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Driving down the road can be a very bumpy and uncomfortable endeavour. Suspension bushes mean that all the rattles, vibrations and bumps that are absorbed by the shock absorbers, don’t annoy you. They are also key in balancing the car and making sure it handles and stops exactly as it should.
Typically they’re made out of rubber, synthetic rubber, or polyurethane. These are long lasting and soft materials that dampen down bumps and vibrations. Typically connected via a bolt through the middle of the bushing and secured with a metal or plastic casing to prevent dirt or grime from wearing them down. They are mounted everywhere there could be vibrations so as such, they do wear down over time.
Without suspension bushings, your car would become uncomfortable and noisy to drive. The vibrations and rattles and bumps would make you uncomfortable and also make annoying noises. No likes a rogue squeaking every 5 seconds.
Crucially, suspension bushes make up a key part of your car's suspension as a whole, and if one of these fails it can start to impede your handling.
Sometimes you can hear squeaks and squeals as you go around corners. If your handling or braking feels off, then it may be a suspension bush at the root of it. Vibrations through the steering wheel or when the car goes over a bump are also key indicators. If you can actually see the bushing split or cracking, it’s a sure sign too.
The mechanic will find the at fault bush and disconnect any mountings or impediments to access the bush. They will then disconnect the bush and inspect the surface before cleaning the bush mount and greasing up components if required. They will install the new bushing and you’ll be on your way.
Bushings in and of themselves aren’t super pricey, the main cost comes from how difficult it is to replace them. If the mechanic has to disassemble a lot of components to reach it or all the bushings need replacing, then the cost can quickly climb to over $500. A simple bush change can be as low as $50. It’s all dependent on the labor.
Only when they start to fail. Modern polyurethane bushings last a long time and some are more sheltered than others. If one starts to crack then you’ll need to replace it.
If it directly affects handling and braking it can be. They also prevent a lot of wear and tear on key components so it’s worth replacing them as needs be.
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