Your car's suspension system – the shocks and struts – are responsible for more than just giving you a smooth ride. A failing suspension system can also make a car harder to steer, because it's more likely to swerve or pull when braking, hitting bumps, or driving at highway speeds. This can be a major safety concern, so it's important that you are aware of the following signs that indicate that your suspension system may need to be repaired.
Sign #1: Steering wheel vibration
One of the first signs of failing shocks or suspension issues is vibration. You will often feel this first in your hands as they grip the steering wheel. This is because bad shocks result in every slight bump and vibration from the road to be felt. As the problem worsens, you may also feel vibration through the seat or even the floorboards.
Sign #2: Swerving when turning
As the condition of the shocks continues to worsen, you will notice that the car will swerve more into any turn – whether it's a right angle turn onto another street or a simple curve in the road. This is because the shocks can't absorb the weight of the vehicle as you turn anymore, so the full weight of your car is going into each turn of the steering wheel and causing the car to really swerve into the turn. This can be dangerous, since you may overshoot a turn and be in an accident if you don't compensate for the swerve.
Sign #3: Uneven wear on the tires
You may end up needing new tires if you don't get the suspension repaired. This is because the tires will begin to wear unevenly from the car bouncing down the road or swerving from the bad shocks. The uneven wear will be inconsistent between the tires when it's due to bad shocks, which means that the overly worn patches will occur in random areas on the tread.
Sign #4: Tapping noises
Eventually the bushings on the shocks will snap at the attachment points. At this point the ride will be very bouncy and you will feel the car sink down very low when you get into it. Even more obvious will be an obvious tapping noise each time you drive over even a slight bump. This noise occurs when the shocks smack back together at the broken attachment points as you bounce the car over a bump.
Contact an auto repair shop, such as Oak Hollow Tire Car Care Center Inc, in your area if you suspect suspension issues.