What are the steering & suspension systems?
In your vehicle, these systems work together to orient your car on the road. As you turn the steering wheel, the steering system directs the energy toward your axles and wheels. From there, the suspension system keeps your tires in contact with the road, reacts to changes in your steering, and manages bounce on the road.
Why is steering & suspension repair important?
Malfunctions in either of these systems can affect the responsiveness of your car to your steering and the comfort of your ride. And poor handling, excessive bouncing and other steering and suspension issues all affect vehicle safety. Should you notice a change in how your car steers or feels, bring it to our Chantilly, VA, location for evaluation and repairs.
What are the common signs of suspension problems?
Driving on rough roads or getting into an accident can cause your steering and suspension system to wear out even faster than usual. Here are some common signs that you may need steering and suspension service or repairs:
Pulling to one side
Poor wheel alignment can cause your car to go to the left or right when your steering wheel is pointed straight. If you notice this, you should have your suspension checked for damaged springs, control arms and other issues that could impact wheel alignment.
Bouncing after a bump
Shock absorbers prevent passengers from feeling the effects of every bump in the road. If you experience more bouncing or shaking than you’re used to, it’s likely that your shocks are leaking and it’s impacting your suspension.
Knocking over a bump
Some cars, trucks and SUVs have struts instead of shock absorbers, which are often essential parts of the suspension system. For these, a common indicator of trouble is hearing a knocking sound as you drive over a bump. You shouldn’t ignore this, because you may not be able to safely drive your car if the strut assembly fails.
One corner is low
If your car is on level ground and one corner appears lower than the others, you may have a damaged or worn spring. This can become dangerous, as the spring can’t control your car’s weight. If you notice a corner dipping lower, get your car’s suspension inspected.
Squeaking/creaking through turns
When the ball joints are worn, you can hear them struggle as you turn. Waiting to get them fixed can cause parts of your suspension to start dragging on the ground. A mechanic can test and inspect the ball joints to determine if they need replacing.
Loose or difficult steering
A number of suspension issues can lead to problems with steering, including bent or worn control arms. If your steering wheel is hard to turn or feels like it’s slipping, get your suspension checked by a trusted mechanic. This could also indicate issues with the power steering system. Be sure to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended interval for power steering fluid exchanges to prevent damage to power steering components.
If you notice any of these issues with your vehicle, bring it in to Virginia Tire & Auto of Chantilly. Our ASE Certified Technicians will thoroughly inspect the car’s suspension and steering system and provide an accurate diagnosis and price estimate.
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