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Understand Your Car: Suspension by:Andrew Blake

Understand Your Car: Suspension by:Andrew Blake

Your car's suspension is composed of a system of shock absorbers

, springs and linkages that connects the vehicle's body to its wheels. It contributes to the car's braking and handling.

There are two general kinds of suspension systems: independent and dependent. It refers to the opposite wheel's ability to move against or towards of each other.

Independent suspensions have several subtypes, including double wishbones, multiple-links and McPherson struts. Independent suspensions are said to be more comfortable and capable in road holding on varied surfaces. It allows the wheels to rise and fall on their own without affecting the opposite wheel. Some suspension devises the link the wheels are still classified as independent, an example of this is sway bars.

Dependent suspensions include types like rigid axles and torsion-beams. These are more versatile and are also cheaper. It normally has a beam or a live axle that holds wheels parallel to each other and perpendicular to the axle. When the camber of one wheel changes, the camber of the opposite wheel follows in the same direction. Dependent suspensions are most common on vehicles that carry large loads.

There is a third type, which is semi-independent. Here, the motion of one wheel affects the position of the others, but they are not rigidly attached to each other. A twist-beam rear suspension is an example of this system.

About the author

Andrew Blake is a long-time car enthusiast. He buys and sells cars for a living and has a motor shop to supplement his hobby. Before deciding to go out on his own and set up his car business, he has worked with auto dealers and car leasing companies for 5 years. He shares his love and knowledge about cars by creating articles for
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