Like your car’s brake system, the steering and suspension systems are key safety-related systems. Together, they largely determine your car’s ride and handling. Have your car’s steering and suspension systems checked regularly, at least once a year and usually with a wheel alignment.
What Does It Do?
The suspension maintains the relationship between the wheels and the frame or unibody. The suspension system interacts with the steering system to provide vehicle control. When working properly, the suspension system helps absorb the energy from road irregularities such as potholes and helps to maintain vehicle stability. The steering system transmits your input from the steering wheel to the steering gear and other steering components to control the car’s direction.
Typical Wear and Tear
Over time, steering and suspension components wear out and require replacement. Regular checks are critical to maintain a safe car. Factors that affect wear include:
- Driving habits
- Operating conditions
- Vehicle type
- Type of steering and suspension system
- Frequency of regular maintenance such as chassis lubrication and wheel alignment
- Uneven tire wear
- Noise and vibration while cornering
- Loss of control
The key components in your car’s steering and suspension systems include:
- Shocks and/or struts
- Steering knuckle
- Ball joints
- Steering rack/box
- Bearings, seals or hub units
- Tie rod ends
Other main parts of the steering and suspension system include springs, pitman arm and idler arm.