Driving is many things to many people: freedom, personal expression, and practical transportation are often top of the list. But one aspect of driving is crucial and without it all the other aspects are forgotten - ride quality.
A poor ride experience is easy to identify - you simply know it when you're having one. But have you ever stopped to wonder what goes into making such a memorably bad ride?
These 3 little things determine your quality and they are as follows: that incessant road noise coming from the tires, the sloppy, bouncey steering, and the gut-wrenching judder as you apply the brakes. There are more but the bottom line is this, the tires, the suspension and the brakes are culprits and if you're not keeping them in shape, they'll ruin your ride experience.
Tires are simply black donuts of rubber - right? Wrong, these little beauties are the only thing between you and the road and the major tire companies invest millions in their design and manufacture. There is nothing simple about a tire and yet we often treat them with such disregard. Improper inflation, improper balancing and simply using the wrong tire for the wrong road application all help to wear our tires quicker than needs be.
The suspension is another piece of modern-day science fiction. Designed to dampen the bumps and bounces of driving a one-ton vehicle at speeds only imagined a century back, it's amazing how it all works together. If your suspension is malfunctioning or worn, you'll notice that your vehicle feels loose on the road. The ride will be bouncy and the steering less responsive. Of course, if the tires are under-inflated too this only compounds matters.
So picture this, you're behind the wheel of a one-ton machine driving (or is that bouncing) along the road with soft worn tires and spongy shocks. . . what else is required to deliver the worst possible driving experience - bad brakes! When the brakes are unevenly worn they apply torsional forces (they pull the car to one side) and that affects the braking pattern. If the brakes are sticking (as can happen after the winter months - road salt is not kind to cars), you'll hear clicking and other squealing sounds. Braking - as you know - is rather important when approaching a stationary object that you'd like to avoid *wink*
Bottom line, it's unlikely you're driving around with a car experiencing all these extreme issues, however remember to ask your automotive service technician to inspect these elements the next time your vehicle in in the shop. A good shop offers to inspect these things for you from time to time - and you'd be wise to accept their offer. Contrary to popular belief your repair shop is not looking to make more work, they're trying to keep you safe, and your car on the road longer.
About Peck Brother Ltd: Dave Peck is the owner operator of Peck Brothers Ltd, a full service accredited automotive service and repair facility in Thornhill Ontario. With over 30 years experience, and thousands of happy customers to their credit, Peck Brothers is proud to serve the local community of Thornhill and the surrounding areas. If you live locally and would like to discover what makes this automotive repair facility so special, drop by in person or visit us on the web at http://PeckAutos.com and remember to sign up for our free newsletter to get more great articles, tips and special money saving offers.