7 Common Suspension Problems & How To Avoid Them

7 Common Suspension Problems & How To Avoid Them | Guthrie's Auto Service

Suspension problems can turn a smooth drive into a bumpy one, impacting your comfort, safety, and vehicle performance. This means that detecting issues in time can save you in the long run. Luckily, there are a few things you can look out for while driving that we will share in today's blog.

1. Worn-Out Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers play a crucial role in smoothing out bumps and vibrations, providing stability and control. Over time, these components can wear out, reducing dampening effectiveness and increasing bouncing and swaying. Periodic inspection and replacement of worn-out shock absorbers can help maintain optimal suspension performance.

2. Sagging Springs

Springs support the weight of the vehicle and help absorb road impacts. However, prolonged exposure to heavy loads or rough terrain can cause springs to sag or lose their resilience. 

To prevent sagging springs, avoid overloading your vehicle beyond its capacity and consider upgrading to heavy-duty springs if you frequently carry heavy loads.

3. Uneven Tire Wear

Uneven tire wear is often a telltale sign of suspension issues, such as misaligned wheels or worn-out suspension components. Neglecting to address these issues can lead to premature tire wear, affecting traction, handling, and safety. Wheel alignments, which most car owners forget about, and suspension inspections can help prevent uneven tire wear and extend the life of your tires.

4. Loose or Worn Ball Joints

Ball joints connect the suspension system to the wheels and allow for smooth movement and steering. When ball joints become loose or worn, they can cause clunking noises, steering instability, and uneven tire wear. Periodic inspection and timely replacement of worn ball joints can prevent costly repairs and ensure safe driving.

5. Bushing Degradation

Suspension bushings, made of rubber or polyurethane, cushion the suspension components and absorb road vibrations. Over time, these bushings can degrade due to age, heat, and exposure to road debris, leading to squeaks, rattles, and poor handling. 

Replacement of worn bushings can restore ride quality and reduce noise and vibration, so keep that in mind before you book your next shop visit.

6. Leaking or Damaged Struts

Struts are an integral part of the suspension system, providing support and stability. Leaking or damaged struts can compromise ride comfort and handling, leading to excessive bouncing, nose dives during braking, and uneven tire wear. Prompt replacement of leaking or damaged struts can restore proper suspension function and ensure a smoother ride.

7. Corrosion and Rust

Corrosion and rust can wreak havoc on suspension components, weakening their structural integrity and compromising safety. Exposure to moisture, road salt, and environmental contaminants can accelerate corrosion, leading to premature wear and failure. 

Cleaning, rust prevention treatments, and timely repairs can help protect suspension components from corrosion and extend their lifespan.

Guthrie's Auto Service Answers A Few Common Questions

How can I tell if my shocks or struts are worn out?

Signs of worn-out shocks or struts include excessive bouncing, nose dives during braking, uneven tire wear, and increased body roll during cornering.

Is it safe to drive with a sagging suspension?

Driving with a sagging suspension can compromise vehicle stability, handling, and safety. It's advisable to have sagging suspension components inspected and repaired by a qualified mechanic.

How often should I have my suspension inspected?

It's recommended to have your suspension inspected as part of your vehicle's regular maintenance schedule, typically every 12,000 to 15,000 miles or once a year. 

Noticed any of the signs? Contact Guthrie's Auto Service, and we will fix the issue, getting you back on the road ASAP!