When to Check your Car’s Steering & Suspension

Is your car pulling to the left or right? Or does the steering wheel feel wobbly as you’re going over the West Seattle Bridge? Might be your steering or suspension system.

It’s time to look at the steering and suspension when

  • You’re driving down the road and your steering feels loosey-goosey and you’re bouncing around
  • Or maybe it’s pulling to the left or it’s pulling to the right or you just feel it wobbly and it doesn’t feel normal
  • You hear strange rattles, squeaks or clunks
  • Parts or components actually fall out (This is when you’ve waiting too long to get your suspension inspected and repaired. You’ll probably also have it towed in if this is the case.)
  • You’re preparing to head out on a road trip

Sometimes it may feel “unstable,” but not always. (Usually, it doesn’t feel unstable until it’s in pretty bad shape.)

If you mention any of the phrases above when you bring in your car, or you schedule an appointment, we’ll be looking into the state of your car’s steering and suspension systems.

And even if you don’t mention it, or don’t notice anything, we inspect your steering and suspension with every oil service.

The front-end steering and suspension components that are most common in an inspection and service are: upper and lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rod ends, control arms bushings, control arm assemblies, shocks, and struts.

Seattle’s potholes and front-end inspections

We suggest you have the front-end inspected and get an alignment service once each year, especially with the roads the way that they are, with lots of large potholes here in our wonderful Seattle area.

These take a toll on the suspension. If you accidentally go through a pothole you might not be aware that it affected something in your steering and suspension. The wear is not always noticeable in how the car drives.

This is also something that can be part of an oil service, or the bigger 30k, 60k, 90k, 120k or 150k services. Might as well get them done efficiently. Your time is valuable.

When was the last time you had your car’s front-end inspected and aligned? We can check our records for you if you’ve worked with us before. We’ll share when it was last done, and when it will be due again.

Our Reviews

Tom's Automotive Service
Reviewed from Google

4.7 out of 5 stars

Nancy I
Nancy I

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 weeks ago

I take my car to Tom's because they are friendly and reliable. I appreciate they are able to "triage" and explain the maintenance needed to keep my car up and running. It's great they offer a shuttle in the morning and late afternoon to help the locals get back to work!
I once had to pull off the freeway due to my car acting oddly. I called Kandie at Tom's and she was able to explain what I needed to do. This helped me stay calm and confident in an otherwise stressful situation.

Andrea Honer
Andrea Honer

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

Tom’s is great. I took my vehicle in for a transmission issue. They were thorough with their diagnostic and communicated my options every step of the way. Honest and reliable service.

Meg Halverson
Meg Halverson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 months ago

Everyone at Tom's cares about delivering great, expert service and keeping your car or truck in excellent mechanical condition. I have a 2001 Yukon XL which is a 3/4 ton towing vehicle and has been serviced at Tom's for 14 years. It has 187,000 miles on it, and I credit their commitment to excellent service and workmanship for the vehicle's longevity. They are the best in the business, and we are super fortunate to have them in West Seattle.

Tamara Gillest
Tamara Gillest

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

Tom's Automotive is open and honest. They have a friendly staff and are helpful in getting answers that work for the budget. I never feel pressured to do something that I don't want to do and they are willing to present options. Thanks, Tom's!