Collisions And Your Car's Suspension: What You Need To Know
Suspension damage doesn't require a major accident to suffer damage. Even being rear-ended at a low speed can cause major damage to a suspension system depending on the location and severity of the hit.
The suspension consists of a series of springs and shock absorbers that link the wheels to the main frame of the car. When an impact occurs, the springs can become stretched or broken, and shock absorbers can bend or even snap.
The CV joints, axles, and control arm are some of the components along the driveline that connect the suspension system altogether. These parts also aren't immune to collision damage. Joints can break, while axles and control arm damage can range from bends to complete breaks depending on the location and the severity of the hit.
Your car should always be inspected following a collision, even if there is no visible damage. There are also signs you can watch for that indicate your suspension system suffered during the impact. Failure to repair problems promptly can result in more damage, such as uneven wear to the tires.
The most obvious sign of trouble is pulling when you are turning. The pull may almost feel like you are drifting further than you are steering. The ride will also feel rough, even on relatively smooth roads, since the car won't be properly cushioned against bumps by the suspension system. Your car may seem to sag on one side, especially if a leaf spring or shock absorber is badly damaged, and it may bounce and squeak for a moment when you get in or out of the car.
The good news is that the components of the suspension system can be easily repaired. Your shop will need to get your car in the air so they can fully inspect the driveline and suspension system so that every damaged component can be uncovered.
Usually, the repair is more about replacement. Damaged springs, absorbers, and joints will be removed and new ones installed in their place. Suspension work usually involves aligning the car afterward, since suspension issues and collisions typically knock wheels out of alignment. You may also need to rotate your tires, particularly if you have been driving with damage for a while and it has begun to affect the tire tread.
Contact an auto collision repair service if you suspect an accident has caused damage to your suspension system.