Vehicle Suspension

Vehicle Suspension 101: What You Need to Know for Your Ride

Upgrading and personalizing your car is a must for any gearhead or driver looking to improve their ride. But with how complex a car is, there’s a lot of areas where you can enhance your vehicle. From the exhaust system to the exterior, you can get lost in what’s crucial.

That’s when you can count on the experts, like Loper’s Performance Center. We’re the largest speed shop in Arizona and have been around since 1967. In this blog, we pinpoint one crucial vehicle element: the suspension.

What Is the Suspension?

A vehicle’s suspension system includes the tires, springs, shock absorbers, and linkages between the vehicle and its wheels. All of these elements combine to give the driver more control. In fact, the suspension system supports both ride handling and ride quality.

Suspension systems simply aim to keep tires against the road. This is crucial because roads aren’t flat; there’s dips, inclines, potholes, or other odd changes to the driving surface. The suspension ensures there’s friction between the two. On top of these benefits, a suspension helps a vehicle not wear as quickly and provides even wear to the tires.

What Are the Different Types of Suspension?    

Vehicle suspension might sound relatively straightforward. But like any car part, there’s intricacies behind it. The same is true with the suspension in that there’s several different types of suspensions. In fact, there’s 8 common types:

  1. Multi-link suspension: Mostly featured on premium cars, multi-link has multiple links between the car frame and wheel assembly. This is a complex build, and damage to the suspension will result in an expensive repair.
  2. Rigid Axle Suspension: The rigid axle, or beam axle, suspension has an axle perpendicular to the vehicle. While more durable, this system’s set up calls for ease when repairing and replacing.
  3. Macpherson Suspension: The Macpherson system is one of the most common systems. It features a simple design and ability to provide both comfort and control.
  4. Independent Suspension: This system gets its name from each wheel having its own suspension system. It might sound rough, but it actually offers a very comfortable ride.
  5. Rigid Suspension – Leaf Spring: Leaf springs support a lot of weight, so they’re ideal for commercial vehicles. Yet, they don’t provide much comfort and support very high speeds.
  6. Trailing Arm Suspension: A trailing suspension isn’t used for heavy duty vehicles, because its steel arm could get bent easily. So, you can likely find these on the rear wheel of a motorcycle.
  7. Double Wishbone Suspension: This suspension system is a sophisticated one, because it has 2 A-shaped arms. Thus, it offers great control and comfort, making it an extremely efficient suspension.
  8. Air Suspension: An air suspension system is likely found on a luxury car, sports car, or even trucks and buses. They support significant load bearings and compress and decompress to adjust the ride height of the vehicle.

Signs of a Worn Suspension 

Whether you listen or not, your vehicle is always communicating to you how it’s doing. One thing you’ll want a keen ear for is deciphering any suspension issues. Within your suspension, you can notice a problem for either bad struts or bad shocks. You might have bad struts if you notice clunking noises when hitting a bump, a bumpy ride overall, hovering front end, or irregular tire wear. On the other hand, you might have bad shocks if you notice noticeable vibrations while driving, erratic braking, fluid leakage, or also irregular tire wear.

How Can I Improve My Suspension? 

Even if your suspension system is on the fritz or maybe you’re just looking to upgrade your current suspension, you aren’t powerless in your control to improve the suspension. A few things include:

  • Installing anti-roll bars or sway bars
  • Installing strut tower braces
  • Installing coilovers
  • Installing high-performance tires

If you’re used to working with your vehicle, then don’t hesitate to look into one of these processes for you and your ride. But if you’re a novice, we recommend counting on an expert mechanic. You’ll be happy to make the professional investment; it’ll result in a better and safer ride.

Contact Loper’s Performance Center for a Free Quote 

Want to improve and transform your vehicle? Then don’t hesitate. Contact Loper’s Performance Center today for a free quote for our professional services. You’ll quickly learn how we’ve remained the largest speed shop in Arizona for over 50 years. Feel free to also browse our website to learn more about us or keep up with our blog for frequent automotive advice and insight.