Your car’s suspension system performs three crucial functions: it turns the vehicle based on the driver’s input, supports the vehicle, and absorbs bumps and road shocks, ensuring that your car handles well and keeps you safe and comfortable.
Obviously, no vehicle can last forever, and even the most careful driver will experience some suspension issue or the other. That’s why you should make a more conscious effort to keep your vehicle’s suspension system in good shape.
Below are some helpful maintenance tips to save on costs and extend the lifespan of your car’s suspension:
Lubricate the Joints
Compared to other parts (like the shocks and springs), the suspension system’s joints might not get enough attention.
However, this is a common mistake to make. That’s because the suspension system’s joints help maintain the smooth movement of steering knuckles and control arms.
When the joints are in bad shape, the extra friction can shorten the steering components’ life and affect handling quality. Make sure that you check them periodically, ideally during every oil change, and lubricate as needed.
While you’re at it, ask your mechanic also to check the bushings if they need replacement.
If yes, choose high-quality parts—this site has components for various Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler models—to ensure a long lifespan and better performance.
Check Your Tire’s Air and Treads
Those who have limited automotive knowledge may be surprised to know that the tires are actually part of the suspension system.
That said, you need to ensure that your tires are always properly inflated to ensure optimum handling and braking performance. This helps protect the rest of the suspension.
Properly inflated tires also give you better mileage, not to mention improved safety and driving comfort.
While checking the air pressure, inspect the tire treads at the same time. They should be at least 1/8 of an inch to guarantee proper traction; for snowy weather, you’ll need deeper treads.
If the treads show uneven wear, your vehicle probably needs wheel and tire alignment.
Rotate the Tires
If you notice uneven wear among your tires, it could be because you don’t rotate your tires regularly.
This maintenance procedure should be performed once every 30,000 kilometers. If your spare tire matches the other four, you should include it in the rotation.
By rotating your tires, you’ll enjoy the benefits of even wear. These include fewer vibrations while driving and minimized bounce, which helps prolong the shock absorbers’ lives.
Inspect the Shocks
The shock absorbers are probably the most familiar parts of the suspension system to every car owner. They’re also one of the most noticeable when they start to go bad.
Some indicators include excessive bouncing and a wobbly or unbalanced feeling when making turns. If you notice these warning signs, it’s time to inspect the shocks.
They’re likely already damaged and may need replacement. Remember to replace the shocks in pairs to ensure safety and optimum damping performance.
You should also ask your mechanic to check the shocks and struts for any leakages, which can damage other components if left unrepaired.
Driving with leaky shocks can also make you lose control of your vehicle when driving over bumps and potholes. Replace your car’s shocks immediately if you notice any leaks.
Inspect and Change the Power Steering Fluid
Your car’s power steering assembly needs sufficient power steering fluid to ensure light and stable handling. Without enough power steering fluid, you will end up supporting the steering’s weight in full.
Your car’s manufacturer has a recommended amount of the fluid to ensure smooth steering. In some car models, there are markers in the cylinder to indicate the correct fill level.
If you’re adding the fluid on your own, make sure to do it gradually, so you don’t over-fill.
Before adding more power steering fluid, however, you need to see if it’s dirty. The ideal color is a clear yellow or gold; if it’s brown or black, you need to flush the reservoir before adding the new power steering fluid.
However, as a general rule, you shouldn’t wait before your power steering fluid is already black and tarry in appearance. Once you reach about 35,000 to 38,000 kilometers (about two years, depending on how often you drive), flush the reservoir and replace the fluid.
The bottom line is that your car is composed of many parts. For it to deliver top-notch performance, you need to take care of every component. Big or small, they contribute to your car’s safety and comfort.
When it comes to the suspension system, which has several interconnected parts, you need to regularly check for wear and tear.
If you find anything, fix it immediately. This prevents the damage from spreading from one component to the other.
Lastly, to help keep your car’s suspension in good shape, drive more mindfully. The suspension system is designed to absorb bumps and shocks; driving over these obstacles often and at high speeds can do some serious damage. Be a “chill” driver, and your suspension system will thank you for it.