Car suspension parts and their functions | arm ball joints

The system is a combination of various car suspension parts and their functions include weight support, control and comfort. In some cars, the front suspension parts vary from the rear suspension types.

Despite their differences, both the rear and front suspension parts work together to ensure you have a comfortable ride.

We’ll see those differences in a few!

We can agree that a faulty suspension system could lead to more than an uncomfortable ride. In fact, it is an endangerment to you and other road users.

Today we are about to learn about the car suspension parts and some of the things they do.

Car suspension parts.

The car suspension plays an important role in ensuring that the vehicle’s tires remain grounded. Especially when the vehicle jumps over bumps. Suspension parts absorb shocks and force that comes from the road terrain.

In front wheel drive suspension systems, there is a steering knuckle that connects to the dumper and control arm. This allows for better control during the maneuvering of corners.

1. Springs.

Springs are important within the car suspension system because they are beneficial when it comes to shock absorption. Further, they ensure that the up and down motion of the tires is regulated so that the vehicle does not overturn.

There are different designs that fit into the different types of car’s suspensions.

a.] Coil springs.

This is one of the most common types of car suspension springs. Its design involves a torsion bar with a coiled metal around an axis. Its basic operation principle is expansion and compression.

When the vehicle hits a bump, the coil spring contracts to absorb the shock from that motion. Afterwards it expands to release the force equally along the coil spring.

This motion allows the vehicle’s body to experience minimal shaking disturbances that can be felt in the cabin. The stronger the coil spring, the more stable the vehicle frame becomes when driving over bumps.

Further, the minimization of the vehicle body movement will be beneficial when it comes to vehicle handling.

Characteristics of coil springs.
  • Number of coils.

The number of coils are important because they determine vehicle weight support capacity. The downside is that too many coils may cause a coil bind. Which may lead to damage of the suspension component.

  • Material and coating.

Most are made of steel metal and the higher the quality of the steel, the longer it lasts. Additionally, the coating of the steel metal is also essential in ensuring a long lasting coil spring. The coating helps to prevent the rusting of the steel.

  • Wire diameter.

The wire diameter is directly related to the spring rate. The higher the wire diameter, the higher the spring rate. Further, the wire diameter also affects the ability to handle weight. That is, the lower the wire diameter, the better the vehicle can handle weight.

b.] Leaf springs.

It is made up of many metal plate layers that are called leaves. These are usually bound together for the purpose of weight support and shock absorption.

Leaf springs are mostly found in the rear suspension because of their effectiveness in supporting weight. In fact, they are one of the oldest forms of springs.

c.] Air springs.

They are a recent invention in the suspension system. These suspension springs have a air-filled cylindrical chamber in between the car body and the wheel.

They are able to absorb shock from bumps through compression of air. In some automatic air spring suspensions found in luxury cars, you can adjust the amount of air in the air-filled cylindrical chamber. This will affect the vehicle’s ground clearance.

d.] Torsion bars.

This type of suspension springs has a steel bar with steel coils that mimic the coil spring movement. As the torsion bar absorbs shock, it is dissipated by the springs. But since the springs do not dissipate it well, the torsion suspension system incorporates dampers.

2. Dampers.

Their function is to dampen shock in order to maintain the stability of the vehicle’s body as you drive over different road terrain. They exist in two types;

a.] Shock absorbers.

As the name suggest, the shock absorbers function by moving upwards and downwards in order to absorb any shock. This helps to keep the tires on the ground hence preventing overturning.

They don’t totally absorb the shock but they are able to reduce the magnitude of vibrations. This process is possible because of their ability to turn kinetic energy from the vibrations into heat.

b.] Struts.

The strut type suspension device is a shock absorption mechanism that goes into the coil spring design. Its function within the coil springs is to support the springs. This helps the springs to support vehicle weight.

Secondly, the function of the struts is to dampen shock originating from an unbalanced road terrain. Further, struts help with balancing weight shift across the vehicle body during corner negotiation.

3. Anti-sway bars.

Some also prefer to refer to them as anti-roll bars. Their major function is to provide additional stability to the vehicle by reducing body frame movement.

Their installation takes place alongside the shock absorbers and struts. The design involves a long metallic rod that joins both sides of the suspension together.

Functionality helps in balancing the weight distribution movement by transferring movement from one wheel to the opposite one. This is essential in ensuring a reduction in vehicle body frame movement and it creates a stable ride.

Further it offers the car extra stability during negotiation of corners. Hence contributing to improved vehicle control ability.

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