Suspension Checks & Repair

By David Sholicar

Your suspension takes the full weight of the car; every impact from the road and every twist as you steer.

Suspension Repair

There are parts that last for the lifetime of the vehicle but others require regular inspection and maintenance. Some cars which are notorious for weak suspension come as little surprise (Mini Metro, Fiat 500) but others are premium brands usually associated with rugged durability (Range Rovers, BMW X5, Mercedes GLC). We recommend six monthly suspension checks for all vehicles. Full suspension checks are covered in an annual service, but can also be conducted in a low-cost interim service. Quick checks by qualified fitters are free at most Protyre garages.

Identifying suspension problems

There are many components and variations in modern suspension systems; leaf or coil springs, shocks, struts, roll-bars, ball joints, spindles, twist beams, double wishbones, trailing arms, 4-bars and any number of bushes and bolts.

There is no substitute for suspension checks & repair by Protyre’s qualified fitters, but there are many signs of impending trouble:

  • If one corner sits low when your tyre pressures are normal, there’s a suspension problem. If your nose dips excessively when you brake, or the car leans significantly as you corner, it suggests worn shock absorbers with potential issues regarding your braking distance.

  • Steering pulling to the side is often due to suspension components, but can also be caused by tyre problems, poor wheel alignment, or steering issues. Drifting while cornering is dangerous and should be checked immediately.

  • Bounces caused by speed bumps or potholes should stop almost immediately. If they don’t, the shocks and springs need investigating. If bumps wrench the steering wheel, something may be misaligned and a dead spot when you turn the wheel suggests that play has developed in a tie-rod. Both can be dangerous.

  • Oil or grease exuding from the shocks may be visible on the road. If a leak is dealt with quickly, it will avoid wear to other components.

  • If one side of your tyres looks more worn than the other this can be due to poor wheel alignment but often it’s a suspension problem.

Gentler tyres

You can choose to protect your suspension long-term through your choice of tyres. Wider tyres with a high profile (more rubber sidewall) absorb more vibration than narrow tyres on large rims. However, there is a limit as to how far you can depart from manufacturer's recommended tyre specifications. Our tyre professionals will provide advice tailored for the model you drive.

The rubber of XL summer tyres is hard. Softer tyres are gentler on the suspension and improve ride comfort, so avoid XL tyres if you don’t need them, consider switching to all-seasons and pay attention to tyre noise ratings (less noise means less vibration).

Recommendations include the Falken Ziex ZE310 and Sumitomo BC100. These are summer tyres but are reasonably soft based upon their grip and low noise. Sumitomo also offers a winter-rated tyre - the Sumitomo WT200. Winter tyres wear faster and consume more fuel but if you brave winter ice and snow, the Sumitomo WT200 is a very affordable investment in your safety.

Need new tyres? Buy online at Protyre and save £££s!

Protyre offer a wide range of Premium, Mid-range and Budget tyres to suit any customer requirement. Book online today for competitive prices - same day appointments available on many options.

Do wheels fall off?

Fortunately not very often, but it happens and, regardless, you do need to look after your suspension.

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By David Sholicar
David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and expertise is dealing with the DVSA and MOT’s for Protyre. As the Authorised Examiner Designate Manager ( AEDM ) David deals with applications for changes to the many Vehicle Testing Stations ( VTS’s) including managing the growth of the Number of MOT testing stations that Protyre operate, allocating MOT tester roles, and monitoring the MOT Test logs to ensure that Protyre MOT standards are maintained as the best in the industry.
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