Everything You Need to Know About a Vehicle’s Suspension System – Shocks Aren’t the Only Key Component!

Dear Mike,

I recently learned that the suspension system is crucial for a smooth and safe drive. I know shocks are a key component, but are there other parts that make up a vehicle’s suspension? I want to make sure my car is in top shape.


Dear Nehemiah,

You’re absolutely right, a well-functioning suspension system is vital for a smooth and safe ride. And while shocks are definitely a key component, there are several other parts that make up a vehicle’s suspension system.

Firstly, let’s talk about the springs. Springs work alongside your shocks to help absorb the bumps and jolts that come with driving on rough roads. There are three common types of springs used in suspension systems: coil springs, leaf springs, and torsion bars. Coil springs are the most common, and are simply a long, coiled piece of metal that sits between the wheels and the chassis, helping to absorb impacts. Leaf springs are more commonly found on trucks and heavy-duty vehicles, and are made up of several smaller metal strips stacked on top of each other to provide greater support. Torsion bars, on the other hand, use the twisting force of a metal bar to provide suspension support.

Another key component of the suspension system is the control arms. Control arms are essentially metal bars that connect the suspension to the frame of the car, allowing for movement and flexibility while still maintaining stability. They play a critical role in maintaining proper alignment and tire wear, so it’s important that they are kept in good condition.

Finally, there are the sway bars. Sway bars, also known as stabilizer bars, are metal bars that connect the left and right suspension systems together. By doing so, they help reduce body roll and improve handling during turns.

While each of these components plays a unique role in the suspension system, they all work together to provide a smooth and safe ride. That’s why it’s important to make sure that all parts of your suspension system are in good condition. If you’re experiencing any issues with your ride quality, or notice that your car is bouncing more than usual, it’s a good idea to have your suspension system inspected by a professional mechanic.

Thanks for your question, Nehemiah. Stay safe out there on the road!

Best regards,

Mike Urban