7 Signs Your Suspension Needs Repair
Over time, rough surfaces, potholes and bumps in the road can wreak havoc on your car or truck. Although it's often forgotten, your vehicle's suspension absorbs most of the damage. After 50,000 miles, your truck's suspension may start to show signs of normal wear and tear. However, the decline of your suspension can create larger issues for your car and your safety on the road if left unrepaired.
It's essential to know the signs of a bad suspension so you can make the necessary repairs. Watch for these seven signs to determine if you need an auto suspension repair.
1. Rough Ride
Your truck's suspension is designed to absorb bumps and uneven surfaces in the road so you feel a smooth ride with limited bouncing. A tell-tale sign of a bad suspension on a car or truck is a rough ride. When you start to feel every bump in the road, it's likely because you need your suspension repaired. You may also feel the body of your vehicle bounce when driving over rough roads or bumps.
While a rough ride may only sound like an inconvenience, it can indicate serious safety hazards if your suspension goes unrepaired. Find reliable suspension replacements to increase the quality and safety of your ride.
2. Difficulty Steering
The suspension on your truck should help create stability when your truck is in motion. If you begin to have difficulty steering or feel your vehicle pulling or drifting when you take a sharp turn, your struts and shocks may be worn down. You may also feel the body of your truck sway or rock when rounding a corner or driving through crosswinds.
When your vehicle starts feeling wobbly and tips during sharp turns, drive with caution. When the suspension is worn down and unable to keep your truck stable against the force of a turn, the risk of rolling your truck increases.
3. Braking Problems
Another way to determine if your suspension needs maintenance is if you feel the body of your car nose dive or dip when you press on the brakes. The front end of your vehicle will lurch forward and downward more than normal during hard braking. This may be difficult to detect until you slam hard on the brakes. When these braking problems occur, your ability to quickly stop the vehicle becomes limited, which becomes a safety hazard on the road.
Similarly, the back end of your truck can "squat" when you accelerate, causing the front end to rise. Again, this can be difficult to notice unless you accelerate hard.
4. Unusual Noises
Unusual noises are something you hope to never hear coming from your vehicle. Loud noises often indicate loose, worn or broken parts, which is also true when it comes to your suspension. Check your shocks and struts for signs of wear and tear or damage if you hear knocking or clunking noises when you hit a bump or drive over an uneven road.
If noises are coming from your tires while driving, it could mean your struts are bottoming out. This means the struts are functioning incorrectly, which could cause them to break or create other problems for your truck or car.
5. Tires Wearing Unevenly
Even wearing on your vehicle's tires is normal and should be expected. However, if you notice balding patches or the tire treads are wearing in a wavy manner, the suspension on your truck may be going bad. Your wheels are included in the truck's suspension, and as the suspension goes bad, it can cause the wheels to become unbalanced or improperly aligned. This results in irregular wearing patterns on the tire treads because they are not being held firmly against the road.
When your truck's tires aren't properly connecting with the road because of a bad suspension, they may bounce excessively after hitting a bump. You'll feel noticeable bouncing, shimmying, shaking or vibrating from the tires when you hit a bump. In this case, you'll likely need to have both your suspension and tires inspected to ensure all parts are operating properly.
6. Oil on Shocks or Struts
Similar to loud noises coming from your vehicle, leaking fluids is worrisome in many car situations. If you suspect your suspension will need repair, try to get a close look at your shocks and struts. These parts of your suspension will only leak when they're worn out or a seal is cracked, indicating they need to be replaced. When a shock or strut leaks fluid, it will be oily. If you can see or feel oil on the shocks or struts, repair the suspension of your truck as soon as possible.
Leaks are your vehicle's way of telling you seals are broken and can no longer keep essential fluids inside the car. Internal fluids are typically essential to the proper function of your truck and should be taken seriously if you detect a leak.
7. Instability at High Speeds
If your car or truck feels unstable while driving at high speeds, it may be a sign that your suspension is worn. For example, driving down the highway, you may feel that your vehicle is never completely stable, moving or rocking up and down or side to side. This movement may only happen at high speeds, and although it might be slight, it's still enough for you to notice.
Conduct a Bounce Test
If you've experienced any of these signs of bad suspension on cars or trucks, try conducting a bounce test. Push down on the front of your car a few times so it begins bouncing or rocking. After you let it go, your vehicle should only bounce a couple of times on its own. If your truck continues to bounce more than a few times, you likely have a worn suspension. You can also try the same test at the rear of your vehicle.
In either case, if there is excessive bouncing, it may be time for car suspension maintenance or a new leaf spring system in your truck.
Contact General Spring KC
The suspension system in your truck can be easy to forget about, and sometimes it takes a replacement for you to realize how bad it had gotten. If you're in the market for new leaf springs or other truck suspension repair parts, get in touch with General Spring KC. We've been supplying car repair enthusiasts and repair shops with suspension parts for over 55 years. Our expertise and dedication ensure you'll get what you need. Contact us today for specialty products and fast delivery!