Performance Parts / Replacement Parts

Without a suspension system, you would not only have a bone shaking ride but little vehicle control as well. A tire bouncing in the air in reaction to a bump can’t direct, move or stop the vehicle. The suspension keeps the wheels in contact with the road surface for steering and traction, so power gets to the ground and you can remain in control. All suspensions have springs to absorb bumps and shock absorbers to control the action of the springs.

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Independent suspensions can be classified according to whether they use struts or shock absorbers. A strut is a type of shock absorber that also serves as a supporting suspension member. There are modified struts where the springs are separate, but the most common type is the MacPherson strut, which incorporates a shock, spring and suspension member in one unit. Shock absorbers are used with control arm suspensions. Shocks and struts are the most commonly serviced suspension parts. Because they deteriorate gradually and degrade handling and ride quality, it is recommended that they be replaced after 50,000 miles.

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There are far too many suspension system designs for a detailed discussion here, but all can be divided into live (solid) axle suspension and independent suspension. A live axle is so called because the wheels at one end of the vehicle are linked by the axle, and a bump in the road that affects one wheel will also disturb the wheel on the other side. As the name implies, independent suspensions allow the wheels to move independently of each other, and the effect of a bump on the road encountered by one wheel will be isolated to that wheel and will not affect the wheel on the other side of the vehicle.

Leaf springs are the oldest type of springs and generally used to both suspend and locate live axles. They are the springs of choice for hauling because they can carry heavy loads and the capacity can be easily increased by adding leaves. Coil springs are the most common type of spring in use today. They are much easier to tune for specific ride and/or handling characteristics than leaf springs, making them ideal for performance vehicles. Torsion bars are lengths of spring steel that serve the same purpose as coil springs. The advantage of torsion bars is that they can be adjusted to correct vehicle ride height.

The wheels, springs, and shocks or struts are attached to the vehicle with suspension members called control arms. Control arms can be called different names according to the suspension system and where they are located on the vehicle, including short and long arms, radius arms, and trailing arms. In general they are made of stamped steel or aluminum and articulate by means of bushings and ball joints. The control arms themselves are generally very durable and usually only replaced if bent, but the bushings and ball joints wear and require replacement to eliminate play that can affect handling and alignment.

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Guides & Articles

  • Performance Suspension Parts
    Coilovers Are Pricey - Why Would I Spend My Money For Them?
    When first glancing through the Performance Coilover Kits section of our website, you may be put off by some of the prices you see. After all, what are you buying other than a combo set of springs and shocks under some fancy name? Certainly, you ask yourself, can't you purchase springs and shocks separately and monetarily come out ahead?
  • Automotive Tools
    What Special Tools Are Available For Suspension Repair?
    Seasoned professional automotive technicians often say if you're using too much physical effort during a repair, you're simply not using the right tool. This is true, and a perfect example is repairing and replacing suspension components. If you've ever done this type of work or attempted to do it, you know it can be trickier than merely loosening and tightening bolts.
  • Performance Suspension Parts
    Coil, Leaf, & Torsion Bar | Describing The 3 Different Kinds of Springs
    The springs in your vehicle probably aren't something you think about until there's a problem or you've decided to upgrade suspension parts in the interest of sportier handling. But what specifically do springs do? In short, they play a major role in the safe handling and ride comfort of your vehicle. Not only do they keep a vehicle at a designated standing height, they provide recoil necessary to bounce back after suspension components move up and down over uneven road surfaces. By themselves, springs will continue to bounce up and down for a long time unless a motion damper such as a shock absorber is present to keep things stable. Springs can be soft and extremely bouncy, or they can be stiffer and less bounce-prone.
  • Performance Suspension Parts
    How Do Shock Absorbers Work?
    Shock absorbers (also known as "shocks") are the suspension components which slow, then stop, the up-and-down bouncing movement of your vehicle's springs through a process known as dampening. Without shocks to calm things down, springs will continue to extend and release energy they absorb from bumps in the road at an uncontrolled rate - bouncing for a long time until their kinetic energy finally dissipates. Needless to say, this would produce an extremely bouncy ride that would be hard to control over uneven road surfaces.
  • Ignition Parts
    Auto Parts: Dealer vs. Aftermarket
    The question of whether to buy parts from an automotive dealer vs. ones from aftermarket manufacturers is as age-old as the automobile itself. Below, we'll take a look at things worth considering to help you make a better choice if you're facing that same question. Automobile manufacturers and dealerships always advertise the fact that their parts are "genuine" because they were made by the exact same production facility that made the parts installed on the assembly line.
  • Performance Suspension Parts
    Stock vs Performance Suspension
    Very often we don't even realize what a crucial role a car's suspension plays in providing a safe and comfortable ride. The system maximizes the friction between the road surface and your vehicle's tires, ensuring steering stability along with responsive handling.
  • Performance Suspension Parts
    Shocks Versus Struts: The Big Answers Revealed!
    Shock absorbers, also known simply as “shocks” (which is what we will call them for the rest of this article), are the suspension components which stop your car or truck from bouncing up and down after hitting a bump. They are a major contributor to your ride comfort and safety.
  • Replacement Suspension Parts
    How to Inspect Your Suspension System
    The very first thing to know about timely suspension system diagnosis is that the stability and steering control of your vehicle and, what is more important, your safety on the road depends on how often you make it. Automotive suspension belongs to one of those car systems that are constantly exposed to high loads and thus are prone to wear and tear. Most specialists recommend inspecting suspension system after every 6,500-7,500 miles or when there are any signs of its breakage.
  • Performance Suspension Parts
    How Low Can You Go?
    Lowering is high on the list of many people who want to improve the appearance of their car. If you want to lower your car with the coil springs, then replacing them with lowering springs is the way to go. But what if you want to lower your car and also make it handle better? If that’s your goal then consider coil-over shocks.

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Replacement Suspension Parts Reviews

Average rating:  5  4.8 - 850 reviews
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4.8 of 5
Arnott 2785 Air Strut
Product was packaged properly. Once unwrapped, i was surprised as it comes with all new hardware to install. Quality looks far superior and more durable than OEM strut. Installation was slightly difficult due to strut arriving pumped with air. Proper tools and a lift are great help. Couldn't be happier with purchase, searched all over internet and CARiD had the best deal even shipping to Hawaii!
APosted by Alberto (Honolulu, HI) /
2011 Mercedes CLS Class
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