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The primary function of your vehicle's suspension and steering systems is to allow the wheels to move independently of the car, while keeping it "suspended" and stable. Any play or uncontrolled motion in these systems can result in a deterioration of handling and accelerated tire wear. Vehicle alignment is closely tied to the condition of the suspension and steering systems.

(Read our article "Hear a Noise When Turning the Wheel?)

Steering Systems

Worn or loose steering system components affect the ability to control the toe angle, and may result in a loss of directional stability and accelerated tire wear. The main components of a conventional system are:

  • Steering gear box
  • Center link
  • Pitman arm
  • Idler arm

(Read our post "5 Symptoms of Suspension Trouble and Their Causes.")

The main components of a Rack and Pinion steering system are:

  • Rack and pinion assembly
  • Bellows boots
  • Tie rods


Suspension System

Worn or loose components affect the suspension system's ability to control motion and alignment angles, resulting in a deterioration of vehicle handling and stability, as well as accelerated tire wear. The main components of the suspension system are:

  • Control arms
  • Ball joints
  • Springs (coil or leaf)
  • Shock absorbers
  • Struts
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