As you probably already know, your vehicle’s suspension is what keeps the tires on the road. It’s easy to forget just how much work and abuse your suspension goes through, even when driving on relatively smooth roads. There are a lot of different components throughout your suspension system and nearly all of them can be upgraded in some way. Even if you never plan on upgrading your suspension, at some point you’ll need to replace many of the components.
Broken or failing suspension components can severely impact your capacity to maintain control over your car, especially while stopping or turning. For this reason, maintaining your suspension system is critical to safety and on-road performance.
Your car’s suspension system is composed of a number of distinct parts. There are the springs which support your car and absorb imperfections on the road. Dampers help slow the movement of your suspension and slow overall body movement. Together, the springs and dampers do most of the work in your suspension system, however, other components such as sway bars are also very important for controlling body movement.
It’s highly crucial to ensure that your car’s suspension system is in good condition. Damaged suspension parts can negatively affect the car’s stability and your control over it. It also accelerates the rate of wear and tear on the other suspension components.
When to Replace Your Suspension
When should you replace suspension components like dampers, ball joints, or bushings? Typically, your car will let you know with strange noises or poor handling. In some cases, the wear on suspension components can go unnoticed for years, but generally failing suspension components are pretty noticeable.
You can easily determine if your shocks or struts are worn out once you start to feel bumps on the road or notice your car bouncing around. The bouncing can be especially dangerous if you need to avoid something in the road with a quick turn or stop. The bouncing can also excessively wear pretty much every other suspension component.
With something like a failing ball joint or lower control arm bushing, the effects can be less noticeable, however the long-term wear on your tires can be a sign of failing suspension components.
Aside from just replacing your OEM suspension components, upgrading your suspension system is a great way to improve handling characteristics. Parts like lowering springs, dampers, coilovers, sway bars, and poly bushings are a great way to take your car to the next level.