Car's Suspension
Automotive Accidents

How Does Your Car’s Suspension Actually Work?

Did you know that there is an estimated 286 million cars in the United States as of the year 2020? That is a ton of cars, and it increases the likelihood of your car needing repairs at some point, no matter if it is new or used. It is important to know about your car’s suspension and to know how does a car work.

Suspension problems are some of the biggest causes of car safety issues and if you think something is wrong with your vehicle’s suspension then you need to find a mechanic near you to help with suspension repair. But have you ever wondered how your car’s suspension works and what it does for your car?

If you have, you’re in luck. You’ve come to the right place to learn more about the parts of a car that make up your suspension and how they work to provide a safe driving experience. Continue reading to learn more.

What Is a Car Suspension?

A car’s suspension is the most important part of your car when it comes to handling bumps in the road and it is made up of a number of different components like Shocks & Struts. The suspension in your car is in place to ensure that your driving experience is not only safe for you and your passengers but also comfortable.

Your car’s suspension is designed to absorb any impacts or bumps in the road when you’re driving from Point A to Point B while also ensuring that your vehicle’s tires stay in contact with the road surface.

There are some main parts that work together to make up your car’s suspension. The first part is the springs. The springs control the height of your vehicle above the road and help to control the load that they’re carrying. The shocks, on the other hand, are in place to absorb the shock created by bumps in the road or other kinetic events.

Most car suspensions also use an anti-sway bar which is a piece of equipment that helps to control the direction your wheels are going based on your control of the steering wheel. In short, it helps to keep your car’s handling stable when you’re driving down the road.

Most cars have suspension systems for both the front wheels and the rear wheels. There are two main types of suspension systems, and they are independent suspensions and non-independent suspensions.

Independent suspensions move your wheels independently of the axle. Non-independent suspensions are used when the wheel direction is connected to the axle.

What Does Your Car’s Suspension Do?

One important way to consider the benefits that your suspension provides is what it would be like to drive a vehicle that lacks a suspension system. It is easy to take for granted everything that your car’s suspension provides.

When you’re driving down the road your tires go through a pothole, the suspension system naturally adapts for the kinetic shock and the change in the road surface. This allows you to drive over road imperfections without causing damage to your vehicle and absorbs a ton of the shock.

The suspension system ultimately works using physics to absorb any energy created by potholes, bumps, and other imperfections in the road. If it wasn’t for your car’s suspension system, all of that force would get put on the axle and frame of your car. It would make for an uncomfortable ride and it would damage your vehicle in a short amount of time.

It might also lead to a car safety issue since your wheels wouldn’t stay in contact with the road. This could cause your other wheels to jump and then slam down on the road. This makes it almost impossible to control your car at any speed you’re traveling at.

Components of Your Car’s Suspension

There are a variety of parts that make up your car’s suspension. This is especially true if your car is equipped with an independent suspension system. Here is a closer look at all of the components that work together to ensure that you get to your destination in safety and comfort.

Springs

Nowadays, car and truck suspensions tend to use steel coil springs for the suspension system. Each wheel is equipped with its own spring. This is in big contrast to older vehicles that had leaf springs to absorb the energy produced by imperfections in the road.

There is another type of spring to be aware of as well called a torsion bar. This torsion bar works by making the piece of metal that comprises it twist and move to absorb the energy created by running over imperfections and bumps in the road. Another name for a torsion bar is an anti-roll bar since it keeps the vehicle from leaning or rolling in a turn.

Shocks

While springs are built for absorbing the energy produced by imperfections in the road, shocks are what help to release that energy. When your car hits a bump it needs a way to safely release the energy that your springs absorbed. Without the shocks, your vehicle would be difficult to handle and control in all but perfect driving conditions.

A shock absorber resembles an air pump for sports balls and it usually sits close to the coil spring. Sometimes it even sits inside of it. If it sits inside of the spring then it is considered a strut rather than a shock.

Independent Suspension

Independent suspensions are more common in cars than in trucks or vans. They allow your wheels to work and not be affected by the forces impacting the other wheels on the vehicle. This leads to better handling and control for the driver.

Non-independent suspension is more normal on vans and trucks. It makes handling difficult but it is a cost-effective alternative to independent suspension. Basically, anything that affects one side of the axle affects the other side as well.

Double-Wishbone Suspension

The double-wishbone suspension has become the most popular type of suspension when it comes to vehicles that have an independent suspension system. Each wheel has two steel or aluminum arms that extend from the wheel to the body of the vehicle. The lower wishbone has a damper and coil spring attached to it.

If you wish, you’re able to get a double-wishbone suspension on all four wheels of your car.

MacPherson Strut

The MacPherson Strut gained its name in honor of the engineer that designed it. This strut is a damper that is inside of the wheel’s coil spring. This coil spring attaches to the suspension turret as well as the vehicle’s wheel and uses control arms to assist with the steering of the vehicle.

When it comes to suspension in vehicles, the MacPherson strut is lightweight, small, and effective at providing great control and handling of any vehicle equipped with it. It is also great because you’re able to use it in the front or the rear of the vehicle.

Air Suspension

A popular option for luxury vehicles, air suspension uses pockets of air to absorb the shock produced by road conditions. This system works by adding air to the air springs each time that your vehicle absorbs shock in the suspension system. This works to make for a safe and comfortable ride that is free of harsh bumps.

These systems work with microprocessors that send the air to the different air springs independently as it is needed. Some have a self-leveling system that helps to raise the car when traversing rough or offroad terrain. It will also lower the vehicle on the pavement to improve handling and body roll.

Why Is Suspension Important?

Suspension is an important part of your car for a number of reasons. Your car’s suspension helps to give your wheels and tires the best grip possible on the road when you’re driving. This means you’ll steer your car with more precision and better handling. This makes for a safe driving experience.

Your car’s suspension is also important because it makes the driving experience much more comfortable. It works to absorb any shock produced by road conditions like potholes and bumps. It will keep you and your passengers safe and comfortable throughout each journey you take together.

One of the biggest benefits that you’ll gain from your car’s suspension is a longer lifespan for your car. Your shocks and struts take a big burden off of other components of your car. Without the help of the shocks and struts, your car would need more maintenance and fall apart much quicker.

Get a New Suspension for Your Car

There are many different components that make up your car’s suspension and it is important to know how each works to give you a safe and comfortable ride. Knowing the different components will also come in handy the next time that your car needs suspension repair.

Your suspension is one of the most important parts of a car for car safety, so be sure not to neglect its maintenance.

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