Smooth Sailing…On the Road

Major Vehicle Suspension Components and Functions

Most of us are familiar with the term “smooth sailing”, indicating that everything is okay and the passage is pleasant. That’s what you want from your car — only applied to a road, not water. Let’s be real. The suspension system is hidden away underneath the sleek paint job on your vehicle — out of sight, out of mind — unless there is a problem. When there’s an issue, your auto’s suspension system is suddenly anything but out of mind. To make sure your ride is safe, well-handling, and comfortable, bring it to the certified technicians at Haver’s Auto Repair in Elkhorn, Nebraska, where we’ve been keeping the journey smooth since 1957.

Main Components and Functions

If life were perfect, there would be no bumps along our paths of travel. All drivers know, however, that there are potholes, dips, and rough spots. For those, we rely upon our auto’s suspension system to smooth out the ride and enable adequate handling, the ability to accelerate, brake, and corner. To accomplish all the tasks that result in safety and creature comforts, the suspension system works together with the frame, wheels and tires, and steering system. The suspension system bears weight and absorbs shock from the bumps in the road to ensure that the tires can stay in contact with the road. This system is comprised of springs, dampers, and anti-sway bars.


Springs are created in one of four designs (coil springs, leaf springs, air springs, or torsion bars), and allow enough “give” so that the body of the vehicle can “float” across bumps rather than jolt over them. Their function lessens the impacts felt by passengers inside the car. Spring designs and locations are used to balance the ride quality with the corner ability. (Generally, smoother riding cars don’t corner as well, while those that corner best usually have a less forgiving ride).


Dampeners are usually found in the form of shock absorbers. These attach to the frame and axle, lessening the motion of the spring. Shock absorbers are necessary because while springs absorb a lot of unwanted energy when the auto crosses a rough surface, they don’t dissipate that energy well. The shock, which works on the hydraulic principle, keeps the car from bouncing uncontrollably using extension and compression cycles. Another, more specialized shock absorber is a strut which is mouted sideways inside a coil spring to add structural support.

Anti-Sway Bars:

Anti-sway bars provide additional stability. They are metal rods that reach across the axle width and prevent extreme side-to-side motion.

Your “Home Port” Auto Shop

As you can see, the suspension system controls the vehicle’s motion and stability in a way that provides both comfort and safety. To keep your car “sailing” along, make Haver’s Auto Repair in Elkhorn, Nebraska, your “home port” for auto repair.

By on December 2nd, 2020 in Suspension Repair