How to Maintain Your Vehicle's Suspension System

  • May 18, 2022
image of car's front suspension image of car's front suspension

Your vehicle’s suspension system helps ensure you enjoy a smooth ride. A system of shock absorbers, struts, and springs help absorb the bumps and dips on the road to keep you more comfortable in the driver’s seat. But your suspension system does more than just offer a smooth and efficient ride — it also helps maintain the health and longevity of your entire vehicle!

The best way to care for your suspension system is by bringing your car to your nearest Tires Plus where our expert technicians know the ins and outs of your vehicle’s suspension parts. But there are a few ways you can care for your suspension system at home to help keep vehicle components from wearing out prematurely and provide a safer driving experience for you. 

What Is a Vehicle Suspension System?

The suspension system is made of a few primary components, including shock absorbers, coil springs, struts, leaf springs, and the tires — that’s right, your tires are actually part of the suspension system!

  • Shock absorbers are long, tube-shaped pistons filled with liquid (and sometimes with gas too). They support the springs by compressing and lengthening to reduce the impact from a bump or dip in the road.
  • Coil springs are placed near the shock absorber and take much of the impact from bumps and dips in the road.
  • Struts have a shock absorber and a spring in one assembly. Struts provide structural support for your vehicle. Not all vehicles have struts, and ones that do, typically only have them on one axle.
  • Leaf springs are made up of multiple plates of slightly curved metal that are clamped together. They are installed on a vehicle to help minimize vertical vibration and are mainly found on vehicles with solid rear axles. 
  • Tires are the only car suspension components in your suspension system that touch the ground. Your tires take much of the impact from road bumps and dips, transferring it to the shocks and/or struts.

Basic Car Suspension Maintenance

Typically, suspension system maintenance should be left to the professionals at Tires Plus due to the complexity and importance of the system within your vehicle. However, there are a few things you can do at home to help keep up with your suspension — and it all has to do with tires.

1. Check your tire pressure

Since your tires are the only part of the suspension system that touches the ground, it’s important to keep them inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI level. You can typically find this level on a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb. Find the recommended PSI level number, then check each tire with a reliable tire gauge. Fill any low tire to the specified PSI level. If a tire is overinflated, wait until it cools for at least 3 hours to confirm. Then, deflate any overinflated tire to the specified PSI level. 

2. Check your tread depth

Healthy tires also mean having good tread depth. Start by checking for any low or bare spots in the tread. The tread depth should be more than 2/32nd inches — a quick penny test can help you roughly measure your tires’ tread depths. Uneven wear can indicate that there’s trouble with your suspension system, but it can also indicate your vehicle needs a wheel alignment. If you notice uneven tire wear, head to your local Tires Plus for a professional diagnosis. 

How to Know If Suspension Parts Need Replacing

There are a few common signs that one or more components in your automotive suspension system need to be replaced, including:

  • Your ride is more bumpy than usual
  • Your vehicle rocks back and forth when you steer
  • Your vehicle feels lower to the ground
  • Your tires are wearing unevenly
  • Your vehicle rocks or bounces when you brake
  • Your vehicle's struts or shocks are leaking oil

Different symptoms may mean different parts of your suspension system are malfunctioning or broken. To know which suspension parts to replace, it’s best to get your vehicle professionally inspected at your local Tires Plus.

Maintain Your Suspension With Tires Plus

The best way to keep your vehicle’s suspension system working as it should is for a routine checkup — starting at 50,000 miles — at Tires Plus. Our expert technicians know all there is to know about your vehicle’s suspension components, what suspension parts tend to wear out, and how to know what suspension parts need replacing. Schedule an appointment online or call your local location to set up your suspension system maintenance check.

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