If camber is off on one side only, a close encounter with a pothole or curb may have bent a spindle, control arm or strut.
Normal driving usually won’t knock the wheels out of alignment or damage the suspension. However, normal driving also involves encounters with the unexpected, which often include potholes, curbs, parking lot speed bumps and other things that jar and stress the suspension.
Take a bent steering arm, for example. A bent arm will change toe alignment. Only 1/8-inch of toe misalignment produces scrub equivalent to dragging the tire sideways 28 feet for every mile that’s traveled. So if you see a feathered wear pattern on the tires, or what looks like camber wear on the inside or outside shoulders of both front tires (radials primarily), toe is probably out of alignment. Shoulder wear on both outside edges can be caused by toe-in while shoulder wear on both inside edges can result from toe-out.
One spring rate might be great for controlling body lean, but it could be too hard to provide a comfortable ride.
Electronically adjustable shocks and struts use conventional mono-tube and twin-tube oil-filled dampeners.
One mistake to avoid when replacing struts is reusing the bearing plates or upper mounts.
Presenting your customer with inspection results and benefits of replacement will help sell the job.
What is the cause for the failure? Why does it occur with specific vehicles? The answers might surprise you.
Let’s take a closer look at adjustable shocks and struts, what they do, and how one should go about adjusting them.
It’s important to remember not to miss a worn joint. If a ball joint fails, the driver loses control of the vehicle.