The different types of vehicle suspension are top of the list of things you must consider when buying a car. Vehicle suspension system is important when it comes to comfort whenever your vehicle rides over bumps and different terrain.
Today we are about to uncover the different types of vehicle suspension system that contributes to that comfort. Afterwards, we will look into how you can maintain your suspension springs to save yourself from high vehicle repair costs. Additionally, we will list the suspension system components.
Car suspension system affects the up and down movement of vehicle wheels when you go over bumps. The rate of that movement varies from one type of suspension system to the other.
Further, they contribute to the vehicle’s weight support capacity. Meaning that when you’re carrying load that is higher than the suspension system’s recommendation, you will strain the suspension components.
Types of vehicle suspension system depends on the car’s body type and brand.
Major types of vehicle suspension system.
This is determined by how the suspension system components are installed into the vehicle’s wheels. The suspension system connects the automotive chassis to the axles in an indirect manner.
1. Independent suspension.
The suspension system is connected to the vehicle’s wheels. Independent suspension system varies from others because it’s design involves a connection to each wheel separately.
Meaning that the effect of terrain varies from one wheel to the other. They will move up and down at different rates.
By installing such a suspension system you are optimizing for vehicle control and handling. Further, your ride’s comfort is higher than the others.
2. Dependent suspension system.
The system’s design incorporates an axle that is fixed along the frame’s width and connects to the set of wheels on both the right and left sides.
This design lets the system operate as one single unit. Turning the vehicle becomes simpler in this system based on the left and right sides of the wheel.
Most SUV and rear wheel drive vehicles incorporate this type of suspension system.
3. Semi-independent suspension system.
This system consists of wheels whose movement affects each other. That is, the movement of the left wheel will affect the movement of the opposite wheel on the right side.
But the problem is that this suspension system is most suitable for rear suspensions. Further, this means that the car’s that use this system can support heavy loads.
4. Rigid suspension.
This type of suspension system springs is also known as the leaf springs. It includes several layers of metallic bars known as leaves being stuck one over the other. You will commonly find them in heavy carriers like carrier trucks and public transport buses.
Installing this type of suspension is for optimizing control and handling when carrying heavy loads. The rigid suspension flexes a little when you drive over a bump. This offers high support for the heavy load.
The disadvantage will be that you should not use them to optimize for high speed. Additionally, this system will not be good for sharp turning while at high speeds.
5. Multi-link suspension system.
It involves several linking systems that connect the chassis and the wheels. Just as the name suggests.
Are you a fan of going off-road?
If so, this is a recommendable suspension system for your vehicle. The basis of this conclusion is because of the multiple linking systems provide the vehicle with the ability to handle bumpy shocks from highly uneven terrain.
Further, the multi-link system is able to offer better vehicle control and handling. This is possible as a result of the capacity to keep the tires grounded after you hit a bump.
Additionally, the vehicle is able to experience better tire grip. Hence minimizing the chances of overturning.
The complicated design involved in this system makes them rare to find in most vehicles. Manufacturers prefer to use this suspension on high end vehicles so that they can cover the high cost.
6. Rigid axle suspension -Coil Springs.
The rear suspension types will usually adopt this rigid axle suspension. Meaning that it connects to both the right and left wheels.
The wheels connect to each other over one single axle. The rigid suspension incorporates either the leaf springs as seen above as well as coil springs.
This system has a perpendicular axle that attaches to the wheels by a wheel spindle. The design allow the use of either leaf springs or coil springs.
The stiff axle allows the carriage of heavy weight. Further, the capability to repair the rigid suspension system is much easier than the others because of their simple structure.
7. Air suspension.
This suspension system uses air bellows that you usually find in between metallic structures. These air bellows are effective at absorbing shock.
In some automatic air suspensions, the air bellows are inflated by the up and down movement of the wheel over bumps. Further, their deflation occurs with the help of air compressors.
That trait also helps to change the vehicle’s height adjustment. In the luxury vehicles, this can be done with the push of a button.
A great advantage of this suspension system is that is offers superior levels of comfort. Additionally, they are great at handling weight while offering better vehicle stability during sharp turns. Unlike the rigid suspension system of coil springs and leaf springs.
8. MacPherson Suspension.
This was an invention of an American automotive engineer called Earle Macpherson. In fact, it is one of the most popular type of vehicle suspension system amongst most automotive manufacturers.
Why is that so?
Because of the suspension system’s structure that is simple and it offers a number of advantages. Further, the design includes a steering pivot which is why it fits for front wheel use. Additionally, this suspension can be adjusted to fit multiple types of vehicles.
This suspension system also offers an improvement in comfort by absorbing the up and down wheel movement.
Further it allows for sharp turning because it offers high control capacity. This is thanks to the steering knuckle and two mounts.
The top steering knuckle connects to the damper. While the lower one connects to the control arm. This allows the lockstep movement of the chassis and wheel.
The two mounts are beneficial when it comes to keeping the car grounded. Such a helpful trait is beneficial when navigating over high bumps as they ensure better tire grip.
9. Trailing arm suspension.
Its design involves a steel arm that connects to the chassis on one end and to the other end it connects to the rear axle. Further, the design also includes a damper.
The suspension system design includes an arm which limits the type of vehicles that can adopt this suspension. For example, vehicles that carry heavy loads cannot use this system. Because there is an increase in the risk of bending the arm.
Hence the reason why it is commonly used in the rear suspension of motorcycles.
10. Double wishbone suspension.
This is a great alternative to the air suspension system. It is one of the recent suspensions. It is one of the most advanced suspension systems.
Its design allows for smooth rides over bumpy road terrains. You can rely on this comfort suspension to offer you an extra comfortable ride.
It gets the name from two [A]-shaped triangles that assume the shape of a wishbone. You will find that it is usually a common installation in independent systems. Whereby each wheel gets their individual installation.
This offers the vehicle more stability during negotiation of corners despite carrying a heavy load on-board. Additionally, this suspension is very effective for vehicles that belong to the race track. Because it is effective at providing stability by keeping the vehicle grounded.
Car suspension system maintenance tips.
- Ensure there is no oil leakage in the suspension system. Repair any oil leakages that you will notice.
- Inspect rubber bushings found around the track bars, control arms, strut rods and sway bars.
- Clean the oil contaminations and debris on rubber bushings.
- Inspect all the joints with ball bearings on rubber boots, stabilizer and tie rod ends.
- Replace any struts and shocks whenever you find an oil leakage.
- Perform a bounce test and ensure the up and down movement doesn’t exceed two bounces. If the bounce exceeds two movements, it could be an indication that you need to replace the struts and shocks.