As general technology in cars has developed the suspension has come along with it in the way that it's becoming more advanced all the time so checking it works correctly when purchasing a second hand car is important as there's more that can go wrong with it. Here are some things you can check with the suspension when looking at a used car:
- If the car bounces excessively - Another sign is that the car leans far to the side when turning on corners. This could be the result of a leak or worn shock absorbers this would simply require the worn parts to be replaced. It is important to make sure they are checked as soon as you realise there is a problem because if not they can affect the steering so when test driving ask how long it has bounced like that for.
- Push test - This is one of the most simple tests you can do you simply have to push down on each corner of the car and the car should go straight back up not too high and back down again. If it goes up a lot higher and then sinks down it may mean the absorbers need replacing due to being worn. This isn't as reliable as the other tests though as you aren't actually checking the parts to check for wear.
- Driving - When you are test driving go slowly or try driving over speed bumps and if you hear a clunking noise then it could be due to thin grease being used in sealing the strut caps instead of thick, high quality grease. In this case you would have to remove the suspension and remove the thin grease from the parts replacing the parts back in the car using thick sealing grease this being quite a time consuming process or you would incur the costs of a garage doing it for you. If this isn't the problem then it could be down to the fluid levels being low, all you need to do is check the levels and if they are down it wouldn't cause a problem they'd just need filling up. However, if they are greatly down there could be a leak some where in the system so just ask when it was last filled.
With there being so many different parts to the suspension systems in cars these days there are more things that can ultimately go wrong with them. Checking them over before you buy the car is important because if you find there is a problem further down the line the cost of replacing the system can be very high.