Have you ever wondered why you can sit comfortably in your car for long periods? You might think of seats; yes, automobile seats do have a part, but not as much as your vehicle’s suspension. Yes, the mess of springs and shockers you see sprouting out from under the car is responsible for your smooth ride. Your car’s suspension absorbs the impact of bumps before they strike the frame, giving you a smooth ride. Furthermore, modern suspension systems can react to the type of terrain and automatically set themselves to make the bumpy road a breeze.
The vehicle’s chassis is connected to the front and rear wheels by springs, shock absorbers, and axles. A suspension system refers to all parts that work together to protect parts from shocks.
Springs connect the automotive chassis to the axles in an indirect manner. It is done to protect the body of the vehicle from road shocks caused by bounce, pitch, roll, or sway. These road shocks make for a bumpy ride and put additional strain on the car’s frame and body.
Read more: Understanding car chassis and its importance
In this article, you’ll get to know the common types of vehicle suspension systems and their functions.
Types of suspension system
Suspension systems vary by vehicle body type and, in certain cases, even by brand. Here are the eight most common car suspensions you’ll come across.
Independent suspension refers to a suspension system that is installed on each wheel separately. This means that bumps encountered by one wheel are unaffected by those experienced by the others. As a result, the ride and control are extremely comfortable. The Macpherson Strut, Double Wishbone Suspension, and Multi-link Suspension are some of the suspensions that use this technique.
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Rigid Suspension or Leaf Spring:
The leaf spring rigid suspension, like the beam axle suspension in construction, uses leaf springs instead of coil springs to act as dampers. Leaf springs are large bundles of spring material, mostly steel, that flex as the vehicle’s axle is pressed on them. Leaf springs are perfect for use in commercial vehicles since they can support a lot of weight without breaking a sweat. However, they are not designed for comfort, high speed, or fast turning, and if used under those conditions, the suspension will alter vehicle handling.
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This form of suspension features several links connecting to the automobile chassis and wheel assembly, as the name implies. Because these many links can respond to any force applied to them, they’re also employed in off-road vehicles. On the rear tires, multi-Link suspension systems are used to provide a highly comfortable ride and good grip. This suspension will keep your wheels attached to the ground in the event of a rapid turn. Due to their intricate construction, these suspensions are only found on high-end vehicles, and any damage necessitates a time-consuming and costly repair.
Rigid Axle Suspension:
The rigid axle suspension, also known as beam axle suspension, has a perpendicular axle that is attached to the wheels by a wheel spindle and can be used with leaf springs or coiled springs. A stiff axle is extremely sturdy and capable of carrying a significant amount of weight. The rigid axle suspension, unlike most current suspensions, has a very simple configuration that makes it straightforward to fix and replace. Because of its load-carrying capability and improved articulation, this suspension and its modified versions are employed in heavy-duty vehicles and off-roaders. However, these suspensions are not designed for fast speeds or sharp turns, and if subjected to heavy cornering, the car will rollover.
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Air Suspension System:
Air suspension, often known as air springs, is a type of suspension that uses air bellows instead of coils and dampers. These air bellows can be inflated and deflated with the help of an air compressor to alter the vehicle’s ride height. Air suspension is one of the most comfortable and load-bearing suspensions available, which is why it is found in the majority of high-end luxury and sports automobiles. Many vehicles and buses utilize them because of their weight carrying capabilities. Air suspensions are extremely adaptable, and when combined with an onboard computer, they can adjust to any height, load, or passenger.
The Macpherson strut or suspension, invented by American automotive engineer Earle Macpherson, is one of the most extensively utilized suspension systems in automobiles. Because of its simple form and ability to give comfort, control, and little space consumption, the Macpherson strut is frequently utilized. The inclusion of a steering pivot in the suspension itself marked it apart, which is why it was used in the front suspension. A damper, a steering knuckle with two mounts, and a track control arm make up the suspension.
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The knuckle’s top mount connects to the damper, while the lower one connects to the control arm, allowing the chassis and wheel to move in lockstep. The suspension can be adjusted to fit a wide range of cars and driving situations.
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Trailing Arm Suspension:
A steel arm with one end pivoted to the vehicle’s chassis and the other end to the rear axle, as well as a damper, make up the trailing arm suspension. A trailing suspension, which is typically found on the back of a vehicle, cannot be utilized on heavy-duty vehicles due to the risk of the arm becoming bent, which would impair handling. The rear wheel of a motorbike is the most common example of a trailing arm suspension.
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Double Wishbone Suspension:
These types of vehicle suspension systems are one of the most advanced suspensions ever created, as well as the most effective at smoothing out road bumps. Two A-shaped arms that resemble wishbones make up the double-wishbone suspension. Only independent suspensions have this configuration, which provides for more control and comfort even at high speeds and in tight corners. The double-wishbone suspension and its modified variations are used in luxury cars, sports cars, and race cars because of their agility, stability, and comfort.
That is all for this article where the common types of vehicle suspension systems are being discussed. I hope you learn a lot from the reading is so, kindly share with other students. Thanks for reading, see you around!