Suspension 101

What You Need to Know About Your Car’s Suspension — Valencia Auto Performance & Simply Smog

Because you can’t easily see the components of your vehicle’s suspension system, it may be tempting to ignore it as long as possible. But when you stop to think about the importance of its functions, you may determine that you indeed need to pay closer attention to the suspension. “Out of sight, out of mind” is not a good approach. For help with suspension maintenance and repairs, count on the certified technicians at Valencia Auto Performance & Simply Smog in Santa Clarita, California.

Types of Suspensions

When one references the suspension system, it is a generic term. There are multiple types of suspensions that may be found in your vehicle. A dependent suspension is one where the wheel on each end of the axle is connected without flexibility. Thus, the movement of one wheel depends upon the other. Its advantage is its ability to bear heavy loads, so it is most often found on large vehicles. In contrast, an independent suspension, frequently found in passenger cars, allows each wheel to move separately from the rest. This provides a smoother ride.

There are several well-known types of independent suspension systems. The MacPherson Strut eases over bumps well because of its coil-spring over strut design, yet it’s lightweight and ideal for small vehicles. A double-wishbone suspension employs two wishbone-shaped arms that connect the auto body with the wheel. Because it adds control, it is often found on sports cars. A semi-independent suspension (also called torsion beam or twist-beam) links the wheels on each end of an axle directly, yet it has the ability to flex. Finally, an airbag suspension takes advantage of an electric pump or compressor to inflate rubber airbags near the wheels. Once found only on commercial vehicles, it is now found on some luxury autos.

Major Suspension System Components

The suspension system comprises multiple parts. Shocks or struts, similar to one another, absorb many of the jolts along the road. This smooths your ride and helps you maintain control of the vehicle. Control arms link the chassis to the wheels, and suspension bushings lessen friction and noise as your car crosses bumps. The sway bar and sway bar bushings help prevent your vehicle from leaning too far to one side as you turn or take curves.

Suspension Maintenance and Repairs

Not only does your suspension system make your ride more comfortable, but it also helps keep your auto from going out of control. Therefore, it’s important that you keep it well maintained and repaired. Let Valencia Auto Performance & Simply Smog in Santa Clarita, California, attend to your important suspension.

Written by Valencia Auto Performance

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