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A Simple Guide to the Most Common Suspension Parts

For those of you who are new to the automotive world, it might be difficult to understand all the terms and things related to their vehicle. So, today, we are here to clarify some of the many other important things related to vehicles – performance suspension. Generally speaking, a performance suspension is used to improve the longevity of your vehicle and to improve its driving abilities. The suspension, in general, has many different parts which means that it is not necessary to upgrade the entire system if not needed, but only the “damaged” components.

And when speaking about suspension performance, it is inevitable not to mention suspension kits. These suspension kits represent a package of parts that can be used to improve or repair the entire suspension system of a vehicle. Usually, a suspension kit like this consists of springs, suspension stabilizers, shock absorbers, sway bars, struts, linkages and suspension support. Now, let’s see what are some of them and what is their purpose.

When it comes to springs, the main types used in suspensions are leaf and coil springs where the latter can be used in heavy vehicles like vans, trucks and SUVs. So, when the suspension is raised or lowered, the main part that needs to be changed is the springs. Coil springs, for example, can expand or compress depending on the wheel motion, leaf springs, on the other hand, have several metal layers that act as one unit while air springs use cylinders of air that can fit between the car body and the wheel.

Shock absorbers are taken as some kind of dampening structure. How so?! Well, when a vehicle is moving, the springs inside it change and release energy and without shock absorbers, the spring will keep bouncing as the energy is transferred to the vehicle causing a very unpleasant ride to the driver and to the passengers. Thus, shock absorbers dampen the spring motion, providing a smoother ride by changing the kinetic energy of bouncing into heat energy which after that is transferred to the hydraulics.

Struts are also considered as some kind of a suspension dampening structure as they can act as both – shock absorber and as a supporter to the suspension. Said in simple words, struts are shock absorbers that can be found inside the spring, so when they are worn, the vehicle would start to lean more during turns that could lead to damage of the braking system.

Anti-sway bars, on the other hand, are some kind of metal rods that will join each side of the suspension together so they can provide additional support and stability to the vehicle.

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