Your car’s suspension and steering systems are important both for comfort and safety. The two systems are closely linked, which is why they are usually referred to together.
There are two basic types of steering system - mechanical and rack and pinion. The mechanical type is simpler. Its weakness is that the pivot points wear out over time and require replacement. Rack and pinion steering has the advantage of being more precise and responsive. Its downside is that it is prone to leakage, requiring replacement of the rack assembly. Rack and pinion systems usually are equipped with a MacPherson strut suspension. The advantage is that MacPherson struts improve handling and responsiveness. Eventually they will leak and need to be replaced. MacPherson struts cost more to replace than a conventional shock absorber, but they generally last longer.
Theoretically, you could drive your car without a suspension system, if you didn’t mind it having the same kind of ride you'd find on a skateboard. The suspension system provides comfort for passengers by suspending the car’s frame, body, and powertrain above the wheels.
Springs are a central part of your car’s suspension. They absorb and store road shock caused by the bumps that you run over. Shock absorbers and struts further smooth road impacts by dampening the up-and-down oscillations of the springs.
Working together, the components of your suspension and steering systems ensure that your car not only provides a comfortable ride, but handles well enough to safely corner, accelerate, and brake.
It’s a good idea to have your suspension and steering checked at least once a year. Loose steering parts not only can make a car difficult to handle, but will cause the front tires to wear out prematurely.
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