The safety and comfort of your drive greatly depends on your vehicle’s suspension system. If a road is fully flattened, there would be very little use for suspensions but of course, that is not the case. With the vehicle’s axles and wheels connected to the suspension system, the main objective of the car suspension is to ensure that there is an appropriate amount of friction between your tires and the ground it travels on. This is so vehicles are given reliable stability, easy handling and consistent contact with the road. In this article, we discuss how a car’s suspension system works and the fundamental parts that ensure its constructive functionality.


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Dependent VS Independent Suspension Systems

Suspension systems are divided into independent and dependent variants. A dependent suspension is typically ideal for rigorous off-road terrain. It has a solid axle which goes across the width of the frame. With this system, opposite wheels work together as a team. When one turns to a particular side, the other follows. While built for tough conditions, a dependent system may cause an increase in unsprung weight which can elevate the vibration felt while driving. It can be reduced, however, if the differential is mounted on the vehicle’s frame rather than on the axle. On the other hand, an independent suspension system doesn’t have a connecting axle which means that a bump on one wheel will not create a reaction to the others. The preferred setup of today’s manufacturers, the independent suspension system is popular for the more comfortable driving quality it bestows.

The true measure of a quality suspension system is its ability in providing consistent traction and the maintenance of even weight distribution. Control is essential when it comes to a suspension system. For example, when accelerating forward, the rear suspension should prevent weight shifting towards the rear so the vehicle doesn’t accidentally launch itself upwards. When braking, the front suspension should ensure proper stability so as to avoid the vehicle from involuntarily jerking forward.

The Components of Your Car Suspension

Considering only the basics, a vehicle suspension system includes the springs and the dampening mechanisms. All the bumps, vibrations and other obstacles on the road surface which are absorbed by the tires are passed on to the spring and then to the shock absorber mechanism which dampens the impact. The springs are fundamental components which grant your vehicle the ability to overcome irregular roads while providing reliable support to the vehicle weight and any other additional weight without sagging. There are three types of springs being integrated to today’s systems. The simple and easy to install leaf springs were utilized since the early days on heavy duty vehicles. Finally, we have the coil springs which are torsion bars coiled around an axis that shrink and expand to conform to the wheel’s movements. These coil springs are often the main choice to be utilized for the vehicles of today.

The shock absorber effectively reduces the movement of the suspension springs while minimizing vibrations. When the vehicle encounters road obstacles, the energy is moved to the wheel then to the upper mount and the piston road of the shock absorber.

Suspensions struts are actually still shock absorbers, but the main difference is that they are integrated into a coil spring. This dampener is designed to minimize spring force impact while improving the suspension system’s structural support. Adding to that, unlike shock absorbers, the suspension struts would effectively support the vehicle weight.

A suspension system must be kept in good condition. Each damaged suspension part is certain to decrease your ride’s stability, reduce driver control, and also affect the quality of other suspension components. When it comes to the best prices for high end suspension components, trust Automotive Stuff. From coil springs of various spring rates to reliable shocks and struts to complete coilover kits, we carry just about every suspension solution you need to make certain your two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive remains firm on the surface.