Your suspension system gives you a smooth ride and works hard to cope with uneven road surfaces. The suspension is part of the chassis and is made up of springs, shock absorbers, struts, as well as linkages, bearings and ball joints. With time, suspension parts wear, leak, warp or break, causing various safety problems. It’s important to replace parts before it’s too late. But what determines the cost?
Read about the factors that affect suspension repair costs:
1. The make and model of your car
The cost of a suspension repair depends on the make, model and year of the car. On luxury or performance vehicles like an SUV or a big sedan, the cost will tend to be higher. But, if it’s an old car with rust underneath, it can be time-consuming for a mechanic to access and remove old parts, which may also result in a higher price.
2. The damages and the parts that need replacing
It is difficult to estimate an average suspension repair cost. The price covers the part itself (from cheap brands to OE quality suspension parts), labour costs, and also the complexity of the replacement.
Remember that in car suspension, parts tend to be replaced in pairs. This means that left and right struts would be replaced, for example. It’s also common to have both the front and rear parts updated at the same time. This is to maintain balance and stability and prevent old or partly-worn parts from stressing new parts.
If you replaced only one side, it would create imbalance: more stress will be exerted on the side that hasn’t been replaced, and reduce its life expectancy.
Your car may also require a wheel alignment after replacing suspension parts, further increasing the cost of the fix. Have a look in the owner’s manual to see whether a wheel alignment is recommended. Even the tiniest misalignment can lead to premature tyre wear and compromise steering and suspension parts.
3. The garage near you
Repair costs vary greatly by area and also depending on your mechanic, so it’s important to phone around local garages for a suspension repair estimate. The adjustment of a new suspension system is complex. The replacement may well be combined with computerised tests and diagnostics to ensure optimal balance.
4. The brand of suspension parts
Ask your local mechanics which brands they recommend. Prices vary for different parts manufacturers. It depends on the quality of materials, design and any product innovations that make them more effective or durable. It may be tempting to opt for the cheapest replacement parts. But if you choose a trusted suspension brand, you’re more likely to save money in the long term through good-value robust parts.
5. Your car insurance
Check with your insurer whether you’re covered for the suspension repair. It will depend on why it is needed; was it from an impact or collision or just general ‘wear and tear’? If you have standard insurance, general wear will not be covered, but your insurer may cover the cost if you’re not responsible for a particular incident (eg. a nasty bang from a pothole, causing misalignment or damage to parts).
Insurance policies varies dramatically, with some covering both parts and labour costs, while others only guaranteeing the cost of the replacement parts.
Don’t avoid the inevitable if you suspect you need to replace suspension parts. The suspension repair cost will help you to avoid further problems developing in the future, as well as keeping you safe with a car that drives at maximum efficiency.
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