Categories: Modification

[100 Questions]What is a vehicle suspension system? Introducing the suspension system structure, types and well-known manufacturers!

table of contents
●What is a suspension system? What is its structure?
●Types of vehicle suspension systems
●Well-known manufacturers of vehicle suspension systems
●Suspension system life and replacement timing

What is a suspension system? What is its structure?

©Orlov Alexander/

The vehicle suspension system is composed of three parts: springs, shock absorbers, and control arms.

A tire has more than two support rods, which can keep the tire in a horizontal position without significant displacement. The height of the vehicle is determined by the balance between the weight of the vehicle and the hardness of the four springs. The upper and lower width of the tire is the maximum value of the shock absorber buffer stroke. .

The configuration of these parts is designed according to the second type of lever principle. The control arm is equivalent to a lever, the contact surface of the tire is the force application point, and the configuration position of the spring and shock absorber is the action point.

The suspension system is constructed by adjusting the three-point positions to effectively utilize the vehicle space and maximize the impact absorption performance of the springs and shock absorbers.

Suspension systems have several stereotyped designs that can meet performance requirements, also known as suspension system types.

What is a spring?

Spring is the part that supports the weight of the vehicle. The hardness of the spring determines the degree of inclination of the vehicle in the front, rear, left and right when driving. It can expand and contract according to the unevenness of the road surface, so that the tire does not leave the road surface and reduces the impact and vibration of the vehicle and passengers.

What is a shock absorber?

It is a part that suppresses the up and down amplitude of the spring. Without shock absorbers, the car would keep shaking due to the bouncing springs. In addition, it is also a part that can control the spring amplitude speed, which also has a great impact on steering performance and riding comfort.

What is a control arm?

The control arm determines the position of the tire relative to the vehicle body and is the support arm that guides the up and down movement of the tire and suspension system. It performs circular motion with the fixed part of the body as the axis, causing the tire to move up and down.

Types of vehicle suspension systems

MacPherson Suspension|Cheap and versatile

©norikko /

MacPherson suspension is a simple design that uses a control arm and a shock absorber with a coaxial spring to support the tire.

Because it is cheap and can be configured in a small space, it is mostly used as the front and rear suspension of small and medium-sized cars.

Double A-arm suspension|Inspire tire grip


It is a suspension system that uses A-shaped control arms arranged up and down to support the tires.

Even if the control arm moves up and down, the tire will not easily change in tilt, so it has the advantage of effectively utilizing the tire's grip. The lateral force is borne by the two A-type control arms, so the suspension system moves up and down very smoothly and the ride comfort is good.

However, this kind of suspension system requires reserved upper and lower arm space. It is generally used in large cars with ample space or sports cars that require high-performance suspension systems. They will use it as front and rear suspension.

Multi-link suspension | High degree of design freedom

Nissan multi-link suspension

Multi-link suspension is composed of more than four links.

Its characteristic is that it can imitate the movement of a double A-arm suspension and has a higher degree of design freedom. It is a high-end version of double A-arm suspension, a high-performance suspension used by sports cars and high-end cars.

In addition to double A-arm suspension, a suspension system that adds control arm lifting performance is sometimes called a multi-link suspension.

Torsion beam suspension|Inexpensive and highly stable rear suspension

The torsion beam suspension is an integrally formed left and right control arm. The number of parts is small and the manufacturing cost is low. It is mainly used for suspension after small FF layout.

Separately configured springs and shock absorbers can reduce vertical installation space. If a large force is applied from the lateral direction when cornering, the entire suspension system including the tires will tilt inward to ensure stability.

Although the ride quality is not as good as that of MacPherson and double A-arm suspension, it can achieve practical performance while reducing costs, and it is a suspension type with a high CP value.

Rigid axle suspension|Advantages of high rigidity and drivability


Rigid axles provide excellent traction on uneven roads. Mainly used for front and rear suspension of off-road vehicles or rear suspension of small 4WD vehicles.

There is a power transmission device inside the steel pipe connecting the left and right wheels to drive the tires. When one tire is lifted, the control arm presses the other tire to the ground, exerting strong traction.

Three-link rigid suspension

Three-link rigid suspension is the simplest configuration. The transverse rod arranged above the axle and the two support arms on the left and right front are maintained.

Five-link rigid suspension

High-speed models can use five-link rigid suspension. The transverse rod and the two support arms at the left and right front can reduce the change of the axle when the suspension moves up and down.

Air pressure suspension system|Advanced suspension with excellent riding comfort

©M. Perfectti/

The pneumatic suspension system is a structure that uses air springs instead of metal springs to support the vehicle weight regardless of suspension type.

The air bag filled with air is used as an air cushion, so it has a soft ride feeling with low rebound. Changing the air pressure in the air bag can also change the ride feeling and vehicle height.

However, in order to install a pneumatic suspension, a compressor that compresses air must be installed. Because the structure is complex, the parts cost is also expensive.

In addition to being sold as after-sales parts, pneumatic suspension is also used as original equipment in some high-end cars. In addition to improving the ride quality, it can also lower the height of the vehicle when it is stationary, making it easier to get on and off the vehicle.

Well-known manufacturer of vehicle suspension systems

Suspension system manufacturers are divided into spring manufacturers and shock absorber manufacturers.

In addition to supplying after-sales spare parts, these two types of manufacturers will also supply them to car manufacturers as original parts.

In particular, Japan's KYB and Germany's Bilstein are very well-known comprehensive suspension manufacturers that deal in both original and after-sales spare parts.

Well-known spring manufacturers include Germany's Eibach, the United States' Hyperco, Japan's Tokyo Clockwork and RS-R, etc. High-performance suspension manufacturers include Sweden's Ohlins, Germany's Sachs, and the United States' Monroe.

Well-known aftermarket parts suspension manufacturers in Japan are TEIN, Tanabe, CUSUCO and Germany's KW. They all sell suspensions that adjust the vehicle height for use under specific conditions.

Comprehensive after-sales parts companies HKS and BLITZ have also launched self-developed suspension parts that can adjust the vehicle height.

Suspension system life and replacement timing


The life of the suspension system will vary depending on the parts and driving environment. It is recommended that the shock absorbers be replaced when the vehicle travels 50,000 kilometers, and the springs approximately when the vehicle travels 100,000 kilometers.

If the control arm is not damaged or rusted, there is no need to replace it. The life of the rubber bushings used in various parts is about 80,000 km.

When the springs age, the car height will only decrease slightly, but when the shock absorbers age, the body will shake obviously, and the rubber bushings will harden and crack, making it easier to feel subtle vibrations.

The aging of the suspension system is not easy to detect and has no impact on normal driving, so it is often left alone. However, as long as you drive at high speed, the aging suspension system will not be able to perform its performance, and it may also cause the tire grip to instantly decrease, making the vehicle inoperable and in danger.

Original source:What is car suspension? Introducing the structure, types, and famous manufacturers!
Want to see more:MOBY

This post was last modified on January 2, 2024 4:11 am


Dreamer is what I am, but unlike many, I struggle to make my dreams come true. I own, seo, admin and site editor. I am a father, married, Christian, Northeastern/Brazil and Libran. I love cars <3

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