The inner workings of an automobile’s suspension system remains a mystery to almost everyone except those experts who specialize in auto body work and chassis experts. The suspension system on your car includes tires, the amount of air in your tires, the linkages that connect the wheels to your vehicle, the springs and shock absorbers. Each of these parts works together to support ride quality and handling. Oftentimes, these two things work against one another. Therefore, it is essential that the suspension system is balanced to ensure that your automobile handles properly while delivering a smooth ride. In addition to this, your automobile’s suspension system helps ensure the wheel remains in contact with the road surface as well as smoothing out your ride. When your automobile is traveling down the road, the tires contact with the ground. If the ground is rough, it can cause a bumpy ride if the suspension system is not functioning properly.
The History of the Suspension System
Suspension systems were first introduced in ox-draw carriages. Iron chains were attached to the carriages frame to improve ride quality and handling. This type of suspension system was used until the beginning of the 19th century. By the 17th century, leather straps replaced the iron chains. Many people do not realize that the development of the automobile was to provide a self-propelled version of a horse-drawn carriage. Unfortunately, horse-drawn carriages were only capable of slow speeds, which meant that their suspension system was not suited for an automobile with an internal combustion engine that was able to reach higher speeds.
It wasn’t until the beginning of industrialization that the first working spring-suspension system was developed. According to records, Obadiah Elliot applied for the first patent of a spring suspension vehicle. Each side of the automobile had two steel leaf springs. The springs attached to the axle and the body of the vehicle to provide support and a smooth ride. Now, most cars have an independent suspension for each of the four wheels.
Why is the Suspension System so Important?
The suspension system of a vehicle provides comfort and helps keep the car safe. The suspension system determines how the car handles and grips the road. As you can see, the suspension system is essential to ensuring the safety of the driver and passengers. The suspension system is specifically designed for the tires that properly fit the vehicle.
The more the car pushes the tire to the road surface, the more grip it has. The suspension system applies force as a car turns into a curve. The suspension system helps to absorb any imperfections like potholes found on the road. If you did not have a suspension system, every bump in the road would be transferred to the automobile and its passengers. Some suspension systems work better than others at delivering a smooth ride.
How Does a Suspension System Work?
The suspension system in a vehicle helps maximize the connection of the tires to the road surface to improve steering capabilities and handling, which helps to ensure the comfort and safety of all vehicle occupants. Although it is no easy task, the suspension system helps improve cornering, handling and comfort by:
* Absorbing shock from road bumps and transferring it through the carriage of the vehicle without causing swaying or other types of unwanted movement.
* Regulating vehicle weight both forwards and back and side to side. This weight regulation ensures the tires are able to grip the road properly.
* Transfering the weight of the vehicle from the high side of the vehicle to the low side while cornering to help improve handling.
What Parts are Included in the Suspension System?
A vehicle suspension system is part of the chassis system and includes all important components located underneath the vehicle’s body, including:
* The Frame – The frame carries the load, provides the structure of the vehicle and supports both the body of the vehicle and the engine.
* The Suspension System – The suspension system supports the weight of the vehicle, absorbs and dampens shocks and helps to ensure tire maintain their contact with the road.
* The Steering System – The steering system helps the driver turn and direct the vehicle to the roadway.
* The Wheels and Tires – The wheels and tires allow movement along the road. The tires grip the road and ensure forward or reverse movement.
As you can see, the suspension system is one of the major systems in a vehicle.
There are three fundamental components found in the suspension system of an automobile. These include:
* Springs – The springs of the suspension system can be one of the four basic spring designs – air, leaf, coil or torsion bars.
* Shock Absorbers – Shock absorbers, or dampers control excess springing motions through a process called dampening. A car spring will release the energy that it absorbs at an uncontrollable rate unless a dampening structure is used. Dampers reduce the vibration by turning the kinetic energy caused by a bump into heat energy.
* Struts – Struts, or anti-sway bars, are mounted inside a coil spring and acts as a shock absorber. Anti-sway bars are used in unison with struts or shock absorbers to improve stability in a moving vehicle.
What is the Top Suspension System?
If your suspension system is poorly made, your tires, brakes, steering components and the frame of the vehicle can experience wear and tear. To help ensure that your vehicle’s suspension system is performing properly, you need to use the parts that manufacturers consider the best like Rancho of Bilstein suspension system parts.
Which Suspension Systems are Considered Top Performers?
You can find the top suspension and handling brand online as well as in brick and mortar stores. This enables you to choose the best product based on your vehicle. Some of the top performance lift kits and suspension systems include AC Delco, Continental, Bilstein, TEIN, GReddy, Moog Suspension, Ohlins, H&R, Air Lift, Eibach, HKS, Hotchkis, KW and KYB.