Car Suspension Problems: Types, Signs, Diagnoses and Fixes


Car suspension problems can prove frustrating. You can end up with a vehicle that’s difficult to drive and—in some cases—unsafe.

It can be a pain to drive with car suspension problems. Suspension problems run the gamut from bouncing around the inside of your car to feeling like you’re driving on a rough road. It’s no wonder that car suspensions are one of the most important parts of any vehicle.

How do you know when your car needs new shocks or struts?

Here, we’ll talk about common types and causes of suspension problems, diagnosing these issues and how you can fix them.

To learn about car suspension problem types, signs, diagnoses and what to do about them, keep reading.

Poor Stability

It’s usually easy to tell when your car’s unstable when you drive. Sometimes, your car might feel bouncy. Other times, it may not feel leveled out. When this happens, you’re most likely having problems with your springs.

You may have a broken spring. Alternatively, your spring may have broken down to the point of sagging. In some cases, you may even have both issues.

You’ll feel that the car is slightly lower on one side when this happens. However, there’s a way to test if you suspect a sagging spring.

Begin by parking your car on a level, flat surface. Now, have a walk around your vehicle and try to see if it’s sitting at an odd angle. You might also see that one side is slightly lower than the other side.

This is a common issue that many car owners neglect to fix. However, if you see any of these symptoms, you want to take your car to a shop right away for suspension repair.

Bumpy Ride

In other instances, you might notice that your ride is bumpy. If so, you’ll need to check your car’s suspension system.

A bumpy ride indicates a problem with your shocks and struts. Most likely, they’ve already reached the end of their lifecycle. If so, you’ll need to replace them.

As its name implies, shock absorbers absorb shocks. In doing so, they keep your wheels on the road.

There’s a fluid that dampens bouncing in your shocks. Sometimes, however, they leak.

When this happens, your shocks will eventually fail. You’ll notice that the performance of your car starts to suffer.

This poor performance is what causes a bumpy ride. Again, you’ll need to take your car in for repair if it has these symptoms.

Stiff Steering

You may have problems steering your vehicle. If so, it’s most likely something wrong with your suspension.

Here, you want to check for suspension warning signs. These problems can lead to uncontrolled steering.

Typically, you’ll notice that there’s “play” in your steering wheel when this happens. In some cases, you may find it hard to steer at all. Again, as with the previous issues we’ve discussed, you need to take your car for repair if these symptoms are present.

For instance, your car might change direction without your input. It can even jolt in an undesired direction.

Alternatively, your car could veer when you turn a corner. Even if you’re going straight, it might veer off to one side of the road.

In these instances, you most likely have a worn bushing. You may have metal or rubber bushings. Either way, like struts, it’s another component of your car that helps to absorb shocks.

If your bushings wear out, you can have problems handling your car. You can also experience early tire wear—more on that in a moment.

Strange Sounds

If your car is running fine, it’s typically quiet—except for the hum of your engine. You need to purchase a vehicle’s exhaust system from, it reduces the level of the strange noise.

As a driver, it’s important for you to learn to listen to your car.

It’s possible that you might hear a dragging sound on one side of your vehicle. You may also notice a popping or clicking noise coming from your suspension system. This is often the result of worn-out shocks and struts—or even bushings.

Once you get used to the sound of your car, you can pick up on problems right away. For instance, you might hear an unusual sound or vibration that alerts you to a problem.

It’s important to know your car’s sound. In doing so, you can identify problems as early as possible.

Usually, a loud or unusual noise is due to something damaged in your vehicle. Meanwhile, car creaking or clunking is a sign of damage or a failed component. You may notice these noises more often when you drive over an uneven road.

In many cases, you might hear noise because of a failed strut. Sometimes, the rubber stop on your car suspension gets destroyed. In this case, it’s important to take your car to a mechanic right away to avoid an accident.

Tire Wear

Your car tires are more likely to wear out ahead of schedule if you have a suspension problem. Unfortunately, this is an easy way to spot a sign of trouble with your shocks.

For instance, you might notice uneven wear on your tires. This sign is a key indicator of a problem with your suspension.

You should always check your tires for high or low areas. You’ll also want to look for places where the bead might have worn through the rubber.

If you see unusual tire wear, you want to get your suspension checked immediately. More than likely, something’s been damaged and needs repair.

Wheel Misalignment

Sometimes, a problem with your car can deceivingly lead you to believe that the issue is with your shocks. In these instances, it’s easy to overlook other parts of your car, such as your wheels.

For example, you may have a problem with wheel alignment. If so, you’ll experience increased tire wear.

You also most likely have problems centering your steering. This problem is particularly noticeable if you’re driving on a straight road.

Misaligned wheels can cause problems with your suspension. They’ll increase the possibility of tire wear. They can also cause an accident.

Your car’s suspension makes it easy for you to control it. It also gives you a comfortable ride.

If you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms, you’ll want to have your vehicle checked right away.

It’s always important to take your vehicle in for regular maintenance. During vehicle checkups, a mechanic can spot minor problems before they become big ones.

The earlier you find a problem, the less it will cost to fix. Keeping your vehicle in top shape will keep you safe on the road.

Don’t Ignore Your Car Suspension Problems!

People often take their suspensions for granted. However, it’s one of the most important components of your car.

If you think about it, your suspension supports tons of metal every year. Eventually, your shocks are going to wear out. You’ll need to have your suspension serviced.

Some people think that the only purpose of a suspension is to provide a smooth ride. However, it also helps you to control your vehicle.

For instance, your suspension is especially important when stopping or turning. Accordingly, you’ll want to make sure that it stays in tip-top shape.

Some people think that their shocks aren’t as important as other regular maintenance. They might give more priority to break in oil changes.

The importance of your shocks will become apparent quickly if you lose control of your vehicle. Still, you may wonder, “When should I take my vehicle in for repairs?”

The answer is it’s always a good idea to take your vehicle in for car suspension diagnosis for any issue that causes it to handle less than perfect.

Learn More About Life on the Road

Now you know about car suspension problems types, signs, diagnoses and what to do about it.

You may have noticed some abnormal car suspension problems. Alternatively, you may just want to learn more about how your vehicle works. In either case, we have a variety of resources and articles that can help.

We hope this article was helpful for deciding what type of maintenance you might need on your vehicle in the near future, but there’s always more that you can learn about when it comes to your car.

Learn more about how your car works by visiting our Auto Parts section.

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