I have mentioned in countless write ups before that we are responsible for our car’s health. We have made our financial and lifestyle sacrifices just to save up for our dream car. Besides the fact that we have an emotional attachment to our ride, it is also good to remind ourselves that our vehicle is an investment. Meaning, we’ve put a lot of time, money and effort to them that we should value them accordingly. If you value something, you wouldn’t do anything to compromise it right?
Take care of our car is part of our responsibility as car owners
As for our vehicles, practically, when we just drive it hastily without thinking if we’re damaging it or not, then it’s as good as watching your money fly out of your window. So to prevent this, we should know what driving habits to avoid so we won’t damage our vehicle.
Today Philkotse.com will focus on our car’s suspension – how we can unconsciously damage it, how bad driving habits can affect it and what happens when suspension breaks.
I. What Is A Car’s Suspension and How Does It Work?
A car’s suspension is the one responsible for holding the entire vehicle up and it also absorbs all the pressure, impact, bumps and it also allows the car to steer. Without a properly working suspension, the car will fall down by a couple of inches, and its metal parts could hit other metal parts, causing friction then later on causing suspension parts to break.
Now that we know how suspension works in our vehicle and what happens when it gets damaged, its time to learn what we need to do as car owners to keep our car suspension in good working condition for a longer period of time.
>>> More helpful advice for your suspension maintenance:
- 5 easy tips to diagnose your car suspension problems
- Is your car suspension ready for the rainy season in the Philippines?
- Suspension modifications for city driving & heavy duty in the Philippines
II. Bad Driving Habits That Can Damage and Ruin Our Vehicle’s Suspension
1. Driving hastily through road holes and rough road conditions
Potholes, road holes, “muddy puddles” as they fondly call it in Peppa Pig – no matter how you name it, it still persists as one of the major problems in the Philippine roads. It can be attributed to poor construction of roads, or it could also be due to big trucks passing by that carry heavy loads, damaging the roads. Whatever the cause is, we cannot avoid encountering these holes every now and then.
Not driving carefully over road holes can cause significant damage to your vehicle's suspension
When we pass by these holes especially when we’re driving at a certain speed and didn’t see them coming upon us, we feel the car jump up and down in a swift, kind of hurting way. This exact hasty driving can cause damage to our car’s suspension.
Another is when we go out of town and drive along rough, dirt roads with lots up and downs and unexpected holes – these can greatly affect and cause wear and tear to our shock absorbers, bushings, joints and other suspension parts.
What can we do to avoid this? Drive slowly, or at least at reasonable speed, minding the road you’re driving on and as much as possible avoid driving through bumps and holes. If unavoidable, just drive more carefully so you can take extra care of your vehicle’s suspension.
2. Driving like a movie star
Yes, we’ve all watched those racing movies like The Fast and the Furious and some just can’t get enough of the movie franchise to the point of driving in full speed even when unnecessary just to look cool like the good ol’ Paul Walker. But, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t be doing that.
Accelerating right away or sudden brakes can cause serious damage to your car's suspension
First, it’s actually quite impossible to do “racing speed” in the streets of the metro due to traffic and speed limits. However, it can still be done in the outskirts where less law enforcers are visible. People may think that driving in unnatural speeds make them look cool – well, not really. It makes you look “mayabang.”
Second, it can compromise you and your passengers’ safety. If you’re going to think about it, even those who drive in normal speeds still get engage in accidents, then what more those who drive above the normal speed? Don’t drive fast unless it’s an emergency or life or death situations like you have to get to the hospital ultra-fast.
Third, by driving smoothly and gradually speeding up and slowing down, you are saving your car from potential problems especially with suspension. If you accelerate right away, it puts pressure on the rear shock absorbers and when you suddenly step on the brake, it puts tremendous pressure on the front shocks. Therefore, it can cause wear and tear on front and rear shock absorbers.
3. Missing out on checking important car details
Car details don’t exclusively dwell on how your car looks. It may look good physically, but does your car feel good inside? Maybe not, especially if you’re the type of car owner who loves to drive but neglects the car’s welfare. So, what we can do to take care of our vehicle, especially the suspension is to check important car parts to make sure that they are still in A1 condition.
Regular check of car suspension does a lot in keeping it in good condition
One of the things that you should always check is the tire pressure. Tire pressure is important as it holds the weight of the car entirely. Without proper tire pressure, we put unnecessary stress to our car’s suspension, causing it to wear out. Tire pressure check could be easy nowadays because new cars come with a tire pressure monitoring system that lets you know if you need to pump more air into your tires. So with this, it’s easier to make sure that you have a proper tire pressure.
Another thing to check is wheel alignment. You need to make sure that your wheels are working properly and that it doesn’t put stress on the suspension system. Improper wheel alignment is characterized by the wheels going to a different direction versus the way you steer your vehicle. If that happens, go to your auto shop and have the wheels re aligned.
Lastly, check other parts of your suspension such as shock absorbers, ball joints and tie rod ends. Once in a while, or even during your annual PMS, have them checked thoroughly and see if there’s a part that needs replacing. This way, you will be able to ensure that you are taking care of your suspension properly to make your make car maintenance much better.
Ivy Kristia Padura