The suspension system, including steering and brakes affect safety, and If something is going wrong with one of them it is not only going to affect performance, it may represent a dangerous situation in the future.
Since suspension and brake components are out of sight, how do you know when service is needed on them?
Car rides rough – If you begin to feel every bump in the road, and your car seems to bounce as it goes down the road, that can be a sign that your vehicle’s suspension needs work.
Pulling in the turns – With a suspension system which needs repair or servicing, you’ll often feel the vehicle “drift” or “pull” when you are in a turn. This basically means the components no longer have the tight tolerances and fit they did when they left the factory.
The nose dives when braking – When the shocks are worn out the front of the car may “dive” on sudden braking . It is time to do the bounce test to see if the back of the car needs shocks as well. Push down on the back of the car, and see if it bounces or absorbs your push.
Leaky shocks – If you can look under the vehicle, another way to evaluate your shocks is just to take a look directly at the shocks or struts. If they look greasy or oily, there’s a good chance that they are leaking and it may be time to replace them.
Uneven tire wear patterns – Take a look at the tread on your tires. If you notice uneven wear along one edge or unusual patterns of wear, then it may be something as simple as an alignment and shocks, or may indicate other worn suspension components.
Steering system – The fluid level and parts condition are important to monitor and maintain. Power steering fluid should be checked at 48,000 miles and can be replaced as needed. If the steering wheel is hard to turn or it feels like something is binding or dragging, that may indicate repairs or service is needed. You may notice that your steering wheel is very easy to move and feels sloppy. That may indicate worm and sector or rack and pinon wear. Either of these conditions should be a cue to have it checked out.
Maintaining brakes – Disc brakes have a rotor that is connected to the wheel. Brake pads grind against the rotor, creating friction, which brings the car to a stop. Over time, brake pads and rotors will wear down and have to be replaced. Drum brakes work on the same principal. A drum is attached to the wheel and when the brake pedal is depressed, brake shoes press against the drum, slowing the vehicle. Brake shoes, like pads will wear out over time.
At Escondido Auto Tech, we have a full line of manufacturer certified diagnostic tools. The tools, scanners and equipment are the same or better than those used in dealership service departments. Schedule an electrical inspection at Escondido Auto Tech by calling us at (760)745-4454.