How to check your vehicle’s suspension

Pay attention while driving.

The simplest way to tell whether you are having a suspension-related issue is by focusing on how the car feels to drive. The following symptoms may be caused by a faulty suspension system:

  • The car feels bumpier to drive – Particularly while driving slowly, your car will shake, bounce up and down or lean to one side.
  • You may hear squeaking noises as your car goes over speed bumps.
  • Your car may have more angle (roll) when going around sharp corners.
  • The car leans forward when you brake suddenly – Try accelerating and suddenly braking in an empty carpark, taking note of how your vehicle reacts. A vehicle with healthy suspension should be able to quickly re-balance itself whereas a vehicle with faulty suspension will shake back and forth.

Take note as to how your car handles turns. A vehicle with faulty suspension will struggle to turn as well as it used to. If you feel that your vehicle is not turning as well as it used to, a part may be worn in your suspension system.

 

Examine your vehicle from the outside.

Visually inspect the vehicle:

Park your vehicle on level ground. Exit your vehicle and check it from all angles. If the car is leaning forward, backwards or to one side, its suspension system may be damaged.

 

Measure the suspension differences in your front tyres.

Use measuring tape to determine the space between the top of your front wheel and the car’s chassis/body. Repeat this step with the other front wheel. Although a difference of a few centimetres is normal, a large difference could mean that your suspension is damaged and your car is leaning to one side.

 

Perform a “bounce test”

Apply downwards pressure to each corner of your vehicle, pushing the car’s panels towards the tyres. Let go of the car and observe the results. A healthy suspension system should allow the car to bounce back to normal. If the car bounces multiple times, it may be a result of worn shock absorbers. This test is effective for determining which corner of your vehicle is having suspension issues.

 

Driving safely with a damaged suspension system.

We recommend that you get your car’s suspension system serviced as soon as you can. If you can’t, we suggest you do the following to reduce vehicle damage and stay safe:

  • Avoid speed bumps, potholes and any other uneven terrain.
  • Brake slowly – gradually come to a stop at red lights, intersections and roundabouts. When you suddenly apply your brakes, you will be forcing the front of your vehicle downwards.
  • Avoid driving your car around tight corners. Take corners slowly to reduce strain on the vehicle’s suspension system.

 

 

Grimmer Motors can give you quality advice regarding suspension issues. Contact us on (07) 855 2037