Cars Simplified

The Suspension System

The suspension sytem, or suspension as it is often shortened to, is a set of components which exists for both performance improvements and driver comfort. Different makes and models of vehicles have different suspension layouts, but the basic idea of every one of them is to allow the wheels to move somewhat freely from the chassis, while at the same time preventing itself from sagging, and to keep all wheels pressed to the ground as much as possible.

    A List of Suspension Components

    A numbered list of suspension components.
  1. Nut
  2. Bushing
  3. Strut Assembly Mount
  4. Strut Tip Alignment Washer
  5. Spring Retainer
  6. Strut Bearing
  7. Strut Alignment Bushing
  8. Coil Spring
  9. Strut Protective Casing
  10. Shock Absorber/Strut
  11. X
  12. Anti-Roll Bar Mounting Brackets
  13. Anti-Roll Bar Bushings
  14. Strut Bolts (2)
  15. N/A
  16. Control Arm Bolts (4)
  17. Control Arm
  18. Wheel Hub Assembly
  19. Axle Nut
  20. Hub Studs (5)
  21. Lower A-Arm
  22. A-Arm Bolts (2)
  23. Strut Assembly Mount Nuts (3)
  24. Strut Bolt Nuts (2)

The suspension components above are from a refurbished Delorean DMC-12. You can see the coil spring with the coil-over shocks (shock absorbers) inside. The brake disc with the gold brake components are part of the unsprung weight.

Pictured below is the point where the suspension is mounted to the chassis. Usually there are three bolt points, with a bushing showing in the center.

A photo of the wheel well suspension mounting location.

There are a few vehicles that don't have a suspension system. Many go-karts (including racing karts) have axels and steering systems which are bolted right to the chassis. Many of the earliest cars didn't have any notable suspension because they didn't go fast enough to need is, and it would have been expensive.