Suspension & Steering

Your suspension system helps you stay in control when you’re on the road. CARMAX AUTOCARE can help ensure your safety by keeping your suspension system up to every twist and turn the road may bring.


Suspension Fault Warning Signs

  • Fluid leaking out of the shock or strut body
  • Shock or strut bodies are dented or damaged
  • Mounts or bushings are broken or worn
  • Cupped, uneven tire wear
  • Worn, Busted or leaking Ball Joints
  • Vehicle sways or leans on turns
  • Vehicle vibrates on high speeds
  • Vehicle “nose dives” when you apply the brakes
  • Clicking sound when you turn your steering wheel
  • Excessive bouncing after hitting a road bump
  • Harsh, bumpy or shaky ride
  • Steering is stiff or makes noise

As you can imagine, your suspension has a lot of joints and pivot points that allow your wheels to move up and down over bumps and to turn as you steer. These parts include ball joints, inner and outer tie rod ends, Stabilizer Linkages, idler arms and the control arm ball joints and bushings. They simply wear out over time. When a joint or other part is worn the suspension parts don’t fit together as tightly as they should. Handling and steering has a loose feel and you may hear strange noises. Your tires will wear unevenly because they’re bouncing down the road in an uneven manner.

A loose joint has the effect of stressing other suspension components so they wear out faster than they should. Sometimes a suspension part can be bent from hitting a rock or curb or by slamming into a big pothole.

When our Auto Technicians inspects your vehicle, they’ll look for signs of suspension problems: things like uneven tire wear, excessive play in suspension components and other visible damage. These will be shown to you as a list of Critical and Non-Critical recommendations. On approval, we will replace the worn or damaged parts and restore safe handling.

It’s a great idea to take care of these problems right away before they become more expensive to repair. And nobody likes to see a tire that should last for several years get worn out in a matter of months because of a bad suspension part.

Let us help you keep your vehicle operating safely. And saving some money on repairs and tire replacement is a good thing too.



Q: My steering column shakes when I brake hard. Is this normal?

A: Nope, that’s definitely not normal. Your brake rotors are probably the culprit here, but we’ll take a look and let you know for sure.

Q: What is the difference between shocks & struts?

A: Shocks and struts are basically the same thing, but a strut is generally larger. The basic function of a shock or strut is to keep the tire in contact with the road. With the exception of air shocks, shocks and struts do not support the weight of the vehicle. That is normally done with springs or torsion bars.

Shocks and Struts – more than you wanted to know.

When it comes to absorbing the shocks of the road, you’d think the shock absorbers would take care of everything. But you’d only be half right. Actually, coils handle the abuse of the road. Your shock absorbers handle the abuse caused by the rebound of the springs. They both work together to keep your vehicle under control. Those 2 components, plus a variety of control arms, shafts, rods, bushings, ball joints, and linkages make up what’s commonly called a conventional car suspension. Many larger SUVs and pickup trucks still use this time-tested design.

Many of today’s front-wheel drive cars have a strut suspension system that combines the control arms and shock absorbers of a conventional car suspension into one unit, eliminating the need for a lot of other components. Struts cost more, but they do more than conventional shock absorbers and have fewer components to maintain.