Wear and Tear

Wear and tear is just part of car ownership.  Sure, keeping current with routine maintenance and being a careful drive can prolong the life of your car, but parts still wear out.

I spent some time this morning with one of our master technicians, Scott, in preparation for an upcoming video detailing our inspection process, and had my mind blown by a few thing which seem like no-brainers.  But they aren’t things one typically thinks of.

One of the first thing Scott looked at was the steering and suspension.  As he lifted the Jeep Grand Cherokee in the air, he told me to always check the right side of the vehicle first, especially this time of year.

Like most of you, I wasn’t really sure why that was important.  He then placed a jack stand next to the inside of the tire and slowly lowered the Jeep down so that the jack stand pushed the suspension upward, creating a similar load to if the car was on the ground.

Just as he expected, the rubber joint stretched ever so slightly.  Enough to cause a little delay in response from the steering wheel.  The bushing on the left side of the Jeep were solid. Now this is a 2015 Jeep with barely over 22K miles on it, so I asked Scott why the left side had worn out so early.

His response was simple–not to mention painfully obvious.  The most uneven parts of any road are the far right lanes near the gutters.  By driving in the outside lane, your passenger side suspension components endure much more wear and tear than the driver’s side.

Using a large pry bar, he lifted up on the wheel to check for stretching from the lower ball joint–one of the many rubber bushings which connect all the steering and suspension components.

This causes uneven and premature wear on those rubber bushings.  It’s important to remember that bushings have a finite lifespan since they are made from rubber.  They are what absorb vibration from all the tiny bumps on the road. So it made sense that the side which traverses more punishing parts of the road is going to show greater signs of wear.

So, what’s the takeaway from this? Well, not much other than sticking to the middle lanes as much as possible. At the end of the day–and especially us Denver residents–potholes and uneven terrain is just a thing