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Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Spring In Your Wheels

When you look at the route 66 signs that are still prominent in Tulsa, it’s hard not to fell the pull of one of our greatest traditions… the road trip. Nothing is more quintessentially American than packing a few things in the trunk and hitting the open road with friends or family. But the problems with roads is they’re tricky beasts full of irregularities, dips and holes that would make traveling on them impossible save for one of the most important system in your car, the suspension.

Even freshly paved highways have subtle imperfections that can interact with your car’s tires. These imperfections apply forces to the wheel, and according to Newton’s law of motion all force has both a magnitude and a direction. So when you hit a bump in the road it causes your wheel to vertically accelerate off the road after which gravity pulls it smashing down on the road. Without a suspension system to absorb and redistribute that energy all of it would be applied to the frame, causing you to feel every bump in the road, or worse send your car rolling over the side of the road. And an important part of any suspension system are the coil springs that absorb this energy and release it where the rest of the system can redistribute it harmlessly.

In fact it’s the tightness or looseness of the springs in your suspension that make the determination between how your car handles and the smoothness of the ride. A Loosely sprung car like a Lincoln Town Car can absorb bumps easily and provide a smooth ride, but it prone to dive and squat during braking and acceleration and usually experiences body sway during cornering. Whereas a tightly sprung car like a sports car, are less forgiving on bumpy roads, but they minimize any body motion and thus can be driven aggressively, even around sharp corners.

Whatever you need from your car, the springs inside the suspension can help you get it. And when the highways and hidden roads of this great country call out to you with offers of exploration and exciting new destinations and experiences, the springs we make at Ebsco both help you answer that call, and keep you safe while you do it.

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