In our day and age, we rely on our vehicles for so much. Most of our recreation, career, and general survival, relies on our ability to drive ourselves to where we need to go. In this blog we will discuss the topic of car suspension systems, specifically when they were created, what they are, what they do. Also, we will add a little bit of physics in order to show you the science behind the system.
There is a lot more to a vehicle than just horsepower or even its shiny coat of paint. Both of these qualities, though desirable, mean nothing if the driver cannot control their car. Suspension was introduced to vehicles as a system of tires, springs, shock absorbers, and linkages to connect the car to its wheels. The first suspension system wasn’t fully created until the 1930s. However, years before, engineers in France had been designing shock absorbers for their vehicle, the “Mors Machine.”
The main purpose of a suspension system is to ensure friction between the tires and the roads surface. This may not seem very important if you live in a flatly structured place, as suspensions don’t have much use on smooth and flat surfaces. However, most of the United States is not flat. Besides that, most government paved highways have subtle blemishes or irregularities. Without shock absorbers, those little bumps would turn your ride home into a roller coaster. But why? The reason for this can be explained with physics.
Sir Isaac Newton claimed that “every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it.” The best example of this would be when your tires when they hit a bump in the road. Your tires will always continue forward as along as you are in a state of acceleration. However, when the surface (the road) is not flat, your tire hits that imperfection (bump). Your suspension system is used to protect you and your loved ones while in the car, by adjusting to the bump and ensuring the tire stays in tact with the vehicle. Newton’s law of motion also states with every force there is both magnitude and direction. Magnitude in this example represents the speed you hit a bump, and direction represents the direction your tire moves to meet the bump. In the case of a bump, the motion would be upwards. Both of these factors acting on your tire creates vertical acceleration, which is the reason why suspension systems were created.
Without a system in place to absorb the energy of hitting a bump in the road, added stress is applied to the frame of your car. Because of the added pressure, the wheels can lose contact with the road. As gravity acts on your vehicle, the car comes in contact with the ground at a rapid pace. This sudden slamming is very hard on the wheels and the overall structure of your vehicle. Also, the absence of a suspension system makes any ride in your vehicle unbearably uncomfortable, as you will be shifted up and down with every slight imperfect in the road.
If you live in Loveland, CO, you know for a fact that the roads in our state are not all smooth and flat. Our roads can go from an easy cruise to a bumpy cruise in a matter of seconds. That is why, it is so important to get your suspension system checked. If you are interested in auto repair or checking the overall state of your suspension system, look no further than Loveland Tire and Auto Repair. Our experienced auto mechanics can help you and have your car running smoothly in no time!