system keeps the contact patches on the road.
- When you follow a curve, or make a turn, your suspension system, including anti-sway bars, pushes back against this directional force and prevents roll overs.
Some signs of suspension trouble include heavy leaning on corners, nose diving at stop signs or lights, bouncing or floating, and excessive vibrations. Your Ken Towery technician has the experience and precision equipment to diagnose problems, measure and adjust your suspension, and return it to original specs. If your vehicle exhibits any of these symptoms, don’t ignore them, because they often indicate vehicle control and safety issues.
There are several types of suspension systems:
Independent Front Suspension - The MacPherson strut, introduced by Earle S. MacPherson in 1949, is the most common type of front suspension. This design allows the front wheels to move independently. Shock absorber and coil spring are mounted as a single compact, light-weight unit that can be used on front-wheel drive vehicles.
Double Wishbone Suspension - Also know as an A arm, is another type of independent front suspension system. It uses two wishbone shaped arms that bear shock absorbers and coil springs. The double wishbone design gives more control over camber—the angle at which the wheels contact the road—and helps improve cornering and minimize roll and sway. This design is common on larger vehicles.
Dependent Front Suspension – This design is used almost exclusively on trucks with rigid front axles. Leaf springs and shock absorbers keep the solid bar suspension in place.
Independent Rear Suspension – MacPherson struts or double wishbones also can be used on rear wheels to provide four-wheel independent suspension.
Dependent Rear Suspension – In cars of trucks with fixed rear drive axles, leaf springs or coil springs attach directly to the axle and frame. Shock absorbers can be mounted separately or as part of a combined unit with coil springs.
Torsion Bar Suspension – Many SUVs use torsion bars—a metal bar attached to a lever—instead of coil springs to suspend the chassis.
The modern car suspension is one of the great feats of engineering and manufacturing. Keep yours inspected and maintained for miles of safety and comfort.