Don’t let suspension problems spoil your drive; drop in today for knowledgeable advice and a free check!

Your suspension is vital to your ride comfort, road-holding and safety, so why take a risk?

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CAR SUSPENSION – AN EXPLANATION:

Car suspension must maximize friction between tyres and the road surface, to provide steering stability with good handling, and to ensure the comfort of the passengers.

If a road were perfectly flat, with no irregularities, then suspensions wouldn't be necessary. But roads never are flat, and any bump in a road makes the wheel move up and down perpendicular to the road surface, i.e. vertically.

Without the suspension system, all of the wheels vertical energy would be transferred to the frame, which thus moves in the same direction. In such a situation, wheels could even lose contact with the road completely. Then, under the downward force of gravity, the wheels slam back into the road surface. What you need is a system that will absorb the energy of the vertically accelerated wheel, thus allowing the frame and body to ride undisturbed, while the wheels follow bumps in the road.

Of course, there is a little more to it than that; in summary:

Principle Definition  Goal  Solution 
Road Isolation The vehicles ability to absorb or isolate road shock from the passenger compartment To allow the vehicles body to ride undisturbed while it is traveling over rough roads. Absorbs energy from road bumps and dissipates it without causing undue oscillation in the vehicle.
Road Holding The degree to which a car maintains contact with the road surface during directional changes and in a straight line (e.g. the weight of a car will shift from the rear tyres to the front tyres during braking.) To keep the tyres in contact with the ground, as it is the friction between tyres and the road which affects a vehicles ability to steer, brake and accelerate. Minimizes the transfers of vehicle weight from side to side and front to back, as this transfer of weight reduces a tyres grip on the road.
Cornering The ability of the vehicle to travel a curved path Minimize body roll from centrifugal force pushing outwards on the cars centre of gravity while cornering, raising one side of the vehicle and lowering the opposite side. Transfer the weight of the car during cornering from the high side of the vehicle to the low side.

 

Shocks & Springs:

Shock Absorbers (aka dampers) absorb or dampen the “shock” of riding a bump – hence the name. If your vehicle feels “bouncy” this may be because your shock absorbers are losing their effectiveness, as it is the damper which offsets the “bounce” which would be generated via springs alone.

Worn shocks reduce braking efficiency, reduce road holding, and increase wear on tyres and the other mechanical parts of your vehicle – as well as making the ride uncomfortable and perhaps contributing to motion sickness.

Springs spread the energy of an “instant” bump over a short period of time; and they provide increasing resistance to vertical movement between wheel & car the bigger the bump (stops tyre hitting the wheel arch).

The wheel rises the instant it hits the bump; but if the car rose equally instantly, then passengers would be thrown from their seats! So springs absorb the initial energy / movement and then release it slowly over the next few milliseconds to provide a more comfortable ride for passengers and the car mechanicals alike.

Springs may become less effective as they age, or even worse snap completely. In the worst possible scenario, they may puncture a tyre causing an explosive blowout at speed. However, you may not even notice a more gradual failure, although your ride is likely to have become bumpier and less bouncy.

Causes of failure & the solution:

Whilst age of vehicle is a significant factor, speed bumps, potholes and road debris present the biggest danger to your suspension, particular when driven over at speed! So visit Europit to have your shocks and springs thoroughly checked, and if necessary replaced at an affordable cost. Just ring your most convenient branch for details!