Your Car’s Suspension

Why Is Your Car’s Suspension So Important?

Your car’s suspension system is responsible for smoothing out the ride and keeping the car in control. Specifically, the suspension system maximizes the friction between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling. The suspension system also provides comfort for passengers to limiting the impact of particular road conditions to not only the car, but the passengers riding inside.

suspension

The suspension system is made up of several components, including the chassis, which holds the cab of the car. The springs support the vehicle weight and absorb and reduce excess energy from road shocks, along with the shock absorbers and struts. Finally, the anti-sway bar shifts the movement of the wheels and stabilizes the car.

Your car’s suspension system must be in good condition. Worn suspension components may reduce the stability of the vehicle and reduce driver control, as well as accelerate wear on other suspension system components. Replacing worn or inadequate shocks and struts will help maintain good ride control, as they:

  • Control spring and suspension movement
  • Provide consistent handling and braking
  • Prevent premature tire wear
  • Help keep the tires in contact with the road
  • Maintain dynamic wheel alignment
  • Control vehicle bounce, roll, sway, drive, and acceleration squat
  • Reduce wear on other vehicle systems
  • Promote even and balanced tire and brake wear

To keep your car’s suspension system in optimal shape, bring your car to Maplewood Auto Service.

 

Source: Burke Center

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Wheel Alignment: What is it? And It’s Importance.

Importance of Wheel Alignment

A lot of things go into maintaining your vehicle so it performs safely and at its best. Proper wheel alignment is one thing that plays an important role. Wheel alignment affects fuel efficiency, tire wear, tire performance, vehicle handling and maneuverability. Wheel alignment is a big factor in a vehicle’s steering response. This leads many to the most frequently asked question about tire alignment, “When should I get an alignment?” There is no absolute answer to the question since all vehicles have different service requirements. A service technician at your local dealership will be able to do a quick test to determine if alignment if necessary. He or she can also give you advice about how often you need to have alignments done.

What Is Wheel Alignment?

Vehicles rely on precision in order to function safely. Tires and wheels can easily become misaligned due to anything from road conditions and driving habits to hitting a big bump or getting into a minor accident. Most often, the front wheels are more susceptible to losing proper alignment, though rear wheels can also experience issues with displacement and proper alignment in many of today’s vehicles.

Alignment

The process of alignment varies depending on the vehicle. Passenger cars with a modern four wheel suspension receive a different alignment process when compared to a wishbone suspension, or the wheels and tires on a 24 foot box truck that is used to haul heavy loads. That’s why tire alignment is something that should be performed by service technicians. These technicians are certified possess the expertise and equipment necessary to properly align tires to the exact specifications of specific vehicle makes and models.

The Importance of Wheel Alignment

When tires and wheels are out of alignment, a number of problems can develop within a vehicle’s various systems. When alignment is really bad, it’s easy to tell as you drive. The vehicle will pull one way or the other. In other words, if you let go of the steering wheel and the vehicle immediately steers to the left or right, there’s a good chance that there’s an issue with your wheel alignment. Misalignment may also cause vibration that you’ll feel especially in the steering wheel.

SImply put, proper wheel alignments allow for safer driving. Wheel alignment will also extend the life of your tires. Incorrectly aligned wheels are one of the main causes for uneven wear on a tire. Uneven tread wear will decrease the safe driving life of a tire, or in a worst case scenario may damage a tire beyond repair, requiring premature replacement.

Getting a Wheel Alignment

Known as everything from an alignment job to wheel alignment or tire alignment, this service is one that must be performed by a professional technician. Because wheels and tires being a part of the intricate suspension system, it’s helpful to rely on a specialist at a credible automotive shop. These technicians are trained and certified to service your vehicle. They’re qualified to install tires and wheels, repair them, and perform alignment tests and four-wheel alignments.

It’s recommended to have a tire alignment any time you have a new set of tires installed on your vehicle.  Your automaker recommends regular alignments according to your automaker’s specifications for your particular model. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for more information about your service schedule or contact your local auto dealership.  Automaker-certified service professionals can quickly test to see if there are wear patterns that suggest an alignment issue. They can also perform more in-depth diagnostic tests to ensure that your wheel alignment-and the rest of your vehicle-meets all safety and performance specifications.

Source: Right Turn

Preparing for “POTHOLE SEASON”

Pothole Season is coming! Keep an eye out and be prepared!

As winter’s icy grip refuses to let go of much of the United States, many motorists begin to hope for the inevitable spring warming   – they first need to prepare for the annual onslaught of “Pothole Season.”

Pothole

The Rubber Manufacturers Association, the national trade association for tire manufacturers producing tires in the U.S., is urging motorists to be extra careful to avoid potholes that can ruin tires, rims and wrench a vehicle out of alignment.

“Potholes are an unfortunate consequence of the freezing and thawing cycle occurring in late winter and early spring,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “Over the next several weeks, motorists need to be watchful for these lurking road hazards that frequently cause tire disablements and other vehicle damage.”

Potholes can puncture a tire and cause immediate disablement.  Sometimes, pothole damage may not be apparent at first until a motorist notices noise or vibration that indicates internal damage.

“If you notice a change in your vehicle’s performance after hitting a pothole, have it inspected immediately,” Zielinski said. “Hitting a pothole can cause internal tire damage causing a vibration or unusual road noise.  Or, if you notice your car pulling to one side after hitting a pothole, it may indicate an alignment issue.  Failure to address faulty alignment could cause uneven and premature tire wear.”

Potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water after the water has entered the ground under the pavement.  When the water freezes, it t expands – taking up more space under the pavement.  The pavement will weaken as it expands, bends, and cracks under the weight of cars and trucks passing over the weak spot in the road,  Eventually, pieces of the roadway material weakens, which  causes the material to be displaced or broken down – creating the pothole.

Source: Rubber Manufacturers Association