Service Matters (07) 3353 6939 Unit 6/37 Queens Road, Everton Hills QLD 4053

Hi, it’s Pete here from Northside Automotive, and I’m here to tell you all about your car’s suspension system.

You probably haven’t had to think too much about your car’s suspension system before. It’s not something that you can see, and if it works effectively, you probably haven’t needed to worry about it before.

Truth is, your car’s suspension is one of its most important features. Suspension plays a crucial role in determining how safe and comfortable you are while driving. And modern engineering means that it’s actually pretty simple and easy to understand how the suspension works!

The suspension is located on the chassis, which includes all the important systems located underneath the car’s body. The jobs of the suspension system are to – maximise friction between the car’s tyres and the road surface, to provide steering stability with good handling, and to make sure that passengers are comfortable, and not rattling around in the cabin of the car while driving.

Suspension supports the car’s weight, dampens any shock that the wheels come into, and absorbs lateral forces that make the car want to roll.

Basically – the suspension does a helluva lot of work!

Car suspension is made up of two main parts – springs and dampers.

Springs come in a few different types. The most common springs used in modern cars are coil springs. These are basically a heavy-duty torsion bar coiled around an axis – think of a tightly wound metal slinky. Coil springs compress and expand to absorb the motion of the wheels.

Another type of spring is leaf springs, which are commonly found in 4-wheel drives and older cars. Leaf springs are layers of metal connected to the axle that flex under the weight of the car.

Dampers (or shock absorbers) protect the chassis from jarring forces caused when the wheel hits a bump in the road. They do this by preventing the springs from bouncing and pushing the wheel back down, keeping the tyre connected to the road surface.

The damper is a piston filled with oil that separates the chassis from the car wheel. When the car hits a bump, the piston pushes into its casing and is slowed by the oil, which flows into another chamber as it’s compressed.

The flow resistance can be changed by adjusting the hole size (or aperture). The wider the hole is, the lower the resistance and the softer the ride will be. The smaller the hole is, the firmer the resistance – this means better car handling, but less comfort.

Non-independent suspension is when the left and right wheels share a common axle. This type of suspension is still often used as rear suspension, and as front suspension in trucks. The problem with this type of suspension is that jarring is felt across the entire rear axle, and it isn’t great at preventing body roll.

Independent suspension is when the wheels aren’t connected. This type of suspension ensures that the jarring is contained to one side or wheel. There are many different types of independent suspension used in modern cars, such as the Macpherson strut, double wishbone system, multi-link suspension, and independent rear suspension.

Now that you know a bit about suspension, I will take the time to tell you that keeping your suspension system well maintained is important to your safety and the longevity of the car’s performance. We recommend a suspension check at each service to ensure everything is working as it should.

If you have any questions about your car’s suspension, or you think it might be having issues, please don’t hesitate to visit us here at Northside Automotive, we’d be happy to help.