Car Suspension Routine Maintenance
Keeping a car, truck, or other vehicle running safely and efficiently requires a certain amount of routine maintenance. Most owners know that they’re supposed to get their oil changed periodically, but what about the suspension — what routine maintenance does it need?
One main function of your car's suspension is to provide a smooth, comfortable ride – even when you're on a bumpy road. The parts of a vehicle that keep it connected to the road, from the tires up, are collectively referred to as the suspension. The suspension supports the vehicle, but it does much more than that: a good suspension allows a car or truck to ride smoothly over bumps, to turn safely and reliably, and to maintain its balance during emergency maneuvers.
However, your suspension's most important job is to keep all four tyres in firm contact with the road so that steering, driving and braking systems are effective. Without your suspension in good working order, control of the vehicle can become unmanageable and can lead to unfortunate (and fully-avoidable) accidents.
There are many parts working together to ensure your car's suspension is doing its job. Shock absorbers (or struts) and springs are the main parts, however, it's important that other parts, including ball joints, tie rod ends and suspension bushes are in good condition.
How to keep a suspension in good working order
One of components of the suspension that should be checked most frequently are the tires. First, it’s important to check the inflation of all tires regularly. Some drivers carry their own tire gauges and check at every fill-up; that’s usually not necessary but checking every 1,000 to 3,000 miles is a very good idea. Under-inflation, by even a few pounds can decrease fuel economy, increase tire wear, and even render a vehicle unsafe to drive, so if tire pressure is lower than recommended it’s important to add air to achieve proper inflation. After adding air, keep an eye (and a tire gauge) on that tire; if it loses air consistently, you’ll need to do something about it (a mechanic may be able to patch a leak, or the tire or wheel may need replacement).