Vehicle Suspension Repair
Uh oh, did you hit something? Chances are that strange noise coming from under your car every time you go over a bump has to do with the vehicle's suspension, thankfully not the drive train. Suspension normally wears out over time, but severe trauma, like going offroading in your Prius, can break even some of the most durable pieces that give your car a smooth ride. Here are some signals that will help you know when you might need to call a mechanic and have your suspension fixed.
Your Tire Treads are Uneven.
Tires need to be rotated per the manufacturers directions. This is because the stress points on your vehicle will wear then down differently. This ensures that they all wear down in an even and controlled manner. Make sure you get them swapped around before any balding starts. A bald tire tread is very dangerous, as any amount liquid on the roadway may cause the vehicle to lose control, putting both you and others at risk of physical harm.
The Shocks under you wheel wells look oily, or extra dirty.
It's good practice to visually inspect your cars shock absorbers. If it appears they are excessively oily, or dirty, it may be signs of a leak. Get it check out quickly to avoid more expensive repairs.
If your car become difficult to steer, or pulls to the side while driving. This could be due to an under inflated tire, but if filling the tire with air, doesn't fix the problem, it probably is an issue with the components of the suspension. Sometimes it may be a small rubber gasket that causes the control arms to lock up, or it may be a bent rod. These problems will not self correct and require a professional to repair.
If you car sits lopsided, or you feel every bump in the road while you're driving, you can rest assured the problem lies with your suspension. Fixing these problems will not only improve your rides performance, but will also add efficiency to your gas mileage.
A vehicle's suspension is usually forgotten about because it takes a long time before it goes bad, unless you get in an accident, or do something to severely abuse your vehicle. Even a minor fender bender can cause big issues. Just because you don’t visually see the damage initially, doesn't mean something wasn’t bent, or jammed. If your vehicle starts making creaking sounds, or funny noises, it might be a reason to check out if there was damage to the suspension. Every vehicle was precisely engineered by a team of highly paid experts to work perfectly off the assembly line, but move even a centimeter out of balance, and the whole system’s performance will suffer. You will get lower gas mileage, and little by little parts will start to wear out where they are not supposed to. That’s why we recommend always getting the vehicle checked out after any accident, no matter how small.
Obviously, even if you have never been in an accident, all things wear out eventually, especially in older vehicles. If your car seems to continue to bounce and bounce along the freeway every time you hit a little bump in the road, or squeaks like the Tinman in the Wizard of Oz, maybe you just need a simple shock replacement.
Add a new spring to your vehicle’s step and rejuvenate your trusty ol’e wagon. If you have taken care of your auto over the years, and everything seems to be running fine, the cost of replacing the suspension is much less than upgrading to a new car, and will add years of enjoyment to your timeless favorite.