Your skeleton provides the structure to hold up your weight. Your joints cushion you as you walk and allow you to change direction. Your vehicle’s suspension system is similar: It bears the weight of your vehicle, absorbs bumps in the road and controls the body as you steer through curves on Lincoln roads and streets. Your suspension system keeps your car up off the road. From there, it’s responsible for a smooth and comfortable ride.
Like the bones in your body, vehicle suspension parts are connected by joints that allow all the components to move as they should. Over time and miles, the joints start to wear and your suspension gets loose and doesn’t operate as precisely as before, reducing proper tire contact with the road. An accident, pothole or hitting a curb or rock can also damage or break vehicle suspension components.
If you’ve ever hurt your foot, you know you’ve had to walk differently to keep it from hurting as bad. Do that long enough and your ankle, knee, hip and even your back will start to hurt from the strain of not moving normally. The same thing happens in your vehicle when one joint or part is worn or damaged: it stresses everything else and causes premature wear to the whole system.
Your suspension system has many parts that do a big job. These parts include ball joints, tie rod ends, the pitman, idler arms and the control arm bushing. They should be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time is in the spring after pothole season has hopefully come to an end. At Custom Automotive Care we do a minor suspension inspection at every 3,000 or 6,000 mile oil service.
Here are some warning signs of suspension problems: the vehicle pulls to one side, wandering, uneven tire wear, leaning, shocks bottom out, poor ride or handling, oil leaking from shocks, and excessive bouncing. Handling and steering has a loose feel and you may hear strange noises.
Shocks and struts eventually lose their ability to control the tire contact with the road. Signs that shocks or struts are wearing out: The tires may have a cupped wear pattern. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly as you drive around Lincoln. You may notice a floaty or drifting sensation when cornering. If the front of your vehicle dives excessively when stopping, or rocks back and forth after you stopped, your shocks may be worn out. And if they are leaking fluid, it’s definitely time to replace them. At Custom Automotive Care we recommend replacing your shocks or struts at 75,000 miles.
If you’re in an accident, your vehicle suspension can be damaged or knocked out of alignment. If you suspect suspension problems, ask for and let the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Custom Automotive Care in Lincoln set things right.
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Custom Automotive Care
4660 Cornhusker Highway
Lincoln, NE 68504