If your drives are starting to feel less like a smooth cruise and more like a bumpy, jarring rollercoaster, your suspension system is likely ready for an upgrade.
Choosing the right replacement suspension parts for your vehicle can be overwhelming, but fear not! We’re here to provide tips on selecting the perfect parts to keep your ride in perfect condition.
Let’s dive in!
What Are Suspension Parts and Why Are They Important?
Suspension parts are components that make up a car’s suspension system and ensure a comfortable ride, better handling and stability, improved braking, and overall driving safety.
Some common suspension parts include:
- Shock absorbers: Hydraulic or pneumatic devices that help to absorb shocks and vibrations from the road.
- Struts: A type of shock absorber that provides structural support and dampens vibrations and impacts.
- Springs: Coiled metal components that provide support to the vehicle’s weight.
- Control arms: Linkages that connect the suspension system to the car’s chassis, allowing for movement and flexibility.
- Ball joints: Pivot points that connect the control arms to the steering knuckles, allowing for steering and movement.
- Sway bar: This component connects the suspension system on both sides of the vehicle, helping to reduce body roll and increase stability while turning.
- Bushings: These are rubber or polyurethane components that absorb vibration and provide cushioning between moving parts of the suspension system.
Various car manufacturers produce suspension parts to satisfy the different tastes of drivers from all walks of life. For example, a popular debate among automotive enthusiasts is MOOG vs AcDelco, as both brands offer high-quality suspension parts such as ball joints, control arms, and tie rod ends.
Regardless of your personal preferences, select the parts that are compatible with your vehicle to ensure proper function and safety on the road.
How To Find The Right Replacements?
Finding the right replacement suspension parts for your vehicle can be challenging, as there are various suspension systems, each requiring specific parts that may not be interchangeable with other systems.
Additionally, numerous brands and quality levels of suspension parts are available on the market, making it hard to find parts compatible with your vehicle. Finally, certain parts might be unavailable or hard to find, especially for older or less standard vehicle models.
Despite these difficulties, some tips will make this whole process easier for you:
1. Consider Your Driving Style
The type of driving you do can impact the type of suspension parts you need. For example, if you frequently drive on rough roads or off-road, you will need suspension parts designed to handle these conditions.
On the other hand, if you primarily drive on smooth highways, you may not need suspension parts that are as heavy-duty. Additionally, if you enjoy high-performance driving or racing, you will need suspension parts designed to improve your handling and cornering ability.
2. Check the Manufacturer’s Specifications
Using parts that do not meet the manufacturer’s specifications can result in serious safety issues and potential damage to your vehicle. For example, using suspension parts incompatible with your vehicle’s weight can cause the suspension to sag, reducing ride quality and potentially dangerous handling.
You can find all the necessary information in the owner’s manual or by contacting the manufacturer directly.
3. Choose High-Quality Parts
Prioritize quality over quantity when selecting replacement suspension parts for your vehicle. One way to ensure this is to choose a trustworthy company that produces high-quality parts. Opting for the manufacturer of your vehicle is also a reliable way to guarantee quality and ensure that the performance of your car stays top-notch for years to come.
Additionally, aftermarket parts can be a cost-effective alternative to OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. OEM parts are made by the same manufacturer who made the original parts for your vehicle. Aftermarket parts, on the other hand, are made by third-party manufacturers who are not affiliated with the original manufacturer.
While OEM parts are pricier than aftermarket parts, they are engineered to match the original parts of your vehicle, ensuring that they fit and function perfectly.
Aftermarket parts are less expensive and may offer more customization options, but they may not be as reliable or fit as well as OEM parts. Weigh the pros and cons of both options and choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.
4. Get Professional Installation
Installing suspension parts can be tricky for people who aren’t experienced in handling a vehicle, so we would recommend having a professional mechanic install the replacement suspension parts. That way, you will have peace of mind and know everything is correctly put in its place.
5. Test the New Parts
Test out new suspension parts to ensure that they function correctly and provide the desired improvements to your vehicle’s performance. Taking your car for a test drive will help you identify any potential issues early on and address them before they cause bigger problems down the road.
Additionally, testing can help you determine if the parts are the right fit for your vehicle and driving style and if they provide the level of comfort and handling you need.
When To Change Your Suspension Components?
There isn’t a fixed timeline for replacing your suspension parts. Still, generally, it’s recommended to replace the struts and shocks after approximately 50,000 miles of usage. However, if you experience an excessively unstable or bumpy ride, or notice any fluid leaks, don’t hesitate to give your suspension the needed attention.
Other signs of suspension damage include uneven wear on tiers, the car sitting lower than usual, and difficulties in steering. You can do a quick test by bouncing your vehicle and observing the rebound rate to get a rough idea of the state of your suspension.
Upgrade Your Suspension Parts With Safety In Mind
As you can see, fixing up your car is no easy job. We hope our tips help you on the journey to finding the best suspension parts that fit your needs. To sum up, take the time to assess your driving needs, do your research, and choose high-quality parts from reputable manufacturers.
And remember: investing in your car’s safety is investing in your and others’ well-being on the road. Good luck!