Christensen Automotive | Gardnerville 775.782.2605 , Carson City 775.882.8888, Reno 775.322.8100, South Lake Tahoe 530.544.9940, Fallon 775-423-5455

Feeling Every Bump? Could Be Your Suspension

A vehicle’s suspension is a series of shock absorbing parts and springs that keep your car driving straight, and from bouncing too hard when riding over bumps. It also helps out with the braking process and keeps the body of your vehicle attached to the wheels.   There are two basic types of vehicle suspensions: independent and solid axel. The main difference between these two is that both right and left wheels attached to the same beam i.e. solid axle, while independent suspensions make provision for one wheel to go up or down without affecting the other wheel. Some of the most important parts of a car’s suspension system include tires, shock absorbers or struts, arms and bushings, ball joints, coil springs, and stabilizer bar link. Like most parts on the car, the shock absorbers and/or struts need to be checked regularly as part of the service schedule of the car.   The shocks and/or struts in your car perform two functions. They dampen spring oscillation, and secondly, they aid in ride control. The springs in your car actually absorb road shocks (not the shock absorbers). Struts are usually found on most modern passenger cars as the shock absorber is placed inside the coil spring therefore saving space as it also acts as the wheels control arm and support. This set-up can make it expensive to replace when necessary. Though the usual life of these components is several years, but this is dramatically reduced by regular driving on uneven roads. A quick check you can do to see whether your shocks are in good order is to push down on the front of...

Taking Care of those Joints

There are joints all over your vehicle and they provide the same service in your car as they do in your body, allowing parts to pivot and rotate for a greater and smoother range of motion. Joints are commonly found in the under-carriage of the car in suspension and steering systems. While in many new cars these joints are ‘sealed’, meaning that they do not need periodic greasing or maintenance, they should be checked regularly as part of your maintenance program to make sure that there is no excessive wear or movement and that the protective rubber is not torn, cracked or missing altogether. Signs of impending joint failures are a clicking or metallic crackling noise while turning and accelerating or a clunking upon deceleration or after hitting a bump. The Ball Joint can also bind and cause a tight spot in the steering travel. Grinding and any sort of vibration are also clues that there could have an issue. You should have any unusual noises or vibrations checked by a qualified automotive repair technician as soon as possible. Universal Joints (U-Joints)  U-Joint ends are both shaped like “U’s” hence the name and they swivel and bend around each other allowing the driveshaft to follow the motions of the differential and axle as the suspension moves. Most U-joints on newer vehicles are “sealed”, but many replacement U-joints as well as the U-joints on older vehicles do have grease fittings which allows the joint to be lubed periodically. Constant Velocity Joints (CV Joints)  All CV joints are enclosed by a rubber or hard plastic boot. The boot keeps grease in...