Suspension & Alignment

1A suspension system provides a flexible connection between the wheels and the rest of an automobile, allowing the car to ride smoothly and comfortably over bumps in the road while still permitting safe handling of the vehicle while accelerating, braking and cornering; at Mike's Service Auto Body in Narragansett, Rhode Island, our trained mechanics will help you keep your automobile’s suspension system in good working order.

The Chassis

The suspension of a car is actually part of the chassis, which involves all the systems located beneath the car's body including the frame, the suspension system, the steering system, and the tires and wheels.

The Linkage

The linkage keeps the wheels attached to the car, but allows them to move up and down independently.


The weight of the car rests on springs that compress to absorb the impact of hitting bumps in the road. The stiffness of the spring determines how much impact passengers feel and how well the car handles. Loosely sprung cars have a more comfortable ride but less handling ability, while tightly sprung cars are less comfortable but handle better.

Shock absorbers, struts and anti-sway bars dissipate the energy felt by the springs.

1Unless there is a shock absorber, which is basically a dampening structure, the springs would continue to bounce for a while at an uncontrolled rate even after passing the bump in the road. The shock absorber slows down and reduces the bouncing by turning the kinetic energy of the spring into heat energy dissipated through hydraulic fluid. The shock absorber helps the car to adjust to the road and driving conditions; these include sway, bounce, the front-end “dive” that occurs when you brake, and the “squat” of the rear end when you accelerate. If you car bounces excessively over bumps and leans hard in corners, your shocks could be worn and should be replaced.
A strut is basically a shock absorber inside a coil spring, providing more structural support. Check your shocks or struts for leakage. If you notice deterioration in the ride of your automobile, have the struts checked.
Anti-sway bars (metal rods that span the axle and join the suspension together) also give more stability by balancing movement between the wheels. Anti-sway bars are particularly effective in cornering.

Ball joints must be maintained routinely for safety sake.

Ball joints are used in suspension systems. These are ball in socket devises that are essential to the suspension system; if they become worn they can allow the car to wander on the road, if they come apart the whole suspension system can collapse. Ball joints must be lubricated, and ball joints, control arm and strut-rod bushings should be inspected for wear routinely.

Proper wheel alignment is part of the suspension system.

The alignment angles of the parts of the suspension system are critical. When the system is out of alignment, there is wear to tires and to steering and suspension parts. There is also reduced gas mileage and poorer handling overall. So be sure to have your wheel alignment checked and corrected as needed on a routine basis, and be sure all four wheels are aligned, which requires special equipment and know-how on the part of the mechanic.

At each oil change, be sure to have the ball joints and other suspension components lubricated and checked, for your safety and the long life of your vehicle; the experts at Mike's Service Auto Body in Rhode Island will be glad to help you keep your car’s suspension system in good working order.







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