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  • Writer's pictureCooper Maiks


When you take good care of your car, truck, SUV or crossover vehicle, it’s going to stays in top shape for many years. This involves getting regular oil changes at recommended intervals, checking tire pressure, and changing filters. In addition, you need to remember your suspension system and brakes – both front and rear. There might be signs of trouble that indicates they require attention, repair or replacement.

How Your Vehicle’s Suspension System Works

Most vehicles these days are equipped with independent suspension – both in the front and rear. These systems let each wheel function independently. Front suspension lets the front wheels travel up and down, while the shock absorbers and springs are attached to the frame on one end and to a control arm on the other. Positioning of every part is vital since consistent alignment is necessary for safe vehicle operation.

Rear suspension uses the same concept as the front, without the steering dynamics. All-wheel and rear-wheel drive vehicles have a differential mounted to the frame in the middle of the control arms. Front-wheel drive vehicles come with simple rear suspension (only shock absorbers and springs required).

Signs of Suspension Problems

  • Rough riding – When you feel every bump in the road, it’s a definite sign your shocks and struts need attention.

  • Drifting or pulling when turning – the shocks fail to keep the vehicle body stable against the centrifugal force in a turn. You feel a drifting or pulling sensation.

  • Dips or dives when stopping – Your vehicle lurches forward and dives nose-first when you apply brakes hard.

  • Inconsistent tire treads – Your tread wear is inconsistent or there are bare strips or bald spots. This often means the suspension is failing to hold the vehicle steady.

  • Damaged shocks – Peek under your vehicle and look at the struts and shocks. When they look greasy or oily, there might well be a fluid leakage.

Indications of Brake Trouble

  • Abnormal noise - grinding, squelching, or bumping sounds mean trouble. Be especially attentive to the high squeal of the warn brake pad warning mechanism.

  • Physical feedback - a low pedal, excessively hard pedal or spongy pedal; a pulling, grabbing or vibration feeling in either the pedal or the steering wheel.

  • ABS light - Most often related to the brake hydraulics. It can indicate anything from a bad master cylinder to brake fluid running low.

  • Visual - metal shaving, too much brake dust, or a sudden decrease in brake dust can all indicate a major brake pad issue.

At times, there might be problems with your suspension system or breaks, but without any visible signs. It’s a good idea to get both of these systems inspected on a regular basis. Your CooperMaiks technician may discover minor issues which can be quickly remedied, thereby keeping you and your vehicle safe and avoiding a major and potentially expensive repair later.

CooperMaiks is your full-service vehicle maintenance and repair facility located in Stafford. Please visit our website to learn more about the types of suspension and brakes services and repairs offered.

You can also call 281-499-3922 or stop by our 235 Dulles Ave. location to set an appointment to have your vehicle’s suspension and brakes evaluated.

Talk to us at CooperMAIKS – call at +12814993922 or drop off an email at

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