Your Mini’s suspension is essential for allowing your car to maintain its overall safety and integrity, not to mention its comfortable ride. It helps prevent your Mini from rolling when cornering, keeps your wheels aligned, and through shock absorption, ensures a smooth ride. Because the suspension has such an integral role to play in the day-to-day operation of your vehicle, problems that it develops tend to become immediately noticeable, and need to be rectified by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.
While the fine details of suspension design tend to vary between make and model of vehicle, all suspension will feature three key parts: shock absorbers, springs, and a strut. The strut is in charge of giving your Mini’s suspension structural support and also helps your car to distribute its weight evenly, while the springs expand and retract to absorb wheel movement. Lastly, the shock absorbers take the energy created from movement and convert it into heat energy, which unlike kinetic energy cannot be felt by the driver. These three parts help ensure a smooth, safe, and comfortable driving experience.
Suspension issues can vary from minor issues such as worn tires, to much more severe issues such as worn shock absorbers. Either way, being aware of the potential problems your Mini might face is important, and can help you to catch an issue early while it’s likely to be minor. Below, we’ve listed below some of the most common suspension issues experienced by Mini drivers who visit our repair shop.
A Mini that lists to the left or right has likely developed suspension problems. Most commonly this is caused by poor wheel alignment, irregular tire wear, or over- or under-inflated tires, but can also be a result of a stuck brake caliper or steering rack failure. Whatever the cause, this problem can make your Mini more unpredictable to drive, meaning you’re at an increased risk of accidents, so when you notice drifting to one side, you should get it looked at as soon as possible.
Starting to feel every bump and dip in the road as you drive is a strong indication that either your suspension’s shocks or struts are in need of investigation. You can test for this issue at home by applying pressure to the front end of your Mini. When you release the pressure, pay attention to how your Mini acts. If it bounces more than a maximum of three times then you’ll need to take your Mini to the shop to have your shocks and struts assessed.
Less common but more severe issues include leaky and worn out shock absorbers, as well as bad leaf springs. Your mechanic will be able to investigate the likelihood of this issue for you.
If your Mini doesn’t appear to be sitting level when parked on a flat surface, then it is likely suffering from a damaged spring. A faulty spring will cause one corner of the Mini to droop or sag and can also produce sounds when navigating bumps in the road. You can test if this is the case by pressing down on the rear of your Mini. When releasing the pressure you should listen out for squealing or creaking noises, which will indicate a spring issue.
Suspension problems can impact the way in which your Mini steers. You may find that turning the wheel in a certain direction becomes tough, or too easy, increasing the unpredictability of your driving experience. If you experience this issue then you need to resolve the problem quickly as your risk of accident or injury is increased.
Here at European Service Center, we know we’re the best in town when it comes to suspension repair. Why? Well to start, we’ve been in business since 1979, which means we’ve fixed a fair number of cars in our time in and around Alpharetta, Chamblee, Cumming, Norcross, Dunwoody, Buckhead, Roswell, Atlanta, GA and Houston, Dallas, and Plano, TX! Secondly, we’re a family owned and operated company, which means that the wealth of knowledge we have gained is passed on generation after generation. Lastly, we offer an impressive 3-year/36,000 mile warranty as standard, so give us a call today to find out how we can help you!