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Rear View – A Carcility blog

Decoding Car Steering and Suspension

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Steering and suspension are important parts of a vehicle that ensure a smooth ride on the roads. The steering system plays a vital role in the movement of the vehicle and helps the driver to change directions. The steering system consists of the steering wheel, tie rods, steering shaft and column, idler arms, rack, pitman arm, and drag or the center link.  When a vehicle is turned, the inside wheel follows a circle with a smaller radius compared to the outside wheel. The most common types of steering gears are the rack-and-pinion, recirculating ball, and thirdly, the worm and sector.  

Rack and pinion system has become widely used in cars, small trucks, and SUVs. The rotational motion of the steering wheel is turned into a linear motion. Secondly, rack-and-pinion provides a gear reduction, so that turning wheels become easier.  The recirculating ball is usually used in trucks, heavy vehicles, and large SUVs. In this system, a threaded rod is used to secure the steering wheel to the steering shaft. The rod is turned when the steering wheel is rotated. Ball bearings can be found within the threads of the rod.  Cars may have different steering ratios based on size. Sports cars usually have lower steering ratios which help in providing a faster response to the steering. Vehicles with variable-ratio steering have a rack-and-pinion gear set that has a different tooth pitch outside and in the center.

Car Suspension System

Car suspension ensures a smooth ride on the roads by maximizing friction between the tires and the road. If the roads are uneven, a driver may encounter bumps and potholes. The role of the suspension is to absorb the energy from the tires and keep the car stable. This allows the driver to safely accelerate, apply brakes and navigate corners. 

The most common car suspension is the MacPherson Strut system. The common components of a suspension are coil springs, shock absorbers, and struts. Coil springs help absorb the impact of going through bumps and uneven road surfaces. Shock absorbers ensure that the tires are in contact with the road surface and reduce their impact on them.

The control arms and ball joints are also important parts of a suspension. The upper control arm connects the frame of a vehicle to the steering knuckle or wheel-hub assembly. The control arms move upwards and downwards along with the springs when the car traverses a bump or hazard. 

The car suspension system has to be checked if the car is drifting on one side of the road or if there are noises or increases in the bumpiness of the vehicle. Vibrations from the steering wheel also indicate that all is not well with the suspension.

If you feel that your car is having bumpy rides, and taking sharp turns, it’s time to change your car’s suspension.  Carcility is your best option for all your car service and repair needs.