How do I tell if my suspension is having issues? There are many things to look for to determine if your vehicle’s suspension system needs to be inspected. The first and most obvious sign is leaking shocks. If your shocks are leaking, your shocks or struts (depending on what you have on your vehicle) must be replaced. Another easy way to find out if your suspension system should be inspected is to determine if it is bouncing or swaying excessively. To do this, you can drive down a familiar road and see if your vehicle bounces more than usual. You can also perform the bounce test. The bounce test requires you to bounce each corner of your vehicle a few times, and after you let go, the vehicle should bounce only once and then settle. If your vehicle settles after one bounce, then your shocks and shock absorbers are good.
If your vehicle continues to bounce, your shocks and shock absorbers may be worn and should be inspected. Bottoming out and nose-dives are also good signs of worn shocks and shock absorbers. There are also several other signs that will let you know your suspension system should be inspected. These signs deal with your sway bar. The easiest sign is if your vehicle sways too much when you are making turns or it becomes difficult to control your car after or during turning or when you are passing an 18-wheeler your vehicle will sway from the 18-wheeler’s crosswinds. Any of these signs can mean that your sway bar is loose or damaged and must be inspected. Your sway bar bolts that connect the sway bar to the vehicle should also be occasionally checked to determine their condition. If your wheels start to squeal as you go down the road or make excessive noise your ball joints could be loose or broken.The noises a bad ball joint will make are sometimes described as thumping, knocking as you go over a bump and squeaking. If this occurs and is not corrected quickly it could cause your tire to fall off as you are driving.