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Mountain_View_Tire_Repairs_Suspensions(This post was inspired by and includes content from Matthew Wright, Auto Repair Guide at About.com.)

Your car’s suspension system is designed to give you and your passengers a smooth and stable ride. If your vehicle has been riding roughly or handling poorly, there’s a good chance there’s something wrong with the suspension.

Here are five symptoms of suspension trouble and their possible causes.

1) Symptom: The vehicle pulls to one side or the other. Possible causes:

  • Low or uneven tire pressure. Have the tires filled with air or nitrogen if necessary.
  • The wheels are not aligned. Have the alignment checked and, if necessary, corrected.
  • Uneven wear on the front tires. If one or both of the front tires are wearing unevenly, have the alignment checked. If the tread on any tire is less than 1/16th of an inch deep, replace the tire.
  • The tie rods or steering rack could be bad. Have them checked, then repaired or replaced if necessary.
  • A brake caliper is sticking. Have your brakes inspected and repaired if necessary.

2) Symptom: The vehicle is hard to steer, especially while moving at a slower speed. Possible causes:

  • Low power steering fluid. Check the level and add fluid if needed.
  • Loose or worn power steering belt. Have the belt tightened or, if it's in bad shape, replaced.
  • Bad power steering pump. Have the pump checked for pressure and replaced if necessary.
  • Leaking power steering rack. This should be inspected for leaks and replaced if necessary.

3) Symptom: The vehicle bounces, dips or dives, or continues to bounce after driving over a bump. Possible causes:

  • Worn shocks or struts. These components are typically replaced about every 50,000 miles.
  • Broken or slipped leaf spring. Have the leaf springs inspected, then repaired or replaced if necessary.

4) Symptom: The steering wheel vibrates at highway speeds. Possible causes:

  • The wheels are out of balance. Wheel weights can fall off, so have the wheels re-balanced.
  • The tires are worn unevenly or excessively. If the tread is too low, replace the tire.
  • Loose wheel bolts. Have them checked to make sure they’re tight.
  • Warped brake rotor. Have your brakes inspected by a professional technician and the appropriate parts replaced if necessary.

5) Symptom: Loose or sloppy steering. The wheel may even wander from side to side. Possible causes:

  • Power steering fluid is low. Check the level and fill as necessary.
  • Worn strut bearings. Have the strut bearings checked for play. If they need to be replaced, they should be replaced in pairs.
  • Worn or broken tie rods or steering rack. Have the steering components inspected and replaced as necessary.
  • Worn ball joints. They should be inspected and, if necessary, replaced.
  • Broken steering rack mounts. If bad, they’ll either need to be repaired or replaced, depending on the vehicle type.

For any of these and other suspension problems, visit the Mountain View Tire location near you or make an online appointment.

Schedule an Appointment with us today!

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