The main role of your vehicle's suspension and steering systems is to support the weight of your car so you can have a smooth ride and stable directional control of your car. Although they're two separate systems, they rely on each other to keep your car running in a good condition.
Unfortunately, steering and suspension systems will become damaged over time especially when constantly met with rough roads or hitting curbs. When these damages happen, it can become difficult to control your car and you will eventually feel every little bump on the road.
Fixing steering and suspension problems starts by checking they are working perfectly well to ensure you're safe and comfortable when driving. That being said, it's best to identify the most common car steering and suspension problems so you'll know how to fix them or know when it's time to call an auto body repair technician to take a look at it.
Symptoms of Bad Steering and Suspension and How to Fix Them
Don't wait for your steering and suspension to be faulty before having them regularly inspected. It's best to schedule a regular checkup, perhaps every 50,000 miles. You can also include it any time your car is in for routine service. Here are the symptoms that you should look out for so you know when you need steering repair & auto suspension repair.
✨ Tires shake or wander - Shaky tires are an indication that your suspension system is faulty. You'll know if the problem is caused by a loose wheel by shaking your wheels individually. If one of them moves independently, there must be a loose lug nut.
How to Fix: You can easily solve this problem by tightening the loose parts. If the part is damaged, it's best to have them replaced immediately.
✨ Problems while driving on uneven roadways or dips - Damaged springs can cause one corner of your car to sit lower than the opposite side. Other than sagging, it can also cause noise as you drive and may be difficult to control your car in certain situations like when driving on uneven roadways. This can also cause your car to dip or nose-dive when coming to a stop.
How to fix: When you experience dips or nose-dives when driving, especially when coming to a stop, your shock absorbers may need to be replaced. To diagnose the problem, give your car a bounce test by pushing down and releasing a corner of your car on level ground. If your car bounces more than once before it settles, your shock absorbers must be damaged and need to be replaced.
✨ Having difficulties when steering - Struggling to steer the wheel is a sign of a faulty suspension. It may be a sign that your power steering fluid is low or there may be a leak in the rack. This will make it difficult to steer when driving. It can also feel like it's hard to take control of your car and steer towards the direction you want to go.
How to fix: The first thing you should do is check if you have enough fluid. If the levels are low, adding fluid will fix the problem. If your fluid levels are good but you still have difficulty in steering, it's time to schedule a repair with your trusted mechanic.
✨ Vibrating steering wheel - If you feel the vibration on your steering when you drive, there could be a problem with the tires or suspension system. Unbalanced tires can impact your suspension and axle which causes the steering wheel to vibrate. This vibration or pulse is not normal and you should let a mechanic check your vehicle.
How to fix: The best way to fix this is by making sure all wheels are positioned in the same direction. Just check your tire's tread and see if the tires are worn unevenly. You can also schedule a routine tire balancing service in order to fix this problem.
✨ Steering seems to be slipping - Worn steering belts, leaking or faulty steering pumps, and worn steering rack mounts are the most common problems that cause your steering wheel to slip or get loose.
How to Fix: The best way to solve this problem is to have the worn down and faulty parts replaced with original equipment-quality or high-quality ones.
✨ Vehicle is still bouncing after going over a bump - There are a number of reasons why your car still bounces after hitting a bump. This could be because your wheels are misaligned, your tires are unevenly worn, or perhaps your struts and shock absorbers are already worn down.
How to Fix: The first thing you need to check is your tires. Make sure that they're in good condition. A tire that is improperly inflated or unevenly inflated can cause a bouncy ride. If it's not that, check your struts and shock absorbers and replace them if needed.
✨ Car pulling to the side - If small problems are left unnoticed, your car pulling to one side when driving is a sign that the problem has worsened. This could be the result of incorrect wheel alignment or uneven tire pressure. When this happens, the car will drift in one direction when the steering wheel is released and the steering wheel doesn't normally return to its original position.
How to Fix: The best way to solve this is to take your car to the repair shop to correct the wheel alignment. If not, perhaps you just need to add some air to your tires to make sure that all tires have the right amount of pressure.
What to expect on a suspension and steering service
Different automobile repair shops have different standards and processes when it comes to suspension and steering repair. All you have to do is find certified technicians that can examine all of your steering and suspension components so you can be sure that they're operating properly.
A team of professional technicians from a trusted auto body repair shop services like Car Geeks can help take care of all your steering and suspension repair needs. These are the parts that they will inspect. You can also inspect these parts yourself if you have extra time on your hands and the right tools to work with.
✨ Uneven wear or tires
✨ Alignment issues
✨ Power steering fluid
✨ Steering wheel alignment
✨ Out-of-balance tires
✨ Impacts or Struts
✨ Tightness of bolts and nuts
✨ Used or loose power steering belts
If you feel something wrong with your steering and suspension when driving, don’t neglect it. It’s a sign that your car needs to be checked. Now that you know the most common steering and suspension problems of your car and how to fix them, it’s best to put everything you learned into action. After all, if you neglect a small problem, it can worsen and become an even bigger problem and this means money right out of your pocket.
You can easily diagnose the steering and suspension problems of your car on your own. But if you don’t have the right tools or the time to do it, you can always call a team of professional technicians to help you. Just schedule a regular car service and have them look at your steering and suspension systems.