Some drivers do not think about the suspension system on their vehicles when they consider maintenance. This system plays a critical role in overall vehicle performance. If it needs repairs, it can cause premature damage to parts such as tires and brakes. Vehicles that need suspension work will continue to deteriorate if the service is not performed. This can put the driver and other drivers on the road at risk. A damaged system also will drive differently, and most drivers will notice that their vehicles do not drive smoothly. The following points identify a few key indicators that suspension work is needed.
Vehicle Shifts to the Side
A vehicle that has a good suspension system will drive in a straight pattern. Individuals who need suspension work will likely notice that they have to force their wheels to drive in a straight pattern. When they drive, the vehicle may seem to shift to one side. Advanced damages may make it harder to park a vehicle straight in a parking space.
Uneven Tire Wear
If tire maintenance services, such as tire rotations, get routinely performed on a vehicle, the wear pattern on the tires should be relatively the same for all four. However, a damaged suspension system will cause uneven tire wear. The tires are likely not to last for their full lifespan. The wear pattern can appear intact on the exterior portion of the tires but worn on the inner portion. A damaged suspension system will put uneven pressure on tires and cause uneven wear.
Unleveled When Parked
If suspension work is needed, a vehicle may appear lopsided when it is parked. Drivers might assume that they need to put air in the tires on the side that sits low. However, this can create a more unsafe issue because they might overinflate the tires. The side that leans lower is likely to have one or more damaged springs. An inspection can determine whether the whole suspension system will need repairs or the side with the broken spring(s). A quick peek underneath the vehicle will likely show evidence of oil on the shocks, which is indicative of a suspension system leak.
An auto repair shop is a good resource to use to determine if a vehicle needs suspension work. Mechanics have access to special machines which allow them to detect minor and major suspension damage. Some drivers choose to get their suspensions inspected when they get services such as brake repairs and tire rotations performed. This is a good way to detect damages before they get advanced.
For more information about suspension work, contact a mechanic.