Are you experiencing poor handling, excessive bouncing, or unusual noises? Are your tires wearing abnormally? These are signs that something is wrong with your car’s steering and suspension components. Worn out shocks and struts can drastically affect your braking distances, and if steering components are worn out you could lose control of your vehicle. Have one of our ASE certified technicians inspect your shocks, struts, and steering components to ensure your safety and to make sure that your tires are not wearing out prematurely.

Steering and Suspension Services

Visit Suburban Tire Auto Repair Centers for the repair and/or replacement of:

  • Air Ride Suspension Repairs
  • Ball Joints
  • Control Arms
  • Drag Links
  • Lift/Lowering Kit Installations
  • Pitman Arms
  • Power Steering Hoses
  • Power Steering Pumps
  • Rack and Pinion Steering Gears
  • Ride Height Adjustments
  • Shocks
  • Steering Stabilizers
  • Struts
  • Sway Bars and Links
  • Tie Rod Ends (Inner and Outer)

How Do the Steering and Suspension Systems Work?

Your vehicle’s steering and suspension systems work together to allow you to maneuver and properly control your car on the road, and to make for a comfortable ride.

Steering

When you turn the steering wheel, your steering input is transferred to the tires by the rack and pinion, which is connected to tie-rods which push and pull on the spindle or strut to change the steering direction angles of the tires.

Suspension

Your suspension system manages the vertical action of the tires as they travel over the imperfections of the road, dampening any bounces to keep the tires planted firmly in contact with the road. Because they control how well your tires are contacting the pavement, weak suspension components can increase your braking distance by as much as 20%.

Malfunctions in your steering or suspension systems will affect the safety and responsiveness of your car and affect ride comfort. If you notice changes in how your vehicle steers or feels, bring it down to any Suburban Tire locations for a free steering and suspension inspection.

Common Signs of Steering and Suspension Problems

These are some common indicators that it could be time for steering and suspension repairs:

  • Steering Pulls: If your steering wheel is level but your vehicle pulls to the left or right, that’s a sign that your wheel alignment is out. It could be that components such as your springs, struts, control arms, or tie rods are worn, or that you’ve hit a pothole and bent one of these components. If this is a problem, you should have your suspension inspected as a vehicle that is out of alignment will wear tires prematurely.
  • Rough Ride: As their name implies, your shock absorbers give passengers a comfortable ride by absorbing the shocks caused by imperfections in the road. Struts perform a similar function but are also tied into steering system. If these components are worn out, the crunch of a pothole will be felt more severely, and the vehicle will tend to continue to bounce repeatedly after hitting a rough patch.
  • High Mileage: Shocks and Struts travel up and down thousands of times per mile. By the time your odometer clicks over to 75,000 miles they are no longer working at peak efficiency to keep your tires planted firmly on the pavement. That’s roughly when most cars get their second set of tires. By then you will probably be experiencing more bouncing or shaking than when the car was new, but you may not notice this gradual change unless your shocks are leaking hydraulic fluid and it’s impacting the feel of your ride. Because shocks and struts are critical components in the control of the vehicle, and especially effect stopping distances, we recommend replacement of these items at 75,000 miles whether you are noticing a problem or not.
  • Knocking Noises Over Bumps: Instead of shock absorbers, some vehicles have struts that are tied into the steering system. If you have been hearing a knocking sound as you go over bumps, it may be that the strut is no longer properly attached to the vehicle, or one of its steering components. Let the experts at Suburban Tire inspect your vehicle for free to determine where the knocking noise is coming from.
  • Sagging: If one corner of your vehicle appears to be lower than the others, you may have a worn or broken spring. Your springs hold up the weight of the car all day everyday whether you are driving the vehicle or not, and over time they can sag or break. A broken spring can be dangerous as it cannot control the vehicle’s weight. We have also seen broken springs puncture a tire. So, if you notice a corner of your vehicle is sagging, bring your vehicle to Suburban Tire and ask us to measure the ride height of the vehicle to see if the sagging is causing the ride height to be out of specifications (which can also cause tire wear).
  • Steering is not right: You will know it when one of your steering components is worn or broken because the problem will be transmitted into the steering wheel and you will feel it in your hands while you drive. Problems with your rack and pinnion, power steering pump, or tie rods will transmit directly into the steering wheel. If your vehicle’s steering wheel does not have a smooth feel to it when you turn, or if it is hard to turn, please bring it to Suburban Tire so one of our Master Technicians can inspect the steering components.
  • Squeaking Noises While Turning: A ball joint is one of the steering components that in modern vehicles is usually pressed into the upper or lower control arm. It provides the pivot point for the tire as it turns. If your vehicle’s ball joints are worn, you may hear them struggle through turns. Do not wait to fix a noisy ball joint, as they hold the tire and spindle onto the vehicle. If one of them fails completely your vehicle will become inoperable. Our ASE certified technicians can test drive your vehicle and inspect your ball joints to see if they need to be replaced.