Every car, truck, and SUV has a suspension, the collection of parts that holds the car off the ground, cushions passengers and cargo from bumps, and allows the vehicle to turn. The suspension includes wheels and tires, springs and shocks, various linkages and joints, and the steering system.
Like all parts of a car or truck, the suspension does wear out over time. And as it wears, the suspension may not perform as well as it originally did. For example, as joints in the steering linkages wear, the steering may become imprecise and the car may start to wander from side to side. Or as shocks wear, the car may start to bounce more than originally or may “nosedive” upon breaking.
But in addition to slowly wearing out, it’s possible for certain parts of the suspension to break completely. When this happens, is the vehicle safe to drive?
In general, a car with a broken suspension part will need to be repaired or replaced before it can be driven, but the specific consequences vary depending on what part is broken.