Improvements in suspension design, in combination with the more precise steering, increased body shell rigidity and advances in tyre design have contributed greatly to the improvement in ride, comfort and safety of the modern day motor car.
The suspension defines the use of front and rear springs to suspend a vehicle’s chassis and body above the wheels. The job of a vehicle’s suspension is to maximize the friction between the tyres and the road surface, to provide steering stability with good handling and to ensure the ride comfort of the motor vehicle is acceptable for the driver and passengers.
The springing systems used on today’s motor vehicles are engineered in a wide variety of types, sizes, shapes, and capacities. The variety of different sorts of springs include: leaf springs, coil springs, air springs and torsion bars.
In conjunction with the different types of springs, shock absorbers are used to control the spring action of the motor vehicle allowing the road wheels to rise and fall in a controlled manner when rolling over bumps.
A motor vehicle must have the ability to absorb or isolate road shock from the passenger compartment as the wheels hit bumps. The car needs to remain level over the bumps and remain in control when under heavy braking, acceleration, high speed and cornering.
A motor vehicle’s dynamics are constantly changing when on the move. How well a motor vehicle performs is not only correlated to the number of horses under the bonnet. How well the suspension performs its job in conjunction with the engine and braking system will ultimately decide how quickly a car travels from A to B.
Suspension can be either hard or soft. Soft suspension settings give a more comfortable, cosseting drive, and are therefore very suitable for everyday driving in bumpy and undulating city streets. The hard suspension settings are for those who like to travel quickly, particularly around corners, resulting in a firmer and more sporting drive but to the detriment of overall ride comfort. Many fast and luxurious models have an electronically controlled suspension that can move between a soft and hard suspension setting depending on the demands of the driver.We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is Suspension?’!
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