Do Worn Suspension Parts Affect Vehicle Safety?

Do Worn Suspension Parts Affect Vehicle Safety?

Brakes, tires and suspension are sometimes called the “safety triangle.” All three must be in good condition for safe driving.

Weak, sagging springs and worn shocks and struts can allow the wheels to bounce excessively when braking on rough surfaces. This, in turn, can increase the distance it takes for a vehicle to stop.

A few feet might not seem like much of a difference, but in a critical situation it might make the difference of stopping just in time or having an accident. Brakes, tires and suspension are sometimes called the “safety triangle.” All three must be in good condition for safe driving. Some shock manufacturers recommend replacing shocks and struts at 50,000 miles to restore like-new ride and handling performance. Shocks and struts should be replaced (in pairs) if they are leaking, damaged, not providing adequate ride control or the owner isn’t happy with the way their vehicle rides and handles.

Struts also should be replaced if they are making noise due to worn upper bearing plates, or if the steering has become stiff and slow to return after turning. Complete strut assemblies are a popular replacement option because they do not require a spring compressor, and are quicker and easier to install than a bare strut.

Do replacement shocks and struts have to be the same as the original parts?
No. Replacement shocks and struts can be the same as the original parts, or they can be upgraded to some type of adjustable or performance shock/strut if that’s what a customer wants. High-pressure monotube gas shocks and struts typically provide the best ride control for performance-oriented applications. Air-assist shocks and struts also can be installed to improve a vehicle’s load carrying capacity and to better control ride height.

For older vehicles with electronic air leveling suspensions or struts (Lincoln, Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, etc.), replacement parts may be unavailable or too expensive if the original air suspension has failed and gone flat (often due to leaks or a compressor failure). For these applications, conversion kits are an affordable repair option. The kit allows the suspension to be changed over to a conventional design with steel springs.

You May Also Like

ASE Education Foundation Updates Collision Repair Standards

One of the major outcomes was the creation of a new area of accreditation entitled “Collision Repair and Refinish Fundamentals.”

The ASE Education Foundation recently convened a workshop to review the tasks and tools used by ASE-accredited collision repair and refinish programs in high schools and colleges nationwide.

The review committee consisted of individuals representing vehicle manufacturers, collision repair and refinish shop owners and technicians, instructors and industry trainers and equipment and parts suppliers.

How to Change a Headlight Bulb

There’s always an opportunity to help your DIY customers do the job right.

Hydraulic Suspension Bushings

They can isolate noise, vibration and harshness from entering the vehicle cabin more effectively than standard bushings.

A Closer Look at Lincoln-Mercury

The Mercury brand was shuttered in 2010, while Lincoln is enjoying a bit of a renaissance.

Selling Tie Rods and Steering Components

On a vehicle with rack-and-pinion steering, it’s not uncommon to replace outer tie-rod ends multiple times.

Other Posts

AutoZone Reports 6% Increase in Fiscal Q4 Sales

Domestic same-store sales for the fourth quarter, which ended Aug. 26, were up 1.7%.

Litens Launches Education Campaign on OAD Pulleys 

Technicians never should substitute an OAD with a solid pulley or a one-way clutch on vehicles that were built with an OAD.

MAHLE Selects Second Winner of Engine Giveaway

The lucky winner has been awarded a vintage Chevrolet small-block engine built by Baldwin Racing Engines of Friedheim, Missouri.

Raybestos Announces 2023 Racing Sponsorships

Raybestos will sponsor Sally McNulty and Team Infamous (driver Derek Madison) for the 2023 race season.