The steering and suspension system on your vehicle is responsible for maintaining comfortable riding conditions and driving performance. The steering and suspension system also helps drivers remain in control of their vehicles at all times. The suspension system converts forward energy created by bumps in the road into vertical energy that travels up into the vehicle frame. Suspension system components, like coil springs and shock absorbers, help to dampen the impact of this road force. While the individual components comprising each suspension system may vary, all suspension system components will weaken over time through stress applied during normal driving conditions. Similarly, off-road driving and erratic driving can wear down suspension components more quickly. Regardless of your driving preferences, we have the necessary equipment to identify and correct any issue plaguing your steering and suspension system. Our staff is trained to inspect the steering and suspension components in order to determine whether your service will entail a minor adjustment or a replacement.
Pick up your phone and give us a call at (336) 365 5000 to schedule your appointment. A member of our staff will walk you through our replacement process to help you understand the process and put your mind at ease.
The suspension system allows your tires to maintain constant contact with the road, especially on uneven surfaces like bumps and potholes. Ball joints are ball-and-socket joints located between the control arm and the steering knuckle.
Ball joints act as the pivot point between the wheels and the rest of the suspension system. They are designed to allow for movement in two planes at once while providing ease of rotation in those planes. They allow a vehicle’s suspension system to move up or down while the wheels turn left or right. Vehicles with shocks have upper and lower ball joints, while many vehicles with struts have only lower ball joints. Some ball joints are load-bearing and will wear faster than normal ball joints. As an important suspension component, ball joints are designed to experience wear and tear, often in the form of friction. Like all suspension system components, ball joints have a maintenance schedule that can help prevent unexpected repairs or replacements.
Shock absorbers are components in your vehicle’s suspension system that help your tires remain in contact with the surface of the road. They dampen the impact of road force and absorb the rebound of springs and other suspension components. Front and rear shocks are designed to adjust to driving conditions, like bumps, potholes, and sudden maneuvers. They also reduce bounce rate, sway, and brake dive or acceleration squat. Modern day shocks are velocity-sensitive, which means that the faster the springs and other suspension components are moving, the more resistance provided by the shocks. Hydraulic shocks convert kinetic energy from the springs into thermal energy that the hydraulic fluid inside each shock absorbs and dissipates. When the suspension system bounces, hydraulic fluid is forced through holes inside the piston. This slows the compression of the piston, thereby slowing down spring and suspension movement. While hydraulic and gas shocks are the most common types of shocks used on vehicles today, some vehicles also use electronic and air shocks.
While the function of shocks and struts is very similar, the biggest difference is in how they mount to your vehicle. Shocks function in addition to other suspension components, while struts are designed as a pivot point for the steering mechanism. Struts behave as a dampening device that absorbs excessive bounce. The strut assembly combines coil springs, spring seats, strut bearings, and shock absorbers into one working unit. The steering arm or steering knuckle is also included in some strut designs. Struts use a piston to absorb high lateral loads. The spring seat and strut bearing allow the shock to pivot with the front wheels and the steering mechanism. Struts and accompanying suspension components help push tires back into place when one leaves the road. Overall, struts work in conjunction with the rest of the suspension system to help stabilize the vehicle while maintaining a comfortable and safe ride.
Connecting the wheels on opposite sides of the vehicle is a stabilizer bar called the sway bar. The sway bar is charged with controlling “body roll” by distributing the weight of your vehicle to both sides of the suspension. When your vehicle moves through a turn, the sway bar keeps the vehicle level by minimizing body roll through the transfer of vehicle weight to the outside wheels. It also maintains solid contact with the surface of the road through the compression of the suspension components on the inside wheels. Sway bar links are a crucial component in your vehicle’s suspension system. The sway bar links are what connect the suspension to the sway bar and transfer the force of motion from the wheels to the axles. When the vehicle turns or corners, the sway bar end links pull on the bar to resist body roll while stabilizing the force of motion and the weight of the vehicle.