If all roads were perfectly flat then there would be no need for suspension. Unfortunately this is not the case; even freshly laid tarmac has subtle imperfections that can cause visible movement of a vehicle’s wheel as it passes at high speeds. It is the vehicle’s suspension that allows its wheels to respond to these imperfections and improve the comfort of those in the car.
Part of our policy of free inspections is to offer you a comprehensive suspension check. Suspension is important in keeping your vehicle balanced, helping to maintain a constant and balanced contact between your tyres and the road. A correctly balanced vehicle can benefit both braking and the general handling of a vehicle.
The power of a car is meaningless if the driver cannot control it. A vehicle responds best to commands when there is friction between to all four wheels and the ground – the suspension is instrumental in making this happen.
An important aspect of a vehicle’s suspension system is its shock absorbers; they help to soften any small bumps and bobbles on the road’s surface. A mechanic can carry out a simple ‘bounce’ test on site that can indicate the condition of your shock absorbers. If the vehicle’s shock absorbers are too ‘springy’ then they will need to be replaced.
A vehicle’s suspension system is a complicated series of components which, when operating correctly, work in harmony to reduce the bumps and knocks from the road surface. If your suspension is not working properly even small changes to the road’s surface can make your driving experience incredibly uncomfortable. A suspension system that works perfectly makes a huge difference, accounting for uneven road surfaces and proving both driver and passengers an enjoyable ride.
A faulty suspension system cannot only fail to account for uneven road surfaces, but it could drastically affect a vehicle’s braking distance for the worse. If a vehicle were to be traveling at 30mph, malfunctioning shock absorbers could be responsible for adding a further two meters to its braking distance.
Another aspect of a vehicle’s performance affected by a faulty suspension system is its handling around corners.
As a vehicle corners, the job of the suspension is to counter the vehicle’s roll. If the suspension is not functioning correctly, the driving experience will be uncomfortable around corners and the car could even be risk of losing control.
Suspension is a part of your vehicle that will slowly degrade over time, often without you noticing. A quick check by our specialised mechanics can identify the condition of your suspension system.
As part of our free steering check, we will inspect the following:
Inspect suspension and steering
Steering and suspension are two elements of your vehicle that relate to each other; the condition of your suspension is likely to have repercussions on the process of steering.
Suspension is designed to ensure that all wheels of a vehicle are in contact with the ground. The handling of a car works best when there is friction between the road and the wheels as much as possible. If your suspension is not correctly calibrated then you may find that your general control of the car is not as effective as it could be. This can be especially noticeable when cornering.
Suspension can degrade over time without you noticing, but is something that we can easily assess in the garage.
Inspect wheel bearings for wear and tear
Wheel bearings are important for ensuring the smooth movement of your vehicle’s wheels. They tend to come in pairs of ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ bearings.
The bearings are packed with grease to ensure a frictionless movement of the wheel, but this grease can attract debris from the road and scraps of metal from the brake system.
This check will determine the condition of your wheel bearings and we will be able to give an indication of any improvements that can potentially be made.
Well-maintained wheel bearings provide a responsive steering system.
Check power steering reservoir
Power steering is there to help a driver when he or she is applying force to the steering wheel. When no force is being applied, the system should not be engaged.
Power steering comprises of many small components and it only takes one to be faulty and the entire system can become very inefficient. There are various aspects of your vehicle’s power steering system that are carefully inspected and one of the most important is monitoring the levels of the power steering fluid reservoir.
When this reservoir is full it gives the power steering system the best conditions to be operating in.
Lubricate steering and suspension
A well-lubricated steering system can prevent problems from emerging. A inspection by one of our mechanics will bring and potential problem areas to your attention and we can offer on the spot advise on where extra lubrication can be applied and how it can positively effect the performance of your steering and suspension systems.
Brake and steering combination check
If your vehicle drifts to one side while you are braking, it could be an indication that there is a fault with your brake system. A mechanic can have a look to determine whether it could be the alignment of the wheels, a problem with the vehicle’s brake callipers or brake hoses or perhaps an issue with air pressure.
When a vehicle brakes, it can respond in different ways to betray faults within the car. A mechanic can read signs such as braking distance and drift to assess whether any work may need to be done to your motor.
Inspect state of steering rack gaiters
Another inspection that we carry out in our free steering check is to have a look at the condition of your steering rack gaiters.
A steering rack gator is a plastic sleeve that protects the joints of the steering rack. If grime or dirt were to get inside the joint, then there is a risk of complete steering failure.
The mechanic checking out for your vehicle will be assessing the condition of the gaiter by looking out for general wear, cracks in the plastic or the displacement of fastenings.
The safety of our customer is of the up-most importance to us. The following is a list of areas that our specialist mechanics carefully inspect during our free safety check.