Your chassis or suspension supports your whole vehicle and affects the way it rides, brakes, handles, steers and how fast the tires wear down. If a ball joint fails or a tie rod end separates, it can mean a major vehicle breakdown which is exactly what suspension inspection and regular repair can help you to avoid.
When you are getting an oil change, having repairs to the exhaust system, getting brakes repaired or having your tires changed, make sure you check your vehicle’s suspension and steering too. You should start with the tires to inspect suspension, since an unusual tire wear can reveal the presence of problems with your alignment, steering or suspension. Then be sure to check the steering, tie rod ends, rack mounts, power steering fluid and fluid level in the power steering pump reservoir. Checking the wheel bearings and ball joints, then control arms, bushings and sway bars is the next step. Then do a “bounce test” to test shocks and struts, and finally check the ride height to ensure the springs aren’t sagging.
To sum up, here is an overview of things to check to make sure your vehicle’s steering and suspension are in good working order: