Check Brakes, Suspension & Bearings

Autosphere » Mechanical » Check Brakes, Suspension & Bearings
Mark Potvin is a specialist in mechanical and electronic diagnostics. Photo Mark Potvin

With spring, it’s time for a serious inspection under your customers’ cars.

I would like to talk to you about the major components necessary for the proper functioning of your customers’ vehicles. These three key parts, which are always in heavy use, should be checked preferably twice a year or as soon as a symptom or abnormal noise is felt. I’m talking about the brakes, suspension and bearings.

These parts work together and are located in the same service area, i.e. under the vehicle, at the wheels. Each of them has a specific job to do and must perform it perfectly, or at least until something breaks.

Wheel bearings all have the same function, to drive the car at high or low speed and to hold the wheel itself in place. In the event of a bearing failure, the wheel could come off the vehicle and cause severe damage as shown in the photo below. This is a part that should not be overlooked, especially when it makes a rumbling noise at high speed.

In the event of a bearing failure, the wheel could come off the vehicle and cause serious damage. Photo Mark Potvin

Second, let’s talk about suspension. Master in its art, with a perfect synchronization, its components cushion each jolt and absorb as well as possible the imperfections of the road whether they are light or severe. Directly connected to the vehicle’s structure, they greatly increase the life of neighboring components, including every steering part, which in mechanics’ jargon includes ball joints, tie rods, link kits, and even our wheel bearings mentioned above. Very important in terms of braking distance, shock absorbers have a useful life of about 80,000 kilometers. For my part, I strongly recommend replacing the suspension after the 100,000 km mark, along with regular maintenance. This allows you to plan the work around your schedule.

Vehicle suspension. Photo Mark Potvin

Finally, a word about the braking system, designed to meet the properties of the vehicle, which may not work optimally if the load capacities indicated by the manufacturer are not respected. In this case, the components will wear out prematurely and could cause damage to the wheel bearing, especially if too much heat is present or if the brakes are overloaded.

Braking system. Photo Mark Potvin

Ttake the time to explain to your customers the importance of performing seasonal inspections to keep the vehicle safe and compliant for our harsh climate. Good diagnosis to all!


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