If all roads were perfectly flat then there would be no need for suspension. Unfortunately this is not the case; even freshly laid tarmac has subtle imperfections that can cause visible movement of a vehicle’s wheel as it passes at high speeds. It is the vehicle’s suspension that allows its wheels to respond to these imperfections and improve the comfort of those in the car.
Part of our policy of free inspections is to offer you a comprehensive suspension check. Suspension is important in keeping your vehicle balanced, helping to maintain a constant and balanced contact between your tyres and the road. A correctly balanced vehicle can benefit both braking and the general handling of a vehicle.
The power of a car is meaningless if the driver cannot control it. A vehicle responds best to commands when there is friction between to all four wheels and the ground – the suspension is instrumental in making this happen.
An important aspect of a vehicle’s suspension system is its shock absorbers; they help to soften any small bumps and bobbles on the road’s surface. A mechanic can carry out a simple ‘bounce’ test on site that can indicate the condition of your shock absorbers. If the vehicle’s shock absorbers are too ‘springy’ then they will need to be replaced.
A vehicle’s suspension system is a complicated series of components which, when operating correctly, work in harmony to reduce the bumps and knocks from the road surface. If your suspension is not working properly even small changes to the road’s surface can make your driving experience incredibly uncomfortable. A suspension system that works perfectly makes a huge difference, accounting for uneven road surfaces and proving both driver and passengers an enjoyable ride.
A faulty suspension system cannot only fail to account for uneven road surfaces, but it could drastically affect a vehicle’s braking distance for the worse. If a vehicle were to be traveling at 30mph, malfunctioning shock absorbers could be responsible for adding a further two meters to its braking distance.
Another aspect of a vehicle’s performance affected by a faulty suspension system is its handling around corners.
As a vehicle corners, the job of the suspension is to counter the vehicle’s roll. If the suspension is not functioning correctly, the driving experience will be uncomfortable around corners and the car could even be risk of losing control.
Suspension is a part of your vehicle that will slowly degrade over time, often without you noticing. A quick check by our specialised mechanics can identify the condition of your suspension system.
As part of our free steering check, we will inspect the following:
Inspect suspension and steering
Steering and suspension are two elements of your vehicle that relate to each other; the condition of your suspension is likely to have repercussions on the process of steering.
Suspension is designed to ensure that all wheels of a vehicle are in contact with the ground. The handling of a car works best when there is friction between the road and the wheels as much as possible. If your suspension is not correctly calibrated then you may find that your general control of the car is not as effective as it could be. This can be especially noticeable when cornering.
Suspension can degrade over time without you noticing, but is something that we can easily assess in the garage.
Inspect wheel bearings for wear and tear
Wheel bearings are important for ensuring the smooth movement of your vehicle’s wheels. They tend to come in pairs of ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ bearings.
The bearings are packed with grease to ensure a frictionless movement of the wheel, but this grease can attract debris from the road and scraps of metal from the brake system.
This check will determine the condition of your wheel bearings and we will be able to give an indication of any improvements that can potentially be made.
Well-maintained wheel bearings provide a responsive steering system.
Check power steering reservoir
Power steering is there to help a driver when he or she is applying force to the steering wheel. When no force is being applied, the system should not be engaged.
Power steering comprises of many small components and it only takes one to be faulty and the entire system can become very inefficient. There are various aspects of your vehicle’s power steering system that are carefully inspected and one of the most important is monitoring the levels of the power steering fluid reservoir.
When this reservoir is full it gives the power steering system the best conditions to be operating in.
Lubricate steering and suspension
A well-lubricated steering system can prevent problems from emerging. A inspection by one of our mechanics will bring and potential problem areas to your attention and we can offer on the spot advise on where extra lubrication can be applied and how it can positively effect the performance of your steering and suspension systems.
Brake and steering combination check
If your vehicle drifts to one side while you are braking, it could be an indication that there is a fault with your brake system. A mechanic can have a look to determine whether it could be the alignment of the wheels, a problem with the vehicle’s brake callipers or brake hoses or perhaps an issue with air pressure.
When a vehicle brakes, it can respond in different ways to betray faults within the car. A mechanic can read signs such as braking distance and drift to assess whether any work may need to be done to your motor.
Inspect state of steering rack gaiters
Another inspection that we carry out in our free steering check is to have a look at the condition of your steering rack gaiters.
A steering rack gator is a plastic sleeve that protects the joints of the steering rack. If grime or dirt were to get inside the joint, then there is a risk of complete steering failure.
The mechanic checking out for your vehicle will be assessing the condition of the gaiter by looking out for general wear, cracks in the plastic or the displacement of fastenings.
The safety of our customer is of the up-most importance to us. The following is a list of areas that our specialist mechanics carefully inspect during our free safety check.
Our mechanics can inspect the positioning and condition of your indicators, headlights, brake, reverse and fog lights. Your headlights can also be inspected to ensure they are at the correct angle.
When tested by our mechanics, your horn should emit one single note audible to other road users.
The brake system of a car is subject to constant abrasion so it is inevitable that some wear and tear will have occurred since your last check. Our mechanics can inform you of the exact level of wear and will alert you if any components need to be replaced.
The pipes and hoses of the hydraulic system can be checked for leaks, chafing and corrosion. Excessive corrosion can lead to a potential replacement of parts.
Our mechanics can inspect for damage and assess whether all systems are correctly calibrated.
The condition of a vehicle’s brakes is essential and our mechanics can take a look at the brake servo to establish just how efficiently they are operating.
If your ABS warning light remains on then it could either be that your handbrake is not releasing completely or there is a more complex problem that our mechanics will be able to discern after an inspection.
A quick look will reveal the condition of your handbrake linkages and cables. If replacement parts are necessary we can provide you with an on the spot quote.
If your wheels are making a strange noise then it could be a problem with the bearings.
Clear windscreens are incredibly important with a broken wiper or washer severely restricting your vision.
A mechanic can inspect the pressure of each of your tyres including the spare, as well as checking the tread depth and general condition.
We will assess the balance of you vehicle as well as carrying out a simple bounce test to check the strength of your shock absorbers.
Our mechanics can check vital components for wear, corrosion and potential leaks.
Clutch damage is very common, especially in vehicles with high mileage –if you need any repairs to the clutch or gearbox a quote can be provided on the spot.