It’s a fact of life for vehicle owners: One thing prone to wearing down after years and years of use is the vehicle’s suspension. Given how crucial it is to the rest of the car functioning well, it is obviously better if you can catch the problem before it gets too bad. This leads to a question: Just how do you tell if your Toyota car or truck has some suspension troubles? To assist you in that area, our Westbury Toyota expert mechanics have written up a list of five of the most common signs of suspension problems for drivers here on Long Island.
When your car is parked on a level surface, all four corners should be of equal height. However, if you have noticed that one corner is sitting lower than the rest, it is indicative of a damaged spring. If this is the case, you might also hear clunking sounds when driving over bumpy terrain and, in addition, you may find that your vehicle’s ability to corner properly is hampered. While a blown shock is not catastrophic, it is definitely something that should be fixed sooner rather than later.
You can test to see if your springs are shot by pressing down on the trunk (or rear bumper on a truck) and then letting go. If the suspension reacts with a squealing or creaking sound, it is highly likely that one or more of the springs are in need of replacing.
It's normal to feel some bumps in the road when driving, but if those bumps are magnified and very uncomfortable, it is very likely that either the struts or shocks (or both) are worn down and in need of replacing. Shock absorbers are meant to keep your tires on the road and when they are not working as they should be, the end result is a lot of unnecessary bouncing while driving. You can check to see if this is the issue by leaning all your weight on the front end of your vehicle when it is parked and then letting go. If the vehicle bounces side to side more than a couple times, the struts and/or shocks are in need of replacing.
A worn or damaged suspension can lead to problems with steering, particularly if it is quite difficult to steer at lower speeds. If it feels like the steering wheel is slipping when you turn or hold the wheel in a turning position, the culprit may be the suspension. Steering issues are not something that should go unattended as they can eventually impact your safety and that of other motorists here on Long Island, so be sure to book your car in as soon as you notice them.
Over the course of your everyday driving duties, your vehicle should remain fairly stable when you accelerate and brake. If, on the other hand, you notice any of the following, there is something wrong with the suspension:
Braking too hard, accelerating too quickly, and turning too sharply can lead to these situations even in a new car. However, if you experience them while driving normally, it is time to book your car in with one of the technicians here at Westbury Toyota.
It needs to first be said that this issue can also be a sign of other problems, such as tire alignment or broken tie rods. If your car is pulling to one side, you should definitely book it in for an assessment as quickly as possible, as it is very hard to pinpoint just what is leading to the issue. It could be the suspension, particularly if you are prone to driving through potholes or running a tire over a curb from time to time. If you are experiencing this issue in combination with another sign listed here, it is a safe bet that the suspension is in need of professional attention.
It is always better to react sooner rather than later to potential problems with your vehicle. Letting them go unaddressed can lead to costlier, more severe problems in the long run. If you find that your vehicle is exhibiting one or more signs listed in this article, it is probably safe to say that the suspension needs some work. Be sure to call and schedule an appointment with our team of trusted Toyota mechanics as soon as you can to avoid further damage or breakdowns.