Understanding your car's suspension system

The suspension system is an essential part of a vehicle which includes springs, shock absorbers, control arms, bushings, sway bars, ball joints and struts.

The main purpose is to keep your tyres in contact with the road, provide passenger comfort and carry loads safely.

Good suspension provides predictable handling and a smooth ride, while minimising tyre wear.

An introduction to shock absorbers

Usually shock absorbers wear slowly and can deteriorate undetected by the driver.

The symptoms of wear can include;
- nose diving when braking,
- body roll on corners
- longer braking distance, and
- the vehicle continues bouncing when the corner of the car is compressed heavily then released.

A visual inspection may show signs of leakage and/or damage.

Shock absorbers should always be replaced in pairs and ideally all four replaced at the same time.

Your suspension should be checked with each regular service and any time you notice any of the symptoms mentioned.

Suspension testing

Many workshops employ specific diagnostic equipment that can identify faulty suspension components before they become a safety issue.

To help select the appropriate shock absorbers for your car, talk to your Repco Authorised Service centre about any special driving requirements you have like towing heavy loads, or off-roading.

This will guide your technician to provide the right type of shock absorbers for your needs.

Remember, if your suspension is not functioning properly, it will adversely affect your brakes, tyres, steering and vehicle control.

Check out our RAS Auto Facts video below about Shock Absorbers.