Getting the Right Suspension Fluid for Your Car’s Suspension System
The suspension system of the vehicle makes sure that the tires will have good ground contact, so the ride will be smooth and stable. It also helps absorb the shocks and bumps, so the whole journey won't be bouncy and uncomfortable. Since vehicle suspension is also interconnected to steering, improperly maintained suspension parts can make the car less responsive and cause damage to some vehicle components due to vibrations. To keep the vehicle suspension healthy and working properly, a good dose of suspension fluid is needed. To get the right one for your vehicle, here's what you need to know:
What to consider before grabbing a bottle of suspension fluid
A bottle of suspension fluid can save your from costly suspension-related repair. This fluid is formulated to keep suspension parts safe from premature wear and tear. Essentially, this helps prolong the life of suspension parts such as dampers and bushings and helps maintain their peak performance. They ensure proper lubrication of suspension components and give them some sort of a cooling bath. You may have to re-apply or change the suspension fluid as this may suffer from thermal breakdown over time. If you're shopping for new suspension fluid, you must consider several factors that affect its quality and condition. These include the viscosity index, the contents and properties of the fluid, and some of its features.
Suspension oil can be synthetic or mineral. It can also be a blend of mineral and synthetic oil. Before you purchase a bottle of suspension fluid, check what your vehicle's suspension system needs. You can use your vehicle manual as a guide or may ask a trusted auto expert from the dealership.
- Additives and other formulations
Aside from the type of fluid or oil, you should also know what the fluid contains. It can have some additives for enhanced performance and for improved quality over time. That said, the fluid may be formulated with seal conditioners. It may also be made with anti-foam agents, so when it's applied in the system, it won't have unusual reactions. Viscosity modifiers in the fluid allow it to maintain the preferred level of consistency even in extreme temperatures and other conditions.
Check the viscosity index of the suspension oil or fluid. This can be used as a guide or reference on how the oil's viscosity will change and can be affected by the rise or fall of temperature. Low viscosity index means that there'll be a big effect on viscosity when the temperature changes, while a high viscosity index tells you that there'll be a small effect or slight change in viscosity across a wide temperature range. Essentially, you wouldn't want the fluid to get extremely thin when the temperature rises or for it to get too thick when the temperature drops. It would be best to get suspension fluid with a high viscosity index as this is more stable and consistent, which means that the fluid is more likely to retain its original properties instead of breaking down easily.