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07 Jul 2017 - 08:44:15

Suspension Care and Maintenance

New car or old, suspension maintenance is a highly important care item for any vehicle, specially if that car or truck sees more than commuting use. In the case of a used car, there can be that feeling that you may have overlooked something in checking the car’s suspension.

As a car guy, you should be spending almost as much time and effort in caring for your car’s suspension as you would in detailing your engine. With a lot of interest in drifting and time attack events nowadays, not to mentioned the stanced movement, having a well-maintained suspension is essential to maintaining your cred as a car guy.

A proactive maintenance attitude when it comes to your ride is always a good thing. Thankfully, suspension component checks are not as complicated as checking sensor values or tracing vacuum leaks in an engine. The best reference for knowing what to check on your car is the owner’s manual. Manufacturers will give out the specific areas of inspection when checking your suspension, and this is the best place to start.

Even if you’ve replaced your car’s OEM components with, say, a coilover suspension, suspension componentry will still consist of springs, dampers, strut assemblies, control arms/locating links, tie rods, and bushings. Some builders may replace suspension arms and geometries, or even suspension types, but then if you’re at that kind of skill level Launch CReader 6001, you shouldn’t be bothering to read this article.

Unless you slam your car onto kerbs or use it for weekend rallies, what will usually wear out on suspensions are the points of movement, which would mean end links, tie rods, and bushings. In time, metal fatigue will affect the spring rates on springs like those found on coilover suspensions. How fast the spring will lose its specified rate will depend on its quality, but we’re talking about more than a few years in any case. Sometimes, all the maintenance you need to do is a grease job. Again, the owner’s manual will specify which areas you need to do. When it comes to tie rods or rod ends, however, few cars nowadays come with grease fittings. So, when these wear out, you have no choice but to replace the part. Depending on the complexity of the linkage, rod ends are easy to do x431 pro mini. Just ensure that you measure the overall lengths carefully before you remove parts, so you can approximate the proper suspension geometry when you put it all together. Remember that an alignment check is necessary every time you replace a tie rod to ensure that you don’t suffer premature tire wear.

Bushings are another wear item that you need to replace. A lot of enthusiasts choose urethane bushings over stock replacements, but be ready for a harsher ride in return for sharper handling. It would be a mistake to get cheap China replacements, specially for suspension arm bushings. Because of the labor involved in pressing these components out and replacing them, you will end up paying for a lot of labor if you choose to use the stuff that degrades easily. Also keep an eye out for the boots that protect the CV joints. The boots themselves are cheap but the CV joints are not. There’s no excuse for driving around with torn CV joint boots.

Shock absorbers are not normally rebuildable, unless you buy high end competition units which have no place in a used car for the street. Leaks are a sure indication that these things need replacement. With the huge variety of choices out there, there’s a set that is sure to fit your budget.

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