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Key signs of a damaged suspension

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Steering & Suspension Need to Know Technicians 1 min read

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Why suspension components take so much punishment and how to spot when they need repairing

In this piece, we’ll look at seven critical components within a vehicle’s suspension system, and what can go wrong with them.

Symptoms of poor or damaged suspension

One of the most obvious signs that a vehicle’s suspension needs attention is when your customer can feel bumps in the road more acutely. Suspension is a complex, multi-component system on the vehicle and this can add difficulty for the customer to describe the squeak, groan, or grind noise they’re experiencing. It’s best to replicate the fault on a short test drive with the customer if you can, to be sure you’re identifying what they’re reporting. This test drive time can be accounted for in the technician’s time, can increase first time diagnosis FTD, and can make all the difference in a positive customer service experience too.

An obvious symptom is when the vehicle drifts or pulls during turns. This means that the shocks are no longer up to the job of keeping the vehicle body stable when it’s turning. In extreme cases (and this is particularly true of commercial vehicles), this increases the chances of losing control of the vehicle, or even turning it over.

Problematic suspension can also increase stopping distances by up to 20% - a serious hazard. If your customer has noticed the vehicle’s bonnet lurching downwards while stopping, it’s a clear sign that the suspension needs attention.

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