When to Repair or Replace Your Car’s Suspension?

Have you suddenly started experiencing bumpy rides with your car or are you noticing your car leaving oil stains on the road? If you notice any of the above signs, your vehicle’s suspension system may be requiring your attention! 

A vehicle’s suspension system can make or break your driving experience. Just like a bad back can ruin your daily activities, a faulty suspension system can turn your ride into a nightmare experience. 

Unfortunately, most drivers often overlook their car’s suspension system. Unlike other vehicle parts like the engine, brake system, tyres, or transmission, they hardly pay attention to it. 

The bottom line: Neglecting the suspension system and its upkeep can cause serious issues with vehicle performance. A faulty suspension system can be troublesome, especially during applying brakes or negotiating a turn. Therefore, it is in the best interest of your car to take good care of the suspension system and consider its maintenance seriously.  

Luckily, your vehicle’s suspension system signals you about what trouble it is experiencing. The post lists some common signs your car needs suspension repair or replacement.

What does the suspension do?

A car’s suspension is responsible for giving a smooth ride. However, it’s not limited to this function only. A suspension system comprises numerous parts, all serving different functions that together enable your vehicle to perform optimally. 

A vehicle’s suspension system acts as a shield of shock-absorbent components, such as dampers and springs. It helps enhance safety and comfort during your drive by effectively absorbing energy from road bumps and other kinetic impacts. 

Additionally, it plays a crucial role in keeping your tyres firm on the road surface, improving traction and increasing friction for better handling.

Some of the primary components of a suspension system are:

  • Shock absorbers: Dampen the wheel movement and prevent excessive bouncing.
  • Springs: Help absorb shocks and deliver a comfortable ride by rebounding and compressing as the vehicle moves.
  • Struts: Similar to shock absorbers but provide structural support to the suspension system.
  • Ball joints: Make your wheels move up and down while maintaining their connection to the suspension system.
  • Control arms: Link the suspension system to the car frame and help maintain the correct wheel alignment. 

Of the above, the springs and shocks are the two primary components of a suspension system. If you were to drive without one, the entire kinetic impact would be directly transferred to your vehicle’s frame. As a result, your car will deliver an extremely uncomfortable and challenging driving experience. 

This lack of suspension could also lead to dangerous situations on the road. The tyres would lose their grip, causing them to bounce and jeopardise control over the vehicle, potentially resulting in accidents.

Signs your car needs suspension repair

Here are the tell-tale signs your car needs suspension repair or replacement: 

  • Bumpy, rough rides

This is one of the most noticeable indicators of a worn-out suspension system. If you start feeling every turn or bump and small potholes on the road inside the car, it means the suspension system is damaged and needs some fixing. 

In most cases, it’s a sign that the piston-cylinder assembly inside the shock absorber of the suspension is damaged and needs to be replaced. Alternatively, the problem could even be due to a worn-out strut.

In that case, it’s essential to have the entire suspension assembly checked by a mechanic to ensure everything is functioning properly. 

  • Nose diving 

Do you feel your car’s body jerk forward when applying brakes? When you apply the brakes, it transfers the car’s weight to the front. If the shocks and struts are damaged, you would nose dive straight on the dashboard. 

Nose diving could be catastrophic during situations when you have to apply emergency brakes to avoid collisions. It interferes with your vehicle’s ability to stop within the required distance. Nose diving can add as much as 20% to your car’s stopping distance.

To prevent such dangerous situations and ensure a smooth and stable stop, timely repair of your suspension system is necessary.

  • Leaky suspension

If you notice any oil leakage beneath the car, it’s time to visit the workshop. Suspension specialist Melbourne explains that faulty shock absorbers are the main cause of leaky suspension. Continuous leaking of oil can impact the performance of shocks and struts and can ruin your driving experience. 

As such, shock absorber replacement is what your vehicle needs. Replacing the shock absorbers can be expensive, but it will greatly help prevent other mechanical and driving problems.

  • Rattling noise 

Hearing a rattling noise from the front end of your car? It could indicate a faulty suspension system. The most probable cause of this issue is worn-out ball joints. These parts of the suspension system handle a lot of stress and might wear out before other components.

  • Uneven wear tyre 

If you feel a drift or pull to one side when negotiating a turn, there might be a problem with the car’s suspension. This happens due to the suspension system’s inability to counteract the centrifugal forces that arise when navigating a turn. 

When you initiate a turn, these centrifugal forces attempt to push the car inward or outward, depending on the direction of the turn.

Consider this concern seriously and take prompt action. Bring your car to the service centre and request a comprehensive inspection of the car’s suspension system.

  • Bounce test 

Besides the above signs, the bounce test can help you check whether your suspension system needs repair. Here’s how you can perform a DIY bounce test:

  • Park your vehicle on a level surface. 
  • Apply full body pressure to the front of the car, and then repeat the exercise at the rear. 
  • Perform this process twice or thrice for the front and rear sections. 
  • Now, observe the car’s response carefully. If you notice the car shaking even after releasing the force, it indicates potential wear and tear in the suspension system. 
  • In such cases, you may need to consider replacing or repairing the damaged components to ensure proper maintenance.


The suspension system is a crucial component of a car, as it plays a significant role in providing a smooth, safe, and comfortable driving experience. Recognising the signs of suspension issues, whether they are obvious, like leakage, nose-diving, or a bumpy ride, or more subtle signs like uneven tyre wear, is essential for maintaining your car in top-notch condition.

By staying aware of these signs and taking prompt action when necessary, you can avoid the risks of accidents and costly repairs. Regular maintenance, inspection, and timely repair of the suspension system are key to preventing further damage, ultimately contributing to a more pleasant driving experience.

Consulting a professional car mechanic near you is highly advisable for regular inspection and maintenance of the suspension system. 

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