Symptoms: Clunking Over Bumps, Car Shaking, Steering Wheel Pull, Front End Shimmy, Front End Shakes, Bald Tires, Unusual Tire Wear Patterns, Clunks While Driving, Rattle in the Front, Alignment is Off, Steering Wheel Off Center, Car Bounces Excessively






Suspension, Steering & Alignment – Medi-CAR – Near Farmington, MN– Rosemount, MN

The suspension system includes the springs, shock absorbers and linkages that connect the vehicle to its wheels. Suspension systems serve a dual purpose – road handling for safety and passenger comfort from road noise, bumps and vibration.

It’s been said that Minnesota has two seasons; winter and road repair. Not only does this mean traffic congestion, but our post winter roads riddled with potholes are cruel to our cars-especially the suspension system.

You may notice problems with your car’s suspension by hearing abnormal pops, clunks or squeaks; unusual tire wear patterns; steering wheel pull; and front end shimmy (a side-to-side vibration of the front wheels).

The basic suspension system is comprised shocks/struts, control arm, stabilizer bar, tie rod ends and ball joints. Several of these parts such as ball joints, outer tie rod ends and control arms have what is called “zero tolerance limits” meaning they should be replaced with any looseness or movement because of the safety ramifications when they fail.

Beyond safety issues, worn suspension components will prematurely wear those expensive tires. In addition, if your tires are not properly aligned, you willend up wearing the tires out more quickly…and poor tread means poor traction-hazardous in Minnesota winters.

Here are a sampling of symptoms with a list of possible causes, relative to the suspension. Except where noted, these components need to be replaced.

Vehicle Has Abnormal Tire Wear

  • Incorrect tire pressure (inflate tires to correct air pressure)
  • Tire imbalance (balance tires)
  • Wheels out of alignment (adjust or replace components as required)
  • Worn tie rod ends, ball joints, suspension bushings
  • Worn shocks or struts
  • Bent control arm or spindle
  • Loose wheel bearings

Vehicle Pulls to One Side

  • Uneven tire pressure (inflate tires to correct air pressure)
  • Mismatched tires
  • Improper front or rear wheel alignment setting
  • Worn ball joints or suspension bushings
  • Power steering rack or box defective
  • Other worn components

Vehicle Wanders

  • Worn tie rod ends
  • Wheels out of alignment (align to factory specs)
  • Low tire pressure (inflate tires to correct air pressure)
  • Loose wheel bearings.
  • Worn idler arm or pitman arm
  • Worn suspension bushings
  • Worn struts or shock absorbers

Vehicle Has Excessive Play in Steering

  • Loose steering gear adjustment (adjust steering gear)
  • Loose steering gear mounting
  • Worn tie rod ends
  • Loose wheel bearings
  • Worn idler or pitman arm

Vehicle Has Front Wheel Shimmy

  • Tire imbalance
  • Bent wheel
  • Worn or loose wheel bearings
  • Wheels out of alignment (align to factory specs)
  • Worn hydraulic steering damper
  • Worn bushings
  • Bent steering or suspension component

Vehicle Has Clunking Noise Over Bumps

  • Loose shock absorber mountings
  • Loose strut mounting nut
  • Worn shocks or struts
  • Deteriorated suspension bushings
  • Worn ball joints
  • Sway bar/stablizer end links making noise from wear

Vehicle Has Steering Wheel Pull or Shimmies When Braking

  • Weak or broken spring
  • Worn shocks or struts
  • Deteriorated suspension bushings (especially control arm pivot)
  • Loose wheel bearings
  • Wheels out of alignment (align to factory specs)

Warning (& Tips)

  • You should get an alignment after any accident, even a minor fender bender.
  • Tires are expensive, it is recommended to do an alignment when replacing four tires.
  • While having the alignment checked, ask your mechanic to check all the front-end and suspension components (they’ll usually do this anyway).
  • Though most cars typically require only a front-wheel alignment, some cars require four-wheel alignment (front and back).


Schedule Your Appointment


Medi-CAR Auto Repair /
14555 South Robert Trail Rosemount, MN 55068

Appointments: (651) 322-6466 /  Hours: M-F, 7:30 am - 5:30 pm  



Medi-CAR Auto Repair - a local, independently-owned auto repair shop servicing Rosemount, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, Apple Valley, and Farmington, Minnesota and the Twin Cities Area.