The suspension is the system of springs, shock absorbers and linkages that connect the vehicle to its wheels and allows the motion between the two. The suspension system setup supports weight, absorbs and dampens shocks and helps maintain tire contact. Front and rear suspension are a very important component for the life of a vehicle. The front suspension strut serves as the shock absorber in most vehicles today. A vehicle with strut-style suspension has a suspension strut assembly at each wheel, which needs to be replaced if the strut leaks oil or no longer has a dampening effect. The rear suspension also works to absorb shock at the rear of the vehicle.
Having abnormal noises, abnormal tire wear, steering wheel pull, or front end shimmy (a vibration of the front end from side to side)?
All these could contribute to front end suspension problems. Some warning signs you may need front or rear suspension repair are:
- Fluid leaking out of the shock or strut body
- Shocks or struts are dented or damaged
- Mounts or bushings are broken or worn
- Cupped, uneven tire wear
- Vehicle sways or leans on turns
- Vehicle “nose dives” when you apply the brakes
- Excessive bouncing after hitting a road bump
- Harsh, bumpy, or shaky ride
- Steering is stiff or makes noise
Generally both sides (left and right) of a suspension system should be replaced at the same time, and depending on the wear and tear, often the front and rear systems should be done together to avoid having new parts add to the stress of old, worn parts. Sometimes individual parts, such as the shock absorbers or ball joints, may wear out and need replacing separately. On other vehicles various parts of the suspension system may all need replacing at once to avoid the stress of new parts interacting with old ones.