Use Test Drives To Learn And Explain Suspension Issues (VIDEO)

Use Test Drives To Learn And Explain Suspension Issues (VIDEO)

A proper test drive can clarify the real problem. This video is presented by The Group Training Academy.

Test drives can be one of the best ways a shop can sell more suspension service – in fact, they may often be the only way.

Shocks and struts on late model vehicles are often shielded by a lot of plastic to protect the rods and seals. This actually makes looking for a leak more difficult and even if there are no leaks, a lot of the wear on a modern shock and strut happens internally. The oil and valving inside a strut can wear out or the gas chamber can leak and mix with the fluid. You normally have to feel the failure.

A proper test drive lets you use your most powerful ride control tool: perspective. A technician or service writer behind the wheel brings fresh senses to the vehicle that haven’t been dulled by thousands of miles.

 Before the test drive, have a clear list of symptoms and related conditions the customer might be experiencing. On the test drive, you should have a clear and methodical plan that inspects for ride control component replacement and other unperformed repairs.

 A good test driver will be able to observe conditions or problems with the vehicle that have developed so slowly the owner is unaware of them — like degraded shocks and struts. One of the keys to becoming a good test driver is to find a driving “loop” or route that has a variety of road conditions. A predetermined loop adds a consistency that helps you spot small problems.

 For suspension road tests, your test loop should consist of sections: a flat and straight section; an area to test braking and acceleration; an area with a dip or bump; and an area that offers both left and right turns.

 Use a parking lot or rarely used section of road for the braking and acceleration section of the test. This test is used to detect brake pulls, torque steer and worn or loose suspension or steering components. Check for excessive nose-diving during braking. This is not normal and may be caused by worn springs or other ride control components.

 Excessive suspension bouncing may be the result of weak shocks; bottoming out of the suspension may be the result of weak springs. Check for steering difficulties that may be the result of mechanical binding or interference.

 Any excessive body sway could indicate worn springs, shocks or stabilizer assemblies. Listen for any excessive tire squealing during turns. This can be caused by incorrect alignment settings or a turning angle out of specifications.

 Your customer is unlikely to tell you what to expect with their vehicle’s ride, either he doesn’t know what’s wrong with the car or he fears being fleeced by mentioning something that may not need to be replaced. By not performing a proper test drive, you could be missing the most important part of the customer’s complaint. For more information about ride control, visit FCSAutoparts.com.

This video is presented by The Group Training Academy.

You May Also Like

What’s All The Noise About? (Video)

Know the full situation when a customer says they can hear a loud buzzing in their vehicle. Sponsored by Carter Engineering.

We've all heard it many times, a loud buzzing noise coming from the rear of a vehicle. Chances are the car runs fine and it's the noise that your customer is concerned about.

The first thing we're going to think about is that the fuel pump should be replaced. And that truly may be the case, but before you hand down a diagnosis, you'll want to inspect the vehicle and review all the things that can cause a noisy fuel pump.

Before The Electric Fuel Pump (Video)

When a mechanical fuel pump comes into your shop, you need to know how to handle it. Sponsored by Carter Engineering.

ASE G1 Test Prep: Spark Plug Tips

Take a look at the three most common styles of spark plugs. This video is sponsored by Autolite.

Kooler Kleen Product Overview

Lubegard’s Kooler Kleen is a perfect alternative to an expensive hot flush machine. This video is sponsored by Lubegard.

2007-2021 Toyota Tundra Strut Replacement (VIDEO)

Follow along the step by step installation process for struts on 2007-2021 Toyota Tundra’s. This video is sponsored by PRT.

Other Posts

Guidelines To Visually Inspecting A Shock Or Strut

The first thing you need to realize is that no seal is perfect.

Why Shocks, Struts And Tires Wear Down

If the suspension bottoms out, contact between the piston and the bottom of the tube could occur.

Air Ride Conversion Kits

Air ride and active shocks and struts will eventually fail – succumbing to either damage to or dry rot of the air spring.

Training Techniques to Teach Today’s Techs

The need, dependency and resources for training continue to grow. This video is sponsored by The Group Training Academy.