The steering and suspension systems of a car are not only important for safety reasons but also to enhance the comfort of your car’s ride. The two systems are directly related to each other, which is why they are often referred to together.
Improvements in steering and suspension systems, increased strength and durability of components, and advances in tire design and construction have made large contributions to riding comfort and to safe driving in recent years.
There is a lot of math going into the steering and suspension of your car. There are many forces and angles that have to be acted upon and maintained. If you notice any problems in the way your car steers or rides or you feel any body or steering wheel vibrations, you should have it checked out as soon as possible.
Replacing your car’s struts and shocks when required is vitally important to your safety and reduces the cost of operating your car through reduced tire wear, better gas mileage and lower maintenance costs on other suspension and steering components.
Routine inspection and maintenance of your car’s suspension system includes:
– Inspect shocks regularly for leaks, cracks and other damage.
– Look for vehicle bounce, sway when cornering and “nose dives” when braking.
– Check for uneven tire wear, which may indicate worn shocks and struts.
Worn struts and shocks should be replaced in pairs (left and right) and should be done as soon as problems are noted. You may be able to live with a little bouncing under normal driving but that same little bounce may cost you 30 or 40 feet in braking distance during an emergency stop. Those 2 car lengths may be the difference between avoiding an accident and being the cause of one.
Some things to look out for or if you’re experiencing it when you drive your car, you should bring it in and have it looked at by a trained professional.
1.Car seems to bounce too much: When you are driving down the road and hit a bump, your car keeps bouncing for a while. This will gradually get worse as time goes by.
2.Steering wheel is hard to turn: You find that it’s getting more difficult to turn the steering wheel. It feels like something is binding or dragging. This may or may not happen suddenly or get worse over time.
3. Hard steering: You notice it takes much more strength to turn the steering wheel. This is especially noticed when you are trying to park. The problem seems to be getting worse.
4. Loose steering: You notice that the steering wheel is very easy to move and feels sloppy. It creates an uneasy feeling on the highway because it seems you have no control of your car. The problem seems to be getting worse.
5. Power steering doesn’t seem to be working: It takes a lot of effort to turn the steering wheel. In fact, at low speeds you can hardly turn it. The problem is less obvious at high speeds simply because you need to move the steering wheel less at those speeds. The problem may have occurred suddenly.
6.Car pulls to one side while moving: As you drive, the car tends to pull to one side or the other. You need to constantly hold the wheel firmly to keep the car going straight. This will have happened over time and is usually only noticed once the pulling has become severe.
7.The car seems to wander down the road: As you are driving, you notice that you must constantly correct the direction of the car by turning the steering wheel. The problem seems to increase at higher speeds. This problem may occur gradually and get worse over time or it may appear suddenly.
8. Steering wheel jerks: When you are driving slowly or idling, the steering wheel jumps or jerks. You don’t see any other problems as far as steering and handling go. It seems to be getting worse over time.
9. Steering wheel vibrates: At 45 to 60 miles per hour the steering wheel begins to vibrate. You also notice that the car is vibrating or twitching. This can be very dangerous. If you notice the problem only occurs when you step on the brakes, it will make diagnosis simpler.
10.Steering wheel shimmies: You notice a side-to-side wobble in the steering wheel when traveling at steady speeds. The vibration gets worse when you are on an uneven road surface or after going over a pot hole.
11.Noises while turning a corner: You notice a knocking, clunking and/or squeaking noise when you turn a corner. Everything else seems to be fine except for the noise. The problem seems to be getting worse over time.
12.Noises from the power steering unit: You notice a whining or moaning from the steering when you turn the steering wheel all the way in one direction. Everything else seems to be fine except for the noise. The problem seems to be getting worse over time.
Again, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms you should bring your car in and have it looked at by a certified technician. Being safe on the road should be your number one priority for you and your family.
Give us a call or request and appointment today at Heritage Autopro & Tire