Is Your Car’s Suspension Safe for Driving on Icy Roads?

Suspension Service - AAMCO Colorado
There are several parts to a ca’s suspension that work together to create a comfortable ride for you. After the roads get bad in winter, there is a lot of snow and ice left in the middle of the streets making your ride bumpy. Make sure the suspension is in good condition in order to have a safe drive.

Components of a Car’s Suspension

A vehicle’s suspension includes every part that you can see underneath your car connecting the wheels to the frame. It is there to keep your car up off the road and to keep the tires in contact with the road surface. The suspension allows your tires to move up and down as you’re driving and keeps your car level so you experience a smooth ride.

The suspension system is combined of shocks, struts, and coil springs. The struts control the movement of the coil springs and suspension to help your tires keep in contact with the road. The coil springs in particular work with your shocks and struts to lower how much your vehicle bounces. Springs can be tightened to keep your car from moving up and down too much. It is important to make sure all of these parts are working together properly so you have a safe ride on winter roads.

Effects on Suspension from Icy Road Conditions

When winter comes around, several things can cause issues with your suspension system. In general, the parts can rust on their own. However, in the winter, salt is put down on icy roads to help with driving conditions and this salt makes the coil springs corrode easier and fail over time. These days, springs are also made lighter and thinner, making them more prone to break after the salt causes them to rust. This ultimately will cause your suspension to collapse or cause tire damage. Getting your car washed regularly throughout winter can help reduce the amount of corrosion so make sure the undercarriage gets washed out too.

It is important to keep up on suspension service and maintenance at least once a year, because if there are issues with the system, this will affect your vehicle’s traction. Be aware if your car seems to bounce more while you’re driving, it bottoms out, the front end loses control when stopping suddenly, you tend to swerve more when changing lanes, your car starts to pull to one side, you notice uneven wear on your tires, the shocks are leaking oil, or if your car is sagging in the front/rear as these are signs that it is time for a suspension service as well as shocks and struts repair.

How to Test If Your Suspension Is Winter Ready

In order to make sure your car is ready to drive on the snow and ice, you can do some tests on your own. This can be done by performing what is called a bounce test. Start by putting your car on a flat surface with it in park. Push firmly on one side of the vehicle, if it bounces slightly and comes back smoothly in one motion, your suspension should be good to go. If the vehicle rocks back and forth many times, there may be a problem.

You can then test the car while you are driving it. Pay attention if you feel vibrating in the steering wheel or seat and if the car shakes more than normal over bumpy roads. If any of this happens, there could be an issue with the struts and shocks, keeping them from absorbing the impact on the car from the road conditions.

If you find any irregularities in your car after testing it, Schedule an Appointment to have a suspension service done before driving on icy roads. Visit an AAMCO Denver or AAMCO Colorado Springs location for a FREE diagnostic test today!

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