Why Is the Car Suspension System So Important?

Why Is the Car Suspension System So Important?

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In the United States, there were almost 15 million cars sold last year, both new and used.

If you’ve got a vehicle, keeping it in good condition is essential to safety and the pocketbook. One area that should never be overlooked is the suspension system. A lot of people don’t realize how important the suspension of a vehicle is, but it can mean the difference between life and death.

Let’s take a look at why the suspension is one of the most important parts of any vehicle.

What Is the Suspension System?

The suspension system of a car deals with tires, shock absorbers, and linkages that connect the vehicle to its wheels. Suspension system components all work together in the competing tasks of ensuring a stable, comfortable ride and good handling characteristics.

Here is a list of components that are part of the suspension system:

  • Tires
  • Shocks
  • Struts
  • Ball joints
  • CV joints
  • Bushings
  • Tie rods
  • Rack and pinion units
  • Center links

The list goes on, but these are the parts that you will often hear discussed when it comes to maintenance or repairs. Even when there isn’t an obvious problem, it is never a bad idea to have an inspection of your suspension system done, to ensure everything is in good condition.

Now that we know what a suspension system is, let’s take a look at what it does for the vehicle and anyone who is inside of it.

Comfort 

The suspension system has a lot to do with how well the vehicle handles a variety of environments. A good suspension system can get you over bumps, rocks, and across rough roads without a problem. A bad suspension will cause everyone in the vehicle to bounce around.

A lot of people think of country roads, dirt surfaces, and other areas when they think of bad roads. Most bad roads are in cities or towns, and the patches and other work done to them can make for a very bumpy ride if the suspension isn’t working right.

Bouncing around the vehicle can be a problem, not only for the people but also the vehicle. The chance of a spill or accident happening inside the vehicle is higher, which means that not only are you uncomfortable, you could ruin the resale value of your car.

The truth is, having the ability to negotiate bumps and whatever else the road throws at you is about more than comfort. The suspension, by keeping everyone in their seat and stable, keeps the driver from having an accident by being tossed around inside. It’s hard to drive straight if you’re bouncing around.

Safety

This leads us to safety, which is one of the big reasons why you should keep your suspension working in good order. A good suspension controls how much friction there is between the tire and the road. This in turn means that a good suspension makes a vehicle easier to handle.

Being easy to handle means that it turns faster, and is more responsive to the driver’s input. This means that you can avoid danger more in a more effective manner with a good car suspension system.

This is in addition to keeping the car stable and easy to operate. Responsiveness can mean the difference between hitting another vehicle and being able to swerve in time. That means that a vehicle with a bad suspension is putting people at greater risk of death and injury.

It isn’t just responsiveness, a bad suspension increases instability. That means even without someone else making a mistake, you could find yourself out of control. Being out of control while going down the highway puts other motorists at risk in addition to you and any passengers.

Bad Weather

If you don’t have a good suspension, driving in bad weather can be a nightmare. One of the benefits of car suspension is that it enables the vehicle to negotiate in ice and snow better. Modern suspension systems even come with computer-assisted capabilities to make them safer.

The last thing you want when negotiating an icy road is to lose traction. With the suspension being what is in charge of making sure the tires stay connected to the road, a good suspension can mean the difference between making it home safely and having an accident due to road conditions.

Off Roading

There’s no way to go offroading without having a good suspension. Whether it’s driving through the mountains or turning circles in a muddy field, all off roading requires a good suspension. If you try to go off road without a good suspension you risk doing serious damage to your vehicle.

Surfaces other than paved roads have various degrees of slip associated with them. A good suspension keeps the vehicle from going out of control. If you’re driving near bodies of water, or high on a mountain, or anywhere that natural hazards exist you’ll appreciate a good suspension.

Protects the Undercarriage

There are a lot of things under your car that you don’t want to hit the pavement. A good suspension system helps to protect the undercarriage so that a bump doesn’t cause serious damage. Vulnerable parts of the car include the oil pan, and if that’s damaged it can destroy the entire engine.

There’s also a chance of damage to various other parts of the engine if the vehicle strikes the ground or road hard enough. You can shop here if you need components for your suspension system.

Suspension Systems

Suspension systems require that many parts work together. If even a single part isn’t up to the task, the entire system can fall apart. When that happens you may not have time to regain control of the vehicle before something tragic happens.

Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the importance of your suspension system. Do all regular maintenance and have the vehicle checked by a professional or someone that you trust on a regular basis.

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