Suspension system is an essential system in the vehicle. It comprises of springs, shock absorbers, arms, bars, joints linkages, bushing, and tires among other components. It fundamentally connects the chassis to the wheels and axle of a vehicle.
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One of the main functions of this system is to provide good handling and steering stability by distributing the vehicle weight evenly, absorbing and dampening shocks. Without a suspension system, the vehicle will topple over on every bump and increase the likelihood of flipping over when taking a corner on high speed.
Suspension systems withstand a lot of stress compared to other vehicle systems. They provide great vibration and shock absorption hence smooth ride.
Types of Suspensions
- Dependent suspensions – Movement in one wheel has a direct effect on the other
- Independent suspension – Allows wheel to move independently of each other
Parts of a Suspension System
Shock absorbers and struts
Shock absorbers are cylinder containing hydraulic fluids that consistently compress and decompress to prevent the suspension springs and vehicles from bouncing up and down. The primary function of the shock absorbers is to control a movement of suspension and springs and also to ensure that tires are in contact with the road.
Some vehicles use struts in place of shock absorbers. It supports suspension, springs and ensures tire is in contact with the road. However, struts assembly affects braking, wheel alignment, vehicle control, steering and wear on suspension components.
Tires and wheels
Although tires and wheels are sometimes not considered to be part of the suspension system they are important components. They provide traction for braking and acceleration. While wheels rarely fail tires are subject to wears over time.
Tires form a fundamental component in the suspension system. It is only part of the system that comes into contact with the road. It absorbs shocks from uneven and rough surfaces. Suspension systems keep the vehicle in control and make the ride smooth.
Springs are a metal component that bends when subjected to force. They may break if your car hits a bump hard. Consequently, your car will sag on one side.
Linkages are rods and connecting objects that keep the wheels in place. They hardly fail except during severe accidents.
Joints, Bearings and Bushings
Bearings and bushing are connections that allow very little sliding and twisting and don’t require lubrication. Most joints are made of rubber and very likely to wear out.
Shock absorbers, springs and struts work hand in hand with to absorb energy from a bumpy road and rely on it without causing a lot of noise or vibration the car. They prevent swaying hence keeping the tires on the road and preventing the car from tipping on one side.
Read more about your car’s suspension systems: