You may hear Volvo suspension bushes referred to as bushings or rubbers. It all depends on who's talking. Regardless, if you want your Volvo to perform at its best, it is well worth investing in appropriate replacements when necessary. But how do you know when it's time to replace them?
Let's take a closer look at Volvo suspension bushes.
First Things First
Before we can discuss whether or not it's time to have your suspension bushes replaced, we have to identify this component and its purpose. Wherever there is a joint in your car's suspension, you will find bushes. They help absorb vibration and shock and provide a cushion for solid part movement. They make for a smoother ride and limit road noise. In your suspension system, there are different kinds of bushes. The following are pretty commonly replaced:
- Shock absorber mounts and bushes
- Anti-roll bar bushes
- Anti-roll bar drop links
- Control arm and wishbone bushes
The special design of suspension bushes allows it to build ride compliancy and to flex. Passive rear-wheel steering and other features are aided by this built-in flex.
A Volvo Suspension Bushes’ Construction
Metalastic bushes are made of a rubber/metal combination, or of rubber. Handling benefits enjoyed by particularly keen drivers can be experienced with bushes made from much firmer polyurethane. All over your car, bushes are located, from ball joints and steering control arms all the way to anti-roll bars. Even the suspension turrets and dampers have bushes.
But because nothing lasts forever, bushes will wear out with mileage and over time. One evident sign that a bush is wearing out is unwanted movement or excess play.
Do Your Suspension Bushes Need to Be Replaced?
Volvos are known for their ease of handling, so that if a distinct difference is noticed in the handling of your Volvo (you should be able to hear or feel the difference), severe Volvo suspension bush wear may be a problem.
To determine whether or not replacement is needed, you can visually inspect the bushes. If they are badly worn or cracked, it will likely be because the material has degraded over time. Because bushes can need replacement but may look just fine, this ends up being less than an exact science.
How to Check Your Volvo Suspension Bushes
After raising your car, use axle stands to support it. In various directions, lever the suspension components with a prybar. To ensure that it is still doing its job with a minimum of movement, first compress, then release each bushing. Without an experienced person helping you, you may not understand what equates to too much movement, so don't be afraid to ask for assistance.
There are further signs, however, that your Volvo suspension bushes have a problem.
- Increased road noise
- Wayward braking or handling
- Clunky ride over bumps
- Suspension creaking or rattling
Particularly if you drive your car every day, you may have difficulty spotting a problem with your Volvo suspension bushes. The reason being, bushes, overtime, wear very gradually. When all else fails, talk to your mechanic. If you don't have a reliable mechanic on speed dial, talk to your friends to see if they can recommend someone.
If, however, you are an avid do-it-yourselfer and have mechanical know how and all the right tools, the parts you need can be ordered online.