The engine and paint job may top your checklist when you first take a car for a test drive, but they're far from the only important considerations. Your suspension, like janitorial services, is most obvious when it's not doing its job right. As a result, it may not get as much preventative love as the rest of the car but is still a critical system responsible for giving you a smooth ride.
Whether you've just heard you need some serious suspension work or are hoping to proactively do some maintenance to keep your suspension in good shape, here are four things that can cause damage and extra wear and tear on your suspension that you should consider.
1. Bumpy, Pothole-Filled Roads
Bumps and potholes aren't fun, but they're also no good for your suspension. If you have to drive on bad roads frequently, the best thing you can do for your suspension is to drive slowly and try to avoid the bumps. Driving through potholes quickly increases the amount of force that your suspension has to dissipate in order to keep you comfortable.
Remember, if it feels bumpy to you, it feels much worse to your shocks - their job is to absorb all that energy and make your ride more smooth. So the harder you hit each pothole, the more you wear down your shocks.
Driving on these bumpy roads can be especially damaging if you're carrying or towing a heavy load at the time, which puts even more strain on the car.
2. Road Salt
If you live in a cold part of the country, you're probably quite used to driving on roads that are often spread with salt, sand, or both. Salt is a very effective way to reduce ice on the roadway. The problem with salt, however, is that your tires kick it up onto your car while you're driving, where it often remains.
Since your undercarriage (including suspension components) is so exposed to this effect, your suspension is quite vulnerable to the corroding work that salt can do. And when mixed with water, salt becomes an even stronger corrosive agent.
To protect your suspension, and the rest of your car's exposed underbody, use a pretreatment specially formulated to keep salt from sticking. You can also rinse the salt off by hand after driving.
3. Old Age
Like humans, cars tend to become more fragile with age. The longer a car part is in service, the more wear and tear it accumulates and the more likely it is to fail. Your suspension is no different.
Not only can older suspension parts be more likely to fail from old age, but they're also more susceptible to other problems, such as rust and bumpy roads.
4. Lack of Maintenance
Taking your car in for regular maintenance is recommended for a number of reasons. Your suspension needs it just as much as your engine oil does, although not necessarily at the exact same intervals. Neglecting this periodic care of your suspension can make all the difference between catching a small problem early and being stranded by a broken suspension spring.
In addition, lack of maintenance can allow low lubrication levels to go unfixed, which puts much more wear and tear on your suspension than it's designed to handle.
These four issues can all cause suspension problems, ranging from mild to stuck-on-the-side-of-the-road severe. For more information about how to take care of your car's suspension and avoid possible problems down the road, get in touch with Walnut Creek Import Service and Sales today. We're always happy to help, so feel free to give us a call or submit our contact form on our website.