Have you ever wondered how the suspension system in your car works? Wonder no more! Read on to learn all you need to know.
Suspension keeps your car’s wheels in contact with the road, all the while providing a smooth ride. driving on rugged terrain.
Whether you’re travelling on a bumpy road or turning around a corner, your car’s suspension is constantly working to provide a comfortable ride and keep your car firmly planted on the ground.
Car suspension has several important jobs. It ensures your car is always in contact with the road, increasing friction and improving control. It also assists in providing consistent, predictable steering to allow your car to travel smoothly.
Finally, there’s the most obvious benefit of suspension – it keeps you, as well as your passengers, comfortable. Modern suspension systems are made of many parts, all of which play an important role in keeping your vehicle steady and comfortable.
Have you ever wondered how your car’s suspension system works? From the shock absorber to the steering linkage, read on to learn more about the components that make up your car’s suspension system and how they work together.
Why car suspension is so important
When you compare cars, which factors do you look at? Most people compare cars using factors that are easy to measure and quantify, such as a car’s fuel mileage or horsepower.
Since the effectiveness and quality of a suspension system isn’t as easy to measure, it’s a factor that often gets overlooked. Despite this, suspension plays a big role in a car’s performance, safety, handling and ride comfort.
Even the smoothest of roads have small bumps and imperfections that your car will pass over as it travels. Without suspension, the force of driving over a small bump in the road would be transferred entirely into your car’s chassis.
At low speeds, this could result in discomfort for the driver and passengers. As your car begins to move at higher speeds, the force of driving over a bump could result in it temporarily losing contact with the road and becoming out of control.
Suspension doesn’t just keep you comfortable in your car – it also prevents you from crashing because of a bad road surface. The faster your car is moving and the bigger the imperfections it’s passing over, the more important good suspension becomes.
The components of car suspension
Modern car suspension systems are made up of several components. There are four key parts of a suspension system, all of which are equally important: the chassis, the shock absorbers, the control arms and the steering linkage.
The chassis, which is also known as a frame, is a metal structure that supports the body, engine and interior of the car. The chassis is held up by the car’s suspension, which ensures the rest of the car remains in full contact with the road.
The shock absorbers are components – typically springs or a torsion bar – that are designed to absorb the energy from imperfections in the road and prevent it from causing a sudden impact that is transferred into the car’s chassis.
The steering linkage is part of the vehicle’s steering system. It connects to the front two wheels – or, in the case of a vehicle with four-wheel steering, all turning wheels – to transfer movement from the car’s steering gear.
The control arms connect your car’s suspension to its chassis. When your car passes over bumps in the road, the control arms ensure the wheels are constantly lined up with the body of the car, improving control and comfort.
How car suspension works
Whenever your car travels, the suspension system is constantly working to ensure it’s safe and safety. When you corner, it keeps all four wheels in total contact with the ground. When you pass over a bump, it stops your car from feeling the impact.
The shock absorbers are a vital component of any suspension system. Car springs need to absorb energy from bumps in the road. To do this, the shock absorbers in your car’s suspension system need to have a dampening system.
Dampening means to make something less intense. When your car passes over a bump, the impact is transferred to the springs in its shock absorbers. Dampening stops the springs from constantly bouncing up and down after an impact.
Thanks to dampening, the effects of going over a bump are gradual and smooth. As your car drives over a bump, its shock absorbers will compress before expanding to absorb the impact without causing your car to judder.
Early cars had simple shock absorbers that provided the same amount of resistance, no matter how intense an impact was. Today’s cars have shock absorbers that detect the velocity of an impact and provide a suitable amount of resistance to absorb it.
Suspension doesn’t just prevent your car from feeling the impact of bumps that it drives over. When your car turns a corner, the suspension keeps all of its wheels firmly connected with the road.
When your car sits still, its weight is evenly distributed – save for weight differences due to other components – across all of its shock absorbers. When it turns, the shock absorbers each absorb a different amount of the car’s weight.
Without suspension, turning into a corner at high speed would result in the weight of your car being transferred onto one or two wheels. This results in loss of control over the car and, at speed, at greater risk of crashing.
As you enter a corner and begin steering your car, its shock absorbers not only deal with bumps in the road – they also absorb the force of your car turning, resulting in smooth cornering and constant grip with the road on all four wheels.
Does your car have healthy suspension?
Just like the other parts of your car, it’s important to keep your suspension system in good condition for a smooth, safe ride. Since your car’s suspension constantly moves to deal with bumps and corners, it needs to be maintained regularly.
Over time, the shock absorbers and other parts of your car’s suspension system can become worn out. If your car no longer handles or drives as smoothly as it once did, certain parts of its suspension system may need repairs or replacement.
Your car’s suspension system plays an important, under-appreciated role in helping it drive and handle smoothly. Take great care of it and your vehicle will drive, corner and handle flawlessly for years to come.