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Suspension bushes explained

By David Morley, 22 May 2016 Car Advice

Suspension bushes

What are suspension bushes and why do you need them? David Morley explains.

A car’s suspension has to move up and down if it’s to do its job, and since the suspension has to be attached to the rest of the car – at various points – some of that movement (particularly in the form of small vibrations and decibels) is transferred into the car’s cabin. But there’d be a lot more noise, vibration and harshness inside the car if it weren’t for the suspension bushes.

These are small, tubular-shaped blobs of (usually) rubber that form a slightly squishy link between the suspension and the car and, in the process, isolate a lot of the transmitted noise and vibration from the cabin.

Smack a normal steel hammer into the concrete, and now do the same thing with a rubber mallet. You can easily feel and hear the difference.

Suspension bushes are like little individual rubber mallets at each suspension mounting point. Without them, a car would be noisy and harsh with every little road imperfection able to upset the serenity inside the cabin.

Rubber bushes need replacing once they’ve worn out and are allowing excess movement at the point of attachment. 

Age wears them, as does the constant pounding of kilometres over the years, but oil (usually leaking from the engine or transmission) also attacks the rubber compound and reduces its lifespan. So that’s one more reason an oil leak needs to be fixed.

Can't get enough? Now learn about how rain-sensing windscreen wipers work.