What is suspension in a car?

If you’ve ever hit a pothole or bump in the Great Falls, VA, roads and felt your car jerk sharply, you’ll appreciate what suspensions and shocks do. The suspension components of your vehicle help absorb impacts from the road and provide a smoother, more comfortable ride. Below, we will cover the basic components of this crucial system.

Suspension Springs

Typically coiled or leaf springs, the suspension springs support the vehicle’s weight. Like a spring coil in your retractable pen, they compress and extend, allowing the wheels to move vertically over uneven roads. Without springs, your car would bounce like you were driving through a sea of potholes.

Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers, or shocks, control how quickly the springs compress and rebound when the wheels hit a bump. They dampen the up-and-down motion to prevent continuous bouncing. Shocks have fluid-filled cylinders and pistons that create hydraulic resistance to smooth out the ride.


In most modern vehicles, struts are a structural component used as a connection point between the vehicle’s body and the wheels. The struts’ primary elements are the shock absorber and the coil spring.

The coil spring supports the vehicle’s stability, weight, and height. The shock absorber keeps the vehicle from shaking apart by absorbing vibrations, bumps, and other forms of road shock. Struts provide the joint springing and damping action required.

Control Arms

Control arms connect other suspension components to the vehicle’s frame. They pivot to allow the wheels to move up and down. The bushings on control arms dampen vibrations and absorb smaller road imperfections.

Wheel Alignments

As any driver in Great Falls, VA, driver can tell you, we deal with many potholes. Hitting a pothole or accidentally brushing a curb can cause suspension issues. Each one of those hits causes the suspension to shake. Eventually, those shakes build up and cause it to stray from its aligned setting.

However, it isn’t always a jarring pothole or curb hit that can bring on misalignment. Over time, normal wear to the suspension components can crack and loosen. That includes the suspension springs and rubber components. With that natural degradation comes misalignment, where a wheel alignment service should be scheduled!

Suspension Maintenance & Repair at Casey’s Automotive in Great Falls, Virginia

Shocks, springs, struts, and control arms all work together to cushion the ride over uneven road surfaces. Proper suspension allows you to cruise in comfort and maintains control when maneuvering. If you feel like your car or truck is pulling to one side or notice uneven wear in your tires, the time has come to book a suspension inspection at Casey’s!

The best referral you can get is from a neighbor.