What is car suspension?

Tuesday 16th June 2020

what is car suspension

Car suspension is a vital component of a vehicle, which helps to keep the vehicle stable. This is achieved by stopping the car shaking over every bump in the road; ensuring the wheels stay connected with the road surface; and enhances grip and braking. Car suspension does this by absorbing lateral forces in the roads – the dips and bumps – that vehicles naturally encounter every day. This allows for both the driver and passengers to enjoy a comfortable drive, as well as maximising safety when braking and accelerating, and travelling around corners.

How does car suspension work?

Car suspension operates through a series of complex components in your vehicle, which include linkages, dampers, absorbers and springs. These elements work together, reducing vibrations of the vehicle and absorbing the road impact.

  • Springs – there are three types of springs which are used for car suspension. These are coil springs, leaf springs and torsion bars.
  • Shock Absorbers – these protect the chassis from the force cause when your vehicle drives over dips and bumps in the road – while preventing the springs from bouncing continually.
  • Damper – the damper mechanism helps to control the ‘up and down’ motion of the vehicle – meaning, without it, your vehicle will bounce with each bump in the road.

Signs your car needs suspension repair work

As suspension is likely to gradually wear over time, it can be difficult to detect problems. Check out our top warning signs to look out for:

  • Increased wear on tyres – if you have any problems with your suspension, this may cause your tyres to have abnormal tyre tread.
  • Driver discomfort – problems with suspension can cause a bumpy ride and lack of stability – for example, the vehicle may dip to one side.
  • Reduced road holding – you may feel like the vehicle is less in control than previously, and its stability on the road has been compromised.
  • Reduced brake efficiency – another sign that there is an issue with your suspension is if your braking efficiency is reduced, for example, if you feel the vehicle is braking later than it should be.

How long does a car suspension last?

Typically, a car's suspension lasts around five years. However, this is entirely dependent on a variety of factors. Some of these include:

  • Mileage – this refers to how many miles your vehicle has driven – as this can affect the longevity of the car's suspension.
  • Driving style - how the vehicle has been driven can also affect suspension.
  • Road surfaces/terrain - if the vehicle has been exposed to rough, bumpy terrain, this may affect the car’s suspension over time.

If you’ve noticed any of the above issues, you may be wondering how to fix car suspension? That’s where Formula One Autocentres steps in. Book a free suspension check from your local Formula One Autocentre, and we can assess if you are experiencing problems with your suspension system or shock absorbers. Get in touch with a member of our expert team for more information about our car suspension services.

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