Niagara Gazette

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March 20, 2014

TOM'S CORNER: Winter gives way to spring in the car world

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Suspension system damage

During winter, suspension systems suffer great stress. Springs, control arms, shocks/struts, & mounts go can bad causing all kinds of cornering and handling problems. You might not even be aware of the damage done until now because of roadways being clear and you being able to drive your car at normal highway speeds. If you’re experiencing cornering-handling problems, get the car into the shop and have the suspension checked for damage. Repair anything that needs repairing.

 

Wheel alignment

If any of the components in the steering or suspension system/s are damaged or worn, it can result in misalignment of the tires. This will not become apparent until some time down the road when the tires display excessive tire wear. So if the car is handling poorly and a steering/suspension inspection turns up no apparent damage or excessive wear, have the wheel alignment checked, it may be out and need adjustment.

 

Drivetrain damage

The drivetrain includes the transmission, CV/Universal Joints, Driveshaft/s, wheel hub assemblies… virtually anything that is responsible for driving the vehicle’s wheels. After winter passes through, problems with the drivetrain usually become evident because we now can drive at normal highway speeds. Noises that could not be heard before now sound off front & center! Drivetrain vibrations become apparent on acceleration and deceleration. Clicking when turning corners is now heard from worn CV Joints. A good idea is to give the system the “once-over” the next time you go in for an oil change. Check for low or discolored fluids; check the CV/Universal joints for tightness, on front wheel drive vehicles check the CV Joint boots for tears. If torn, replace right away or your CV Joints will suffer the result of lost lubricant and exposure to the weather and roadway elements.

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