Bump Stop Buyer’s Guide
- Bump stops are basically the suspension system’s final line of defense against physical damage. They work by limiting the upward movement of the axles, only coming into use when your vehicle’s suspension system has reached the limits of its travel.
- Depending on the design as well as your vehicle’s year, make, and model, bump stops may be located between the frame and axle. They may also be mounted concentrically with the spring or in line with the piston rods of the shock absorbers.
- There are three types of bump stops according to the material that they’re made from: rubber, polyurethane, and gas pressurized nitrogen.
- The price of a bump stop will vary depending on its type as well as your vehicle’s year, make, and model. On average, a bump stop kit will cost you anywhere between $30 and $480.
- CarParts.com features a built-in vehicle selector that makes it easier for you to find a replacement bump stop that perfectly fits your ride. Simply plug in the year, make, and model of your vehicle to narrow down the results.
Your vehicle’s suspension system consists of many different parts that work together to provide you a smooth ride and make sure that your vehicle’s tires are firmly connected to the road. When you think of suspension parts, some of the first things that will likely come to mind are shock absorbers, coil springs, and drive axles. But there’s another important, yet often-overlooked part that’s responsible for keeping the entire suspension system in optimal working condition: the bump stops.
What is a bump stop?
When you travel over extremely rough terrains or drive over potholes and speed bumps at high speeds, you run the risk of bottoming out your vehicle, which is when its underside hits the road. This puts various suspension parts at risk of breaking or bending. To avoid this, the bump stop cushions the suspension, effectively absorbing the excess force.
Bump stops are basically the suspension system’s final line of defense against physical damage. They work by limiting the upward movement of the axles, only coming into use when your vehicle’s suspension system has reached the limits of its travel. Bump stops are also sometimes called “spring aids,” which aptly describes their ability to increase spring rate and keep the coil springs from collapsing in case they’re excessively compressed.
Bump Stop Location
Depending on the design as well as your vehicle’s year, make, and model, bump stops may be located between the frame and axle. They absorb the impact before the axle comes into contact with your vehicle’s chassis. They may also be mounted concentrically with the spring or in line with the piston rods of the shock absorbers, where they provide additional compression resistance.
Benefits of a Bump Stop
So what does a bump stop do aside from cushioning the suspension system? Here are some of the additional benefits that it provides:
Improves the quality of your ride
Driving over uneven terrains or unpaved roads can be jarring and uncomfortable not just for you but for your passengers too. Bump stops smoothen your riding experience by reducing the vehicle’s bouncing and swaying. They’re especially useful if you often go off-roading, as they can soften your vehicle’s landing in case you need to travel from one elevated terrain to another.
Maintains optimal handling and stability
By keeping the rest of the suspension system in optimal working condition, bump stops help maintain consistent handling and steering stability. They also prevent your vehicle from drifting or pulling, keeping it balanced when you need to round a corner and ensuring your safety on the road.
Protects the components on the undercarriage
The suspension parts are not the only things at risk when your vehicle bottoms out. There are other parts located underneath the vehicle that can be seriously damaged as well, including the oil pan, skid plate, and exhaust system. By reducing your car’s risk of bottoming out, the bump stops help protect these undercarriage components. This saves you from some serious vehicular damage that require costly repairs.
Symptoms of a Faulty Bump Stop
Bump stops are constantly subjected to high impacts and are exposed to damaging elements like road grime and vehicle oils, causing them to deteriorate over time. It’s important to be on the lookout for the telltale signs of a damaged bump stop, so you can replace it before it compromises the safety and performance of your vehicle’s suspension system. Here are the common symptoms that indicate the bump stops are due for a replacement:
Noise and vibration
If your vehicle produces noise or vibrations when you’re travelling over rough roads or carrying a heavy load, it’s likely that the metal components of its suspension system are bumping against each other. These symptoms indicate a worn out or missing bump stop.
Visible signs of wear
One of the easiest ways to tell if a bump stop has reached the end of its service life is by visually inspecting it. Determine if its surface has become torn up, dried, or crumbly. Bent or deformed bump stops also need to be replaced.
Types of Bump Stops
There are three types of bump stops according to the material that they’re made from: rubber, polyurethane, and gas pressurized nitrogen. Whether you’re replacing worn-out bump stops or simply upgrading the stock units that came with your ride, it’s important to know the difference between these types.It will help you decide which one best suits your vehicle’s needs.
Rubber bump stops
The early bump stops were originally made of rubber. This type is still widely available today and sold at a more affordable price than the other types of bump stops. Although they get the job done and are simple to install, rubber bump stops tend to be less durable.
Urethane bump stops
Compared to their rubber counterparts, urethane bump stops are lighter and more durable. They’re also flexible even at low temperatures and have high compressibility. Newer vehicle models come with microcellular urethane bump stops, which are better than basic urethane, as they offer a damping effect. You can tell them apart from basic urethane by their yellowish color.
Gas pressurized nitrogen bump stops
Also known as hydraulic bump stops or air bumps, the gas pressurized nitrogen bump stops are cylindrical units that are filled with shock oil and nitrogen pressure. They also contain a mechanism that is sensitive to velocity. Air bumps come with a higher price tag compared to urethane and rubber bump stops.
How much does a bump stop cost?
The price of a bump stop will vary depending on its type as well as your vehicle’s year, make, and model. On average, a bump stop kit will cost you anywhere between $30 and $480. You may also opt to buy them individually or in sets of two to four. They are available in direct fit types for guaranteed compatibility and easier installation.
Finding the Right Fit
When it comes to finding the right bump stops for your vehicle, compatibility is absolutely important. It will keep your suspension system running properly and give you your money’s worth. CarParts.com features a built-in vehicle selector that makes it easier for you to find a replacement bump stop that perfectly fits your ride. Simply plug in the year, make, and model of your vehicle to narrow down the results.
Straightforward Bump Stop Replacement
Having quality bump stops is sure to prevent your ride from "bottoming out". These quality suspension components are perfect for vehicles that are often loaded with heavy cargo. Unfortunately, the stock bump stops of your vehicle may eventually wear out. In light of this, you should buy your ride some brand-new bump stops as to provide it with some top-quality support and suspension. Luckily, installing new bump stops into your isn't much of a hassle, and it's sure to pay off in the long run. Read on for a detailed process of how to install your brand, spanking new bumps stops.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Safety goggle
- Floor jack
- Lug Nut Wrench
- Coil compressors
Step 1: Safety first, guys! Be sure that you're wearing some safety goggles and gloves for your DIY job. This ensure that there aren't any unwanted mishaps along the way.
Step 2:Use the lug nut wrench to loosen the nuts on your tires.
Step 3:Position your jack beneath your axle and lift your vehicle.
Step 4: Remove your lug nuts completely and set them aside. Remove your tire from the axle.
Step 5: Find the bump stop in the coil spring.
Step 6: Take your coil compressors then place them on each side of your coil spring. Tighten the bolt using a socket until it's compressed enough to be removed.
Step 7: Use your pliers to pull out your stock bump stop and then stick in your new one. Tap the replacement bump stop into the mount with a hammer.
Step 8: Return your coil spring then loosen it back up using a socket.
Step 9: Return your tire to the axle then tighten the lug nuts back into place. After this, lower your vehicle.
Step 10: Repeat this process for the other tires.