Steering and suspension security check (Every 12 000 miles (20 000 km) or 12 months)

1 Check the shock absorbers by bouncing the vehicle up and down at each corner in turn. When released, it should come to rest within one complete oscillation. Continued movement, or squeaking and groaning noises from the shock absorber suggests that renewal is required .

2 Raise and support the vehicle. Examine all steering and suspension components for wear and damage. Pay particular attention to dust covers and gaiters, which if renewed promptly when damaged can save further damage to the component protected.

3 At the same intervals, check the front suspension lower arm balljoints for wear by levering up the arms (see illustration).

29.3 Levering up lower arm to check balljoint for wear
29.3 Levering up lower arm to check balljoint for wear

Balljoint free movement must not exceed 0.5 mm (0.02 in). The track rod end balljoints can be checked in a similar manner, or by observing them whilst an assistant rocks the steering wheel back and forth. If the lower arm balljoint is worn, the complete lower arm must be renewed .

4 Wheel bearings can be checked for wear by spinning the relevant roadwheel. Any roughness or excessive noise indicates worn bearings, which must be renewed, as no adjustment is possible. It is unlikely that any wear will be evident unless the vehicle has covered a very high mileage. It should be noted that it is normal for the bearings to exhibit slight endfloat, which is perceptible as wheel rock at the wheel rim.

    See also:

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