Springtime Shock: How You Can Help Customers Keep their Suspensions Safe in Automotive Careers

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Springtime brings many beautiful things—flowers, sunshine, warmer weather—but lurking beneath that melting snow is an all-too common nuisance: potholes.

Potholes, in fact, may be more prevalent than you think (or just as prevalent as you might expect). In Toronto, their repairs take up between $4 and $5 million of the annual budget with over 10,000 already repaired by the city—and that’s only since January! Potholes can cause many problems for car owners across Canada, including costly damage to their cars’ suspension system, which means that protection their cars is a good priority for this spring season.

If you’re interested in finding out what you can do to help customers save their suspensions from springtime damage, read on to find out more!

Auto Mechanics Know Which Car Parts Are Most Affected by Potholes

Potholes are caused by deterioration of the soil beneath a road’s surface. One of the reasons they are so common in the spring is because road salt, melting ice, and running water can all sink into a road and cause destabilization.

The suspension system is relatively unguarded when it comes into contact with the road, and that includes potholes. Potholes can cause misalignment, broken ball joints, and damaged shocks in a suspension system, so it’s important for your customers to be aware of the signs of suspension damage if they’ve hit a pothole recently. A misaligned suspension system can cause loose handling, uneven tire wear, and wandering steering, all of which can be fixed through the repairs or replacement methods you learn in auto mechanic courses.

Customer Understanding of Suspension Systems Is Important in Automotive Careers

While your customers probably aren’t quite ready to start their own automotive careers yet, you can still explain how their suspension system works, which gives them a better understanding of how potentially hazardous road conditions—including potholes—affect their driving experience and their car.

It’s a good idea to start from the beginning, and explain to them how a suspension system helps a car absorb impact from the road and creates a smoother ride for its passengers. The chassis, spring coils, and shock absorbers all work together to protect the springs whenever a car hits a bump (or a pothole), while the struts help provide a stable frame. Heavy impact with a pothole can knock the suspension out of alignment, but it can also wear down the shock absorbers, particularly if a customer’s daily commute looks less like driving on a road and more like driving on a piece of Swiss cheese.

Auto mechanics know the common areas of a suspension system that are vulnerable to road damage
Auto mechanics know the common areas of a suspension system that are vulnerable to road damage

If possible, try to point out the areas of a customer’s suspension that may be vulnerable to damage from springtime road conditions. It’s also important to mention that their tires—which take on the direct impact of a pothole—should be kept properly inflated, and their pressure should be checked regularly in order to make sure the suspension has enough support to quickly bounce back after hitting a pothole.

Customers (and Their Suspensions) Will Appreciate These Springtime Driving Tips

Unfortunately, potholes themselves won’t go away until they’re filled, but there are certain things you can recommend to your clients to help reduce their chances of suspension damage this spring.

The easiest thing customers can do is to simply drive around a pothole, but this can be harder in practice than in theory. If a pothole is unavoidable, slowing down can actually do a lot to minimize the initial impact, but that doesn’t mean they should slam the brakes—a gradual decrease in speed should be enough. Large puddles can also hide potholes, so it’s a good idea to advise customers to pay careful attention to their speed as well as their surroundings.

Customers can also report potholes in their local area, and call the city to help put it on their radar. This not only helps keep your customers safe, but it helps the entire community, as less potholes means less chance of damaging their vehicles’ suspension systems.

Do you want to jumpstart a rewarding career in the automotive industry?

Contact Automotive Training Centres for more information about our mechanic courses in Toronto.

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