You just know when your vehicle is handling well. It feels good when you make sharp turns and you feel extra confident while driving. You feel like you have total control no matter what the road throws at you.
Likewise, you can usually tell right away when something is off with the car's handling. It just doesn't feel right, whether it's pulling to one side, drifting on turns or there are lots of bumps and vibrations. Handling problems can be caused by any number of issues, which is why it is so important to have a professional mechanic inspect and diagnose the specific problem(s). If your car isn't handling well, it can dramatically impact your safety as a driver and also lead to more mechanical issues within the vehicle.
According to the Bay Area auto repair specialists at San Francisco Automotive Solutions, here are some of the most common causes of poor vehicle handling:
1. Suspension System
If something is wrong with your front or rear suspension, you will definitely feel it while driving. The most common issue will be feeling more bumps and vibrations than usual. Another common problem is the car lurching forward awkwardly when you come to a stop.
2. Wheel Alignment
The wheels naturally get out of alignment over time, but sometimes other mechanical issues can exacerbate the problem. It's a good idea to get your wheel alignment checked periodically and to get adjustments/repairs as needed for the best possible handling.
Bad brakes can also affect the vehicle's handling. If brake pads or rotors are getting weak or a caliper is sticking, you will definitely feel it and you will probably also hear it!
The health of the wheels and the tires are also important when it comes to the handling of a car. If your tire treads are low or significantly uneven (a major sign of bad wheel alignment), they won't grip the road and you won't have proper control of the vehicle. If wheel bearings are wearing out or seizing up, that can also cause major handling problems.
5. Power Steering
Another common source of handling issues is the power steering system. You may need to change out the power steering fluid. If you have a modern electric power steering system, there may be some mechanical problems or computer settings that need to be addressed.
6. Transmission & Drivetrain Components
Last but not least is the transmission and the various drivetrain components between it and the vehicle's four wheels (differentials, axles, CV joints, U-joints, transfer case, etc.). This system is what controls the power to all four wheels, so if there is a problem you may feel it when the car handles poorly.
These are just some of the most common issues associated with poor handling. If you are experiencing handling issues in your car, bring it to San Francisco Automotive Solutions for a complete inspection and quality repairs. Call or text us today at (415) 957-1170 or schedule your service appointment online.