The suspension of any vehicle is made up of a complex system of shocks, springs, and hardware that work together to make sure you have not just a smooth-sailing ride on the highway, but a safe ride as well. When you are shopping for a used vehicle, there will be things that you are looking for, but if you are like a lot of prospective buyers, suspension problems will not be one of them. Suspension problems can be a really big deal and require a major investment on your part after purchase, so make sure you get familiar with a few sneaky signs that can let you know there is a problem.
The vehicle makes a lot of noise after it gets to a certain speed.
If you are driving a vehicle and it seems fine at 25 to 35 mph, try accelerating a little more until you are holding steady at 55. If the car starts to rattle, shimmy, and pop once you hit a faster speed, it could be a sign that the car has suspension problems. When shocks and struts start to wear out, it is much harder for them to support the weight of the vehicle at higher speeds and you will start to feel and hear the resulting stress coming from beneath the car or truck.
Hitting even small bumps feels like you are hitting huge potholes.
You run across a small patch in the road and it feels like you have hit a trench that sends a jar straight through you as a passenger or driver. Unfortunately, this is a telltale indicator that the vehicle you are in is in major need of suspension work. In most cases, this problem points to an issue with the shocks or struts, which are responsible for absorbing shock when the car hits a bump.
The vehicle pulls to either the right or the left as you drive straight.
When a car is pulling to the right or the left, it is easy to shrug off the problem and assume that it just needs an alignment, which is no big deal. However, this problem could just as easily be related to suspension problems. The suspension system is designed to hold the frame and heft of the car balanced and if something is askew, not only will the vehicle not be balanced, it will not roll in the straightforward position.
For more info about how to notice suspension problems, or to have them fixed if you have your heart set on a car, contact a shop like Jones Automotive.