Signs that Your Vehicle has a Suspension Problem - information from the the pros at Shingle Springs Subaru serving Sacramento, CA

Has the quality of the ride on your vehicle gotten worse lately? Are you hearing unusual noises or feeling more of the bumps in the road? You might need suspension work. Parts like suspension bushings and tie rod ends wear out and need to be replaced -- and sometimes major work is needed to completely replace bad shocks and struts. Before you head to our service center, take a look at these tips below! We've compiled six ways you can check your vehicle for suspension issues,

Uneven Tire Wear Image

6. Tire Wear

Your tires are very much a part of your vehicle's suspension system. Even something as simple as incorrect air pressure in the tires can have a major impact on ride quality and handling. If you suspect a suspension problem on your vehicle, check the tires first.

If you check your tires and you notice unusual tire wear, there's a good chance it's caused by bad suspension. Your tires should wear down evenly when the car is properly set up. If your suspension needs work, your tires could experience accelerated tire wear on one edge, or "cupping" wear that occurs in patches across the tire. Not only does your suspension need looking over, this can cause your tires to wear out much faster.

Worn Struts Image

5. Bouncing Suspension

Whether it's a speed bump in a parking lot or some rough pavement in a construction zone, your vehicle's suspension is designed to help your car float over them comfortably. When your suspension goes bad, the vehicle may instead bounce up and down repeatedly after an impact with a pothole or going over a bump. A bouncing suspension can compromise handling and make your vehicle uncomfortable to drive. You might also notice that the nose of the vehicle "dives" forward dramatically when you brake hard. Even under emergency braking, a well-tuned suspension should keep your vehicle relatively level.

4. Squeaking Noises

If your car squeaks or creaks when you travel over bumps or transitions in the pavement, that could be a sign that your vehicle needs suspension work. As vehicles age, components can start to rub together and make noises. This might not be a problem, or the suspension may simply need lubrication. However, this can also be a sign that a part of your suspension is starting to wear out, such as a bushing or tie-rod end, that needs to be replaced.

Suspension Service Image

3. Vibrating Steering Wheel

There are a variety of reasons why you might feel a shaking sensation in your steering wheel as you drive, but the suspension system is certainly one of them. If something has come loose in the suspension, it can cause your whole vehicle to shake, particularly in the steering wheel and during acceleration. Other possible causes to this problem include a vehicle that needs alignment service, out-of-balance wheels and bad wheel hub bearings -- just to name a few.

2. Poor Handling

The suspension does more than just gloss over cracks and bumps in the pavement. It's also designed to keep your car planted and level when cornering. If cornering feels floaty or the vehicle leans more than you expect, that's a sure sign of suspension trouble. Even under hard cornering, the car shouldn't lean excessively or sway back and forth.

1. Leaking Struts

If you're willing to get your hands dirty, you can peer behind the vehicle's wheels and look for signs of suspension trouble. Grab a flashlight and take a look at the struts or shocks. If they look dry, then it could be another part of the suspension giving you trouble. But, if they look to be covered in an oily layer of dirt and grime, that could be fluid leaking out of the strut. A leaking strut needs to be replaced. Struts may begin to leak as they wear out.

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