Need a Suspension Bushes Inspection?
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Suspension Bushes Inspection
What Are Suspension Bushes?
A car can contain multiple suspension bushes throughout its suspension system.
Before one can be replaced, the exact one giving you grief will need to first be identified by a mechanic.
Only once this has been done can the appropriate repair be carried out.
Bushes are the heavy-duty rubber or polyurethane components that help ensure you enjoy a comfortable journey in your vehicle.
These ‘cushions’ are mounted on all manner of suspension joints, including control arms, sway bars, ball joints as well as shock absorber mounts and other suspension components, and are designed to assist in softening bumps in the road, control joint movement and reduce noise and vibration.
While they are extremely tough components, they are exposed to serious punishment over years of use and are prone to wear and tear that can impact their performance.
While they should last up to 100,000km or more, the suspension bushes should be checked – as should the rest of the suspension system - whenever they are accessible to a mechanic.
This would be at your regular service time, when tyres are replaced, oil and filters changed, or when a workshop technician is servicing your brakes.
How Do Suspension Bushes Work?
A car’s suspension system involves a lot of components that are constantly moving, especially those that absorb the lumps and bumps of the road surface.
While designed and manufactured to lessen the impact and jarring effect of driving on an uneven surface, the suspension cannot help but transfer some of the movement it encounters and the noise it creates up to the cabin.
The suspension bushes work at the link between the suspension and the car and help buffer that movement and reduce vibration and noise.
Common Suspension Bush Problems
Like any other vehicle component, wear and tear plays a factor in the performance of suspension bushes, and when they do wear there are some signs that should prompt you into further investigation.
- A loose feeling in the steering
- Clunking or rattling sounds when turning or braking hard
- Premature tyre wear
- Steering wheel vibration at highway speeds
How Is A Suspension Bush Inspection Performed?
- A test drive may be performed to check for common problems.
- At the workshop, the vehicle will be lifted and the steering wheel rolled from side to side as the undercar suspension and steering components are checked.
- A technician may use a prybar to check the play between components where bushes are used. Too much play will mean the bushes need replacing.
- A technician may press against the wheels. Again, it there is too much give and play at this point then, in this case, the control arm bushing will need to be replaced.
Why Is It Important To Have Your Suspension Bushes Checked?
Every part and component in a car is there for a reason.
While the suspension bushes are designed to make the driving experience more comfortable and dampen the noise and harshness of driving, ensuring they are in good condition is a safety issue too.
Worn or failed bushes change the dynamics of your vehicle’s performance, and if handling and other characteristics change and deteriorate you are more likely to face a situation that could lead to an accident.
You can find out even more about bushes and the cost involved in their replacement here.