There are many ways to prevent accidents. We all [should] know the common things that help prevent collisions; things like not texting and driving or driving at slower speeds, et cetera. However, few people think about their suspension and its role in accident prevention. Driving with suspension issues is dangerous and it is a contributing factor that can lead to a collision.
The Importance of the Suspension
According to Moog, the Official Steering & Suspension of NASCAR®, “Your suspension system provides driving comfort by smoothing out bumps in the road and traction by keeping the wheels on the ground as much as possible.” However, your vehicle’s suspension is for more than just a comfortable ride. It is the part of your vehicle that not only makes contact with the road, but it houses the components and parts that connect to the body of the vehicle and provides stability when turning and driving. Without suspension, your car wouldn’t drive…literally.
Preventing Wear and Tear
So can you prevent suspension wear and tear on your ride? While you can avoid potholes and curbs and drive carefully over speedbumps, the fact is, no matter how careful you are or how well you drive, over time parts of your suspension could wear out or break completely. When this happens, the damaged or worn part will need to be repaired or replaced before you continue to drive your car, especially if the safety of you, your passengers, and others on the road is a concern to you (and it should be).
There are many components that make up one’s suspension system. They include shocks, struts, control arm, springs, tires, wheels, anti-roll bar, steering rack, and drive shaft. These parts all work together to provide your vehicle with stability and added safety for driving. When these parts are worn performance is negatively impacted, for this reason it is good to know the signs that your suspension needs repair or maintenance.
Warning Signs of Issues
Here are some warning signs that you may have some suspension issues that need to be looked at:
- You hear knocking noises when turning corners, driving over bumps, braking and when driving on uneven road surfaces.
- The vehicle pulls to one side when braking.
- Your vehicle wanders on the road with lack of directional stability.
- Too much under or oversteering.
- The vehicle leans excessively when rounding corners.
- Uneven tire wear.
How a Damaged Suspension Impairs Safe Driving
If you have any of the above-mentioned things going on with your vehicle, you should have a mechanic look at your vehicle for possible stability issues. The sooner you can have it looked at and repaired if an issue is found the better. When your suspension is off in some way it dramatically reduces the safety of your ride. Here are 5 ways it can make driving unsafe:
- Can take longer to stop.
- Your vehicle handling suffers.
- Makes the vehicle easier to flip over.
- Harder to control during acceleration.
- More likely to swerve or loose control.
While many people tend to think of shocks and struts or a balding tire as a comfort issue, it is so much more. These things all add up to create hazardous and even dangerous driving conditions for you and your passengers. If you suspect suspension issues, call and schedule an inspection with your trusted mechanic. OKC Auto Works can repair all aspects of a suspension from tires and alignments to struts, shocks, steering and more! Our goal is to get you safely back on the road.