Do you not know what the technician says about the suspension & steering on your vehicle?
Time to find out….

So let talk about the suspension & steering system, where the hard surface you drive upon is softened for you (in most vehicle unless your that person with the sports model), or which way your control your vehicle’s direction, so here’s some items you might come across;


The Garage says:
“Your dampers (or shock absorbers) are worn”

What do they mean?

One or more the dampers (or shock absorbers) need replacing

What should you be aware of?

Dampers are a part of your car which suffer a tremendous amount of wear and tear. Because of this they need replacing from time to time. Worn dampers can be dangerous, they prevent your tyres from connecting with the road surface properly. This increases your stopping distances and significantly affects your car’s ability to hold the road, in other words you are more likely to skid. Not replacing them can be a false economy.


The Garage says:
“The bushes on the wishbone (suspension arm) are going”

What do they mean?

The bushes are the rubber parts on the wishbone (suspension arm) which is have either worn out or are wearing out.

What should you be aware of?

As they are rubber, bushes can crack and perish and need replacing. Worn bushes can lead to a lot of noise from the suspension and steering as well as affect how your suspension and steering work. With steering it can affect the direction of where your tyres face, leading to wearing them out faster.


The Garage says:
“Your Rack is leaking”

What do they mean?

Your Steering rack has a fluid leak. Most steering racks use power steering fluid to help assist you in turning the vehicle. (Some vehicles do have electric powered steering so this doesn’t concern your vehicle.)

What should you be aware of?

If there is a leak of power steering fluid on the rack, they can be costly as in most cases the whole rack come as one sealed unit.  You will probably notice that if the power steering fluid starts getting low, then you might experience the vehicle is stiffer to turn or commonly there is a whinny noise when you try turning the steering.


The Garage says:
“Your track rod has play”

What do they mean?

The track rod is what connects your steering rack to your vehicle wheels, which allow you to turn when you use the Steering wheel, has movement within the end joints.

What should you be aware of?

If your track rod has a slight bit of play on the outer end joint then it might only be an advisory on the Mot, and if there is play no matter how much on the inner joint it is not an Mot item. We suggest if you are not sure about how bad the play is, we will be able to inform you better on the current status. If the track rod has excessive play then your tracking will be out, the tracking can affect how your car handles. This can cause it to pull to one side. It can also lead to your tyres wearing out before they should or wear unevenly. After replacing a track rod or end joint it is common practice to check/adjust the tracking.


The Garage says:
“Your steering gaiter is split/damaged”

What do they mean?

The steering gaiter is the rubber/plastic cover that protects the inner track rod joint is split or damaged.

What should you be aware of?

A split or damaged steering gaiter is an Mot failure, they are made of rubber/plastic which do wear out. They protect the track rod joint from water, dirt and other elements thrown at it, which if these get into the joint they can cause faster wear & damage to the component.


The Garage says:
“Your top (swivel) mount is worn”

What do they mean?

The top (swivel) mount is the section on your suspension that is located at the top of the damper(shock absorber) suspension assembly. This top mount is what attaches between your suspension to the chassis of the vehicle.  Sometimes referred to as a top swivel mount, as they can have bearings to aid with turning of the suspension, commonly fitted to the front of the vehicle.

What should you be aware of?

The top mount is made up of rubber components that over time wear, crack or perish. Also with a top swivel mount, the bearings can get worn out. Usual indications is noise when traveling over bumps or while turning when suspension is in operation under load. It is common that this component is replaced at the same time as when you get a damper (shock absorber) replaced.


To read more about Steering & suspension please see here


Previous post = Did You Know #3

Next post = Did You Know #5

or click here to return to the main Did You Know page