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Suspension Service & Maintenance | Suspension Parts Defined | Video of Suspension

The suspension system on your vehicle is often referred to as the ride and handling system. The ride and handling system supports the vehicle's weight, keeps the wheels in contact with the road and helps provide a comfortable ride for passengers. Regular maintenance of your vehicle's suspension plays a major part in its handling characteristics. For example, how it feels on the road and how it steers during an emergency. Regular suspension maintenance improves tire wear. A car with misaligned wheels and/or worn shocks can cause tires to wear out faster than normal. Consequently, the modest cost of a semiannual tire rotation and alignment check is a solid investment.

A visual inspection of the steering and suspension is recommended once per year along with an alignment check and a chassis lubrication are recommended with every other oil change. If you feel a difference in your ride, be sure to set up a reservation to have an ASE Certified Technician in Steering and Suspension road test your vehicle today.

Did you know?
If the ride height of a vehicle falls below the manufacturer's specification (due to wear or incorrect loading), the entire suspension system suffers. This in turn reduces your vehicle's braking, steering and acceleration capabilities and increases tire wear.

The suspension connects the frame of the vehicle to the wheels. It contributes to the handling characteristics of the vehicle and the comfort of the passengers. The springs, and struts or shock absorbers, absorb bumps in the road, and keep the body of the vehicle stable under braking and acceleration. Control arms, control arm bushings, and ball joints allow the wheels to move up and down. The wheel bearing, hub, and knuckle assembly connect the wheel to the control arm.

Suspension setups can differ greatly between cars but the most commonly used suspension geometry is the Macpherson strut setup. The strut is an integrated damper, or shock absorber, and spring assembly. The top of the strut is bolted to the frame of the vehicle, with the bottom of the strut attached to the top of the steering knuckle. The lower end of the steering knuckle is attached to a lower control arm, and the control arm pivots up and down as the strut is compressed and expanded. 

As manufacturers constantly work to improve ride and handling characteristics, suspension systems become more complex. Many vehicles now use multiple suspension links instead of a single lower control arm. In contrast to the Macpherson strut, this four-link suspension has two upper control arms and two lower control arms. The control arms are attached to the steering knuckle to pivot. The top of the spring and damper assembly is connected to the body of the vehicle and the bottom is usually connected to the lower control arm. This style of suspension assembly help to maintain the correct angle between the tire and road even when the spring and damper are compressed or extended.

Vehicle Suspension Service - Houston's Premier Auto Repair Facility

Did you know?
Tire pressure and vehicle ride height are two of the most neglected suspension-related items. Lack of attention to these areas can contribute to improper wheel alignment and unnecessary chassis parts wear.