3 Best Practices For Servicing Suspension Systems After Auto Mechanic Training
A vehicle’s suspension system is crucial, yet often overlooked by many drivers until issues arise. This system not only enhances the handling and safety of the vehicle but also safeguards essential components like brakes, wheels, tires, axles, differentials, and more. Since these parts are intricately linked, a fault in one can cascade into multiple challenges across the vehicle.
By diligently maintaining the suspension system and its integral components, drivers can optimize their vehicle’s handling capabilities and prolong the suspension’s life and other associated equipment. Whether you are fresh out of auto mechanic training or even a seasoned professional looking for a refresher, understanding the best practices for servicing suspension systems can be a valuable asset. Here are three essential practices to keep in mind.
1. Carry Out Regular Inspections and Preventative Maintenance
A best practice is regular inspection of suspension components. This isn’t solely about identifying visible wear or damage but is more about detecting indications of underlying issues.
Begin with a visual examination, searching for clear indicators such as damaged or leaking shocks, struts, or deteriorated bushings. The presence of rust or other forms of corrosion on these parts can suggest they need replacement. Taking the vehicle for a test drive can provide valuable insights into the suspension’s state. Focus on the vehicle’s reaction to bumps, its cornering capability, and any irregular sounds while in motion, as these could indicate suspension-related concerns.
In addition, periodically verifying and adjusting wheel alignment is essential not just for tire durability but also for the overall health of the suspension. As you learned in auto mechanic training, wheels that aren’t aligned correctly can exert excessive stress on suspension elements, causing them to wear out prematurely.
2. Check the Power Steering Fluid and Belt
As most vehicles are equipped with a hydraulic power steering system, there is a consistent need to have both the power steering fluid and belt routinely inspected. Over time, the fluid may get depleted or contaminated, necessitating a refill or complete replacement. Concurrently, the belt, which plays a pivotal role in the system’s efficiency, may loosen or show signs of wear and tear, requiring adjustments or replacement. Maintaining a robust power steering system ensures smoother handling and driving comfort. It plays a significant role in prolonging the durability of the vehicle’s suspension system and safeguarding its intricate components linked to these aspects.
3. Auto Mechanic Training Emphasizes That High-Quality Replacement Parts Are Essential
The quality of parts can significantly influence the longevity and performance of a suspension system, as people in auto careers know. While original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts can sometimes be pricier than aftermarket alternatives, they guarantee a fit and performance level that matches the vehicle’s original specs. That said, high-quality aftermarket parts are available that can match or exceed OEM quality. The key is to do thorough research and choose reputable brands.
Going for the least expensive option might be tempting, especially if you’re working on a tight budget. However, in suspension components, you often get what you pay for. Cheap parts might provide a different level of durability or performance, leading to more frequent replacements and potentially compromising the vehicle’s safety.
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