A car can have a very sleek and stylish design, but one thing that it must have in order to give you a smooth and comfortable ride is a good suspension system. Basically, a car’s suspension system is the set of links, springs, and shock absorbers that connect the actual body of the car with the wheels. Because of this, a good suspension system will determine how stable or body-bruising your car will be.
- Front and rear suspension. If you do not know the type of suspension system installed in your car, there are several different possible answers. Generally, the two main types of suspension that are used in private cars are the front and rear suspension systems. Between the front and rear suspension systems, there are many other sub-types of suspension. The most commonly used type of suspension system is the independent front suspension type. An example of this is the commonly used McPherson strut that is used in many European cars.
- McPherson Strut. The McPherson Strut can be identified by glancing near the wheels or by looking through the hood of the car. In these types of suspension systems, the car is linked directly to the wheel through the car frame. The steering link is also directly attached to the wheels, and directly above both the steering link and the car frame are the shock absorbers and the springs. This is easily identifiable for most car owners. To identify dependent rear suspension systems, on the other hand, try looking for a leaf spring connected directly to the wheels. These are long curved pieces of metal that look like a bent leaf. There are also independent rear suspensions available, and these are usually labeled as four-wheel suspension cars. These have simpler suspension systems that work for all four wheels, while some front suspension systems have different suspension mechanism for front wheels and back wheels.
- Visual inspection. Usually, it is easy to tell what kind of suspension system a certain kind of car has using your eyes alone. Just check underneath the hood or under the car’s chassis to see what keeps the car moving smoothly. Another easy way to determine what type of car suspension system is installed is by looking at the model and the car manufacturer. Certain types of cars from certain types of companies usually work on the same suspension system.
- Specialty cars are different. Keep in mind, however, that there are also certain cars that are used for specific purposes such as racing, which have other, more specialized types of suspension systems. Some cars today are even beginning to use magnets for suspension. Trucks also have different suspension systems from the private car, especially because trucks need to be adjusted for heavier loads that are tougher on the wheels.
If everything under the car or the hood seems a bunch of tangles and unidentifiable car parts, you can always check your car manual or contact your car dealer for information about the type of suspension system for your car. By familiarizing yourself with your own car’s suspension system, however, it will be easier to troubleshoot problems that can arise in the future.