A car’s suspension plays a huge role in ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly, and keeps you in full control over its steering. We’ll take you through what makes a car suspension such a vital component of your car, and explain how you benefit.
What Is Car Suspension?
Simply put, the suspension in a vehicle is designed to absorb the shocks when coming into contact with a range of different terrains, like speed bumps, potholes, gravel, and asphalt. To deal with the varied road types, the car suspension pushes the wheels towards the ground, and as a result, mitigates the shock.
Car suspension is a crucial component of a vehicle, and usually consist of parts like springs, shock absorbers, linkages, and of course, the tyres.
What Does Suspension Do in a Car?
A car suspension’s primary purpose is to optimise the overall performance of the vehicle, as well as to provide a safe and comfortable ride. On top of that, the suspension system is responsible for ensuring your vehicle drive’s smoothly, and keeps your car in control. This suspension does this by maximising the friction between the road and tyres, to allow for good handling and more effective steering.
What Are the Different Types of Car Suspension?
Overall, there are four different types of spring classes, which includes leaf springs, coil springs, torsion bars, and air springs.
Leaf springs were the most common type of suspension up until the late 80s, they can still be found in a range of vehicles today, from trucks and vans to cars and SUVs. In essence, leaf springs are composed of a set of blades that are held in place by the U-bolt. These blades are all different lengths, which allows the device to support the entire vehicle.
Usually made from steel, this spiral-shaped mechanical device stores potential energy and releases it to absorb the shock produced. Often, coil springs can be bouncy, which is why they’re rarely used on smaller vehicles, but can handle heavy loads that are synonymous on larger vehicles.
Sometimes referred to as a torsion spring suspension, this relies on a torsion bar as its primary weight-bearing spring.
Meanwhile, air springs function in a similar way to a coil spring. Air suspension replaces steel and leaf springs with an air spring which can absorb vibration, and then raise or lower the vehicle. The air suspension’s air bags behave as rubber membranes, which hold pressurised air, then this air is what your vehicle rides on.
Additional hardware includes a reservoir, air supply unit, and height sensors which monitors the ride height.