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Jan 15, 2014

Typical Car Suspension Problems

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Car SuspensionDrivers can usually tell when something goes wrong with their cars’ suspensions. They may not, however, know that the problem comes from the suspension. They just know that the car is acting funny.

Knowing some of the most common car suspension problems should help you identify the issue so that you can get it fixed before it leads to bigger problems.

Problem #1: The Car Pulls to One Side

This is an extremely common problem. When your suspension becomes uneven, your car will want to pull to one side while driving. Replacing parts should solve the issue, but you’ll want to look at some cheaper possibilities first.

Make sure that your tires have even pressure and that your alignment is straight. Uneven tire pressure or alignment could cause your car to pull.

Problem #2: The Car is Difficult to Steer

A faulty suspension can make it difficult to steer your car, especially when driving at slow speeds. If you have power steering, but it doesn’t feel like it… then it could be your car’s suspension.

Other problems that could cause this include:

  • a broken power steering pump
  • a steering pump with low fluid
  • loose steering belt
  • broken rack mounts

These aren’t necessarily easier or cheaper to fix than your suspension, but they are possibility that you and your mechanic should consider.

Problem #3: The Steering Feels Loose

If your steering wheel feels loose or your wheels don’t seem to respond to your commands, then you could have a suspension problem that prevents you from directing your car properly.

Of course, it could also be worn ball joints, worn strut bearings, broken tie rods, or a broken steering rack. Some of those problems are easy to fix (you could probably do them on your own if you’re mechanically inclined). Others are a bit harder to fix. Make sure you have identified the true source of the problem before taking the DIY route.

Problem #4: The Steering Wheel Vibrates

A worn suspension could start to vibrate at high speeds. That will cause your steering wheel to shake. If it’s particularly bad, your whole car might shake. After a few trips, you’ll start to avoid the highway for fear that it will shake your car into pieces.

Steering wheel vibrations could also come from unbalanced wheels, worn tires, and loose wheel bolts. If your steering wheel shakes, those are all easier and cheaper to fix. Ask your mechanic to look into those possibilities before you spend a lot of money on the suspension.

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