It is December in Boston which means a few things: the city is filled with holiday parties and lights while the roads are covered in road salt and ice. Car maintenance in the winter is vital for drivers in New England. Whether you drive a truck, car, or bus you need to be aware of how the winter road conditions affect your car. Of course, there are the obvious things you need to do: switch out your tires with snow tires and add anti-freeze. But beyond the obvious maintenance, there are many ways that winter weather can damage your vehicle long term. Specifically, winter negatively impacts your vehicle’s suspension.
How Winter Roads Cause Suspension Damage
As most drivers know, driving on icy roads can be challenging. Not only is it challening for the driver, but it is also challenging for your car. The constant melting and freezing of ice on roads can create cracks and potholes in the pavement that force your suspension to work overtime. Plus, snowdrifts and uneven ice also force your suspension to overcompensate. There is also excess moisture in the air that can cause rust damage to your suspension. All of the components of your suspension are coated in plastic to protect them from corrosion, but with the road salt and other debris getting kicked up by your tires, that coating can get worn down. That is why it is vital to have your vehicle looked at throughout the winter.
How To Check Your Suspension This Winter
Every mechanic has a checklist of things to check when preparing for winter weather. Tire pressure, alignment, anti-freeze, and fluid levels are all important aspects of that checklist. And for vehicles that drive on backroads frequently it is important to check the suspension. You can actually do a preliminary inspection of your suspension at home. Park your car on flat even ground and inspect the back and sides to see if the car is sagging or leaning in any direction. Of course, the best way to inspect your suspension is to have your vehicle lifted at a mechanic’s shop to check all of the suspension springs. In some cases, springs will need to be replaced or tightened to ensure safe winter driving. If you notice that your vehicle leans in any direction, you should set up a professional inspection before you cause worse damage.