My Car Is Very Hard On Rough Roads. I Changed All Shocks, Still Not Smooth, Why What To Do

Posted in Coil Spring | Asked on Sep 1, 2010

It is 98 chevy malibu. I suspect that my old shocks were not bad at all, there wasnt any leak. They said it was stiff. I try to bounce by hand, but it is kinda hard compared to other cars. By the way i was told that it was kept outside whole year not driving. Is it my coil springs are bad? is there any adjastment?

There are 3 Answers for "My Car Is Very Hard On Rough Roads. I Changed All Shocks, Still Not Smooth, Why What To Do"

  1. Stallion1948_lloyd says:

    Your springs might be bad if so you will get a bumpy and rough ride,try balancing your car and see if it keeps balancing and check your tires to see if you got too much air in them.

  2. Anonymourati says:

    Well if the springs are bad, if anything the ride would tend to get softer as newer springs offer more resistance and therefore transmit more road shock to the car.

    The two main factors I can think of that might affect the stiffness of your ride are tire pressure and the type of bushings on your sway bars and suspension.

    Let’s take tire pressure first, as it is the easiest and cheapest way to try to address your problem. Tires have a range of acceptable operating pressures to which they can be adjusted. The higher the pressure that you run in the tire, the harder the ride will be. Accordingly, if you determine what the minimum recommended pressure is and also determine that your tires are inflated above that level, your can bleed some air from each tire, being careful to stay above the minimum, and see if the ride does not become less jarring. I would not take them all the way down to the minimum immediately, but do so incrementally and see if you find what you are looking for in terms of effect.

    As to the bushings, there are various hardnesses of bushings that attach sway bars to your undercarriage. The sway bar is a rigid but somewhat flexible rod that is designed to limit suspension travel when cornering–essentially to help hold tha car flatter in turns. They are attached to the chassis with metal sleeves surrounding bushings that in turn form a sort of collar around the sway bar to hold it in place. The harder the bushing, the firmer the connection, and of course, the firmer the connection, the more it transmits energy from road vibrations into the car. Some perfomance shops actually sell aluminum bushings for this use to further stiffen the ride for competition. However, you may wish to go the other way, and see if there are not softer bushings available to smooth out your ride a bit.

    Still, the first thing I would check is the tire pressure.

    Finally, while you indicated you changed your shocks, you should be aware that various types of shocks are designed for various hardnesses of ride. If you replaced yours with a performance shock, it likely produced a stiff ride. Some people even switch over to air shocks which have an adjustable ride, depending upon how much air pressure is put in them. Of course, remember, whenever you soften the ride, no matter from what source, you tend to make the car a bit less responsive in turns and a little more prone to nose-diving in hard braking.

    Oh, yes, and I should mention tires too. Tires can dramtically change the ride of a car. Hardnesses of rubber and differing tread designs can change how much road vibration is transmitted into the chassis. Likewise, if you have large rims and low profile tires (55 series, 50 series, or even 45 series tires) the lower profile tire provides less aborption of bumps, road cracks, etc. than would say a 70 series tire. The big rims may look cool, but on roads that are not absolutely smooth a flat, they are not really very practical.

  3. Rwings8215 says:

    Wow i was going to give you an answer but that last guy was really long winded and frankly I cant even remember your question now