How to Inspect Your Suspension System

How to Inspect Your Suspension System

Troy Hammond
7 minute read

Most of the time, we get in the car and drive without thinking about it. However, when that ride becomes more bouncy, it can be hard to ignore. In order to keep your ride as smooth as possible, it’s important to maintain your car’s suspension.

Performing regular inspection of your suspension can go a long way for preventative maintenance, and help you avoid unexpected bumps in the road.

What does my car’s suspension do?

Cars help us get from one place to another. The suspension is what makes that trip a safe and stable one. Made up of a few components, the suspension in your car is what keeps the wheels on the ground, absorbs shock over rough terrain, and even helps stabilize your car through turns.

Your car is either outfitted with an air suspension, or a more traditional coilover suspension. Regardless of the type of suspension your car has, knowing how to inspect your suspension for any potential problems is key in keeping your ride in good working order.

What are the main parts of my car’s suspension system?

If you have a car with traditional coilover suspension, the main working parts are the shocks and the struts. While shocks help absorb bouncing and vibration, the struts provide more structural support. In addition, the struts help keep the wheels aligned, and they are what bear the brunt of the force that’s generated in a turn.

However, if your car rides on an air suspension, the key parts are a little different. Powered by air, a main component of an air suspension is the compressor. The compressor works to fill and pressurize airbags that lift your vehicle off of its chassis.

While these two types of suspension may have different key components, performing an inspection on the suspension is similar for both.

How to check that your car’s suspension is in working order

Cars nowadays will have a warning light for any problem you may incur, including any problems with the suspension. Rest assured, if you have a problem, your car will let you know. But, if waiting around for something to go wrong is a little nerve-wracking, there are more proactive ways to see if you may have a looming issue with your suspension.

Suspension problem early detection methods

Feel. When your car has an issue with its suspension, it can cause your vehicle to feel like it's squatting down when you stop or accelerate with force. It can also feel like it’s leaning on a turn. If you notice either of these things, it’s likely that you may have a problem with your suspension.

Listen. Is your car making any sounds that are out of the ordinary? If you hear anything odd like queaking, rattling, or knocking when you go over a bump or take a turn, you may have a suspension issue. Though some sounds are more noticeable than others, it’s important to be aware of anything out of place. 

Look. Does your car look like it’s sagging on one end? Do your tires have any abnormal wear? These can be signs of an issue with your suspension and shouldn’t be overlooked. 

The “bounce test”

While there are telltale signs of a bad suspension, it can be stressful to wait it out and see if any of these signs appear. Luckily, you can test your suspension with something called the bounce test. Here’s how you do it:

1. Walk to each corner of your vehicle

2. Push down, hard, on the bumper

3. Watch the corner as it springs back up

Perform the bounce test at each corner of your vehicle to test the suspension.

A healthy suspension should mean that each of the corners pops right back into place. However, if the bumper is taking a long time to come back up, or is bouncing around before settling in, you may have a problem.

If you’ve recognized any of these warning signs, or you perform the bounce test and your car fails, it’s time to take it to get checked out. Driving around when you have a suspension problem can be dangerous. And, like most car problems, the longer you wait to fix any issues, the more expensive it can become.

It's a good idea to check for suspension problems regularly.

What to do if you suspect you have a suspension problem

If you think you might have a suspension problem, maybe you’ve taken your car to the dealer. If you’ve done that, you’ve probably also gotten an expensive repair quote. When you take your car to the dealer to get fixed, things can get expensive, especially when it comes to your suspension.

Maybe you’re exploring your options and checking out aftermarket parts. While this is an option, it can also be pretty expensive depending on the amount of labor involved.

No matter how you deal with any suspension issue, when you factor in parts and labor, chances are, you’re going to be spending a good bit of money on any suspension repairs. And, as with most car parts, these parts will eventually suffer wear and tear, and may even need to be replaced again. So, why not invest in a more long term solution?

The better way to invest in your suspension

The good news is this—there’s another way to fix your suspension that won’t cost you a bunch of money.

At Strutmasters, we’ve had a team of engineers working tirelessly to produce suspension replacement kits. These kits are designed to replicate your car’s original ride, regardless of the type of suspension you have. With this system, you can finally rest easy knowing that your ride is about to get a whole lot smoother.

It’s even been designed so that you can install it yourself. With our easy-to-install kits, it’s possible to get your car riding on a new suspension on your own. You’ll just need a couple of common tools, a sturdy car jack, and a few hours. 

If you choose to go to your mechanic instead, the ease of installation means you’ll spend less time in the shop, and you’ll spend less while you’re there.

Converting to a Strutmasters kit couldn’t be more simple

At Strutmasters, we take pride in our products. We want you to be just as confident as we are in their quality, which is why every made-in-the-USA kit comes with a one year warranty, and a limited lifetime warranty on the springs.

If you’ve decided it’s time to make the switch to a product you can count on, Strutmasters is here to help. Our team of experts is ready to help you figure out exactly what you need to get you back on the road, safely and comfortably. With an option to call us at 866-239-4896 or chat online, we’re available to help you, on your time. 

Don’t let suspension problems keep you off the road. Call us and convert today.

Additional Resources on Suspension Maintenance:

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