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

Denny and Jim
Denny and Jim

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 week ago

I got a flat tire across the street from Tom's Automotive. Although they don't repair tires, they immediately sent over a technician to change my tire. They also filled it with air so I could make it safely to a tire shop, all free of charge. Thanks Adam and the friendly staff at Tom's Automotive for your great service!

Bethany Manahan
Bethany Manahan

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

My bosses were the ones that recommended me to see Tom's when I had my 'check engine' light on some time last year. They were very helpful, and kindly, turned the light off as there wasn't anything particularly wrong with my car. However, recently, my car was being looked at by them (as I've had other things happen to my car), and the staff helped me walk through the process of either furthering the fix or getting rid of my car. As someone who doesn't know anything about cars (oh boy), they really did a great job of explaining things to me. Thanks!

TJ Rawlinson
TJ Rawlinson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 weeks ago

I had a great experience with Tom's. We had a good dialog, lots of great communication, and I am happy with the work done. Prices were as expected and no work was done that didn't need to be. I will be going back as needed.

Michael Mizell
Michael Mizell

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 week ago

I always take both my company vehicle and personal vehicles directly over to Tom's whenever I need issues taken care of...except for that one time I had to change a headlight in my Yukon. After struggling with trying to figure out how to take it out, I watched a YouTube video and followed all the steps. It turns out that you cannot simply take the headlight casing out, but you need to take the grill off first, then take the wheel well liner off (which I successfully completed) and then there is a hidden screw that needs to be removed. You cannot see this screw because it is tucked away behind the frame, and a standard socket wrench head is too large and will not work to remove. Feeling defeated, I called Tracy. He said to come on by and they took the screws out for me and helped replacing the headlight. I told him I wanted to at least pay something for the service but he refused to accept anything. These guys have always been good to me, and I appreciate their hard work and honesty.

Kt McVeigh
Kt McVeigh

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 weeks ago

They were very professional and helpful at all times - even when I didn't have time to use their services before I headed out of town, Casey spoke with me on the phone for upwards of 15 minutes to figure out what was wrong with my car, so I could get help elsewhere. Really stand-up place!