Your vehicle’s suspension system helps to keep your tires firmly planted on the road while assuring you a comfortable ride. It effects the way your vehicle steers, handles and even stops during braking. Many steering and suspension problems become noticeable while you drive, but others are subtle and have begun so gradually that you may not notice them during regular driving. Our ASE certified technicians can professionally evaluate your vehicle’s suspension through test driving, paying attention to the feel and ride of your car or truck, and a by thorough inspection. All at NO Charge to you –this is one of the traditional automotive services that we perform as a service to keep your vehicle dependable and you safe on the road everyday.
Suspension systems will continue to operate effectively for many years and tens of thousands of miles. Eventually automobile components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive in Atascocita, Kingwood, Humble, Summerwood and Spring.
As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth Texas highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy roads or hauling heavy loads. In addition to just wearing out, suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact – like a pothole, hitting a curb or a rock in the road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your vehicle manufacturer recommends periodic inspections.
During an inspection at Beckwith’s Car Care, our experienced staff of certified technicians use the latest equipment to check for worn, broken or missing parts. Let me give a rundown of the major suspension components.
• Ball joints
• Sway bar links
• Center links
• Idler arms/pitman arms
• Rack and pinion units
• Tie rod ends/sleeves
• Cv joints/boots
• Shock absorbers
• Coil springs
First there are the springs. The springs hold the weight of the vehicle. There are several kinds of springs. Springs are obviously heavy duty parts that rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers work in conjunction with springs to smooth out the ride and help keep the tires on the road. The shocks are key to handling performance and ride comfort.
You’ve probably heard of struts. They combine a shock absorber and a coil spring in one unit. Shocks and struts will wear out over time. There are some signs that shocks or struts are wearing out. The tires may have a cupped wear pattern. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly. You may notice a floaty or drifting sensation when cornering. If the front of your car dives excessively when stopping, or rocks back and forth after you stopped, your shocks may be worn out. And if they are leaking fluid, it’s definitely time to replace them.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit Beckwith’s Car Care for a suspension inspection. Same if you’ve been in an accident that involved one of your wheels. If your vehicle’s suspension actually fails, it could lead to a serious accident, so take care of these things.
When you replace your shocks, it’s usually a good idea to replace all four at the same time. That’ll give you more even handling. Talk with your Beckwith’s Car Care service advisor because you don’t want a big difference between the performances of your shocks from wheel to wheel, and replacing all may be the safest bet.
There different grades of shocks and struts. You always want to use a replacement shock or strut that equals the one that came as original equipment when your vehicle was new. But remember, they were designed to meet the expected needs of the broad range of people who buy that particular vehicle. Your needs may be more specialized.
For example if you want increased handling performance for your car, your friendly Beckwith’s Car Care advisor can recommend an upgraded shock or strut to give you what you want. If you haul heavy loads or trailers, you can get a more heavy duty shock absorber.
Worn steering and suspension components can cause vibrations, noises and even premature tire wear.
Regular inspections and periodic alignments will keep your vehicle safe on the road.
Contact us today to set an appointment for a complimentary suspension check andalignment check.