When we get into our cars, we expect a comfortable ride with easy handling, and we get excited about the slick designs, fancy tech, and cozy interiors of modern cars. It's easy to forget about safety and one of the components that make it all possible — the steering and suspension systems.
Car safety features, such as seat belts and automatic braking, can reduce the risk of a serious crash by 49%, but they aren’t the only precautions a car owner should rely on. Regular car maintenance is crucial to ensure you stay safe on the road. At Milex Complete Auto Care, we get that safety should be our top priority. That's why we emphasize the importance of steering and suspension systems, which are the backbone of a safe driving experience.
The steering system enables us to change directions, make turns, and navigate through intricate roadways. Without a well-functioning steering system, drivers would struggle to control the vehicle, leading to potential accidents. And the suspension system absorbs shocks from bumps, potholes, and rough terrain. It prevents excessive bouncing, allowing the tires to grip the road effectively, which is critical during emergency braking and evasive maneuvers by helping the car maintain stability and avoid skidding or loss of control.
Today’s steering wheels include a lot of bells and whistles. Many come with buttons to manage cruise control, play music, make phone calls, and adjust the interior temperature. But the steering system’s primary purpose is to allow the driver to control vehicle direction. It includes components such as the steering wheel, steering column, steering gear, and tie rods. When the driver turns the steering wheel, the system transfers that input to the wheels, enabling the vehicle to turn left or right.
Stay aware of issues impacting your steering to ensure your safety on the road. Here are some signs that you might need to get your steering checked:
- Steering wheel vibrations: If you notice vibrations, especially at high speeds, it could indicate a problem.
- Difficulty or noisy steering: If you find it increasingly challenging to turn the steering wheel, it might be a sign of issues with the power steering system or other steering components. Unusual noises when turning the steering wheel, such as squealing, whining, or clunking sounds, could also suggest problems.
- Drifting or pulling: If your vehicle tends to drift to one side or pulls in a particular direction when driving on a straight road, it could be a sign of alignment problems.
At the same time, the suspension system supports the vehicle's weight and includes components like springs, shock absorbers, struts, control arms, and various linkages. It keeps the wheels in contact with the road surface, maximizing traction and ensuring stability.
Detecting early signs of suspension problems is essential to ensure your vehicle's safety, stability, and overall performance. Let’s explore some common indicators of a problem.
- Tire wear: Uneven tire wear, especially on the inside or outside edges of the tires, could indicate misaligned or worn-out suspension components. Cupping or scalloped wear patterns may also be a suspension issue.
- Excessive bouncing: A bumpy ride may suggest that your suspension isn't effectively absorbing shocks. Be on the lookout for excessive vibrations through the steering wheel or the vehicle body.
- Nose diving or squatting: When you brake or accelerate, if you notice the front end of your car diving down or the rear end squatting, it could indicate worn-out or damaged shocks or struts.
- Unusual noises or leaks: Pay attention to any knocking, clunking, or squeaking noises from underneath the vehicle while driving or when going over bumps. These noises may be a sign of worn-out suspension components. Inspect the shock absorbers or struts for any signs of fluid leaks. Leaking fluid is an indicator of a failing suspension component.
- Tilted vehicle: If you notice that your vehicle is tilting to one side or appears lopsided, it could be due to a collapsed or damaged suspension component.
Bring Your Car to Milex
Technicians at Milex can fix problems with the steering or suspension in your vehicle to ensure your safety and improve your car’s performance. We have more than 50 years of experience helping customers with general automotive repair and maintenance. We strive to form long-term relationships with our customers and be a one-stop shop for all your car care needs.
Find a Milex location near you to get your car’s steering and suspension system checked out.