I’m sorry to post one of those evil “where’s the best dandelions in Canberra” topics, but this one has got me stumped. Car suspension is a black art, evidently. I’ve been given a monster quote for suspension work allegedly needed on my hitherto cheap to run car, and I am not sure who to go to to investigate options.
To backtrack. The Vitara has been carefully serviced since it landed on our shores in 94. Its only consumption has been some windscreens, it’s almost through its second set of tyres (another imminent expense), and it used to like batteries a lot. And that’s it, besides servicing and less petrol than most cars on the road. Even the brakes are the originals (it’s coming up to 266,000 ks). I do love my weird little car.
A few services ago, the service bloke mentioned the suspension was (insert rude word mechanics use), and my CD player agrees. So at a recent service at the place I go to, I asked them to have a look at it and tell me what needed doing etc.
Well, the verdict was all new shocks (fair enough), and some bushes, which are apparently tube things. Trailing arms, and some other bushes (tubes). And the quote? $1600! My eyes still haven’t returned to their normal size.
So. I want to get this sorted. I’m wondering if this non-specialist mob just went with a google-type search. The shocks for Vitaras on searches are some exxy 4WD ultra-shocks called Big Dog, for instance. So I basically want to see if I can come out of all this cheaper. It’s just such a lot of money to find all at once for one issue.
I guess I’m going to try Pedders although their reputation for up-selling precedes them (one forum member I remember was fulminating, he’d replaced the entire suspension with some new lovely stuff, his wife took the car to Pedders for something, and they recommended a full replacment of all the “worn” suspension). But I’ll try them anyway.
But can anyone recommend a suspension guru I can try? If I have to spend the money, fine, I’ll spend it. But I just want to see if there’s options for doing it for less… as I still have to stump up for the tyres. The bushes are worn, you can see them pretty easily and the padding stuff seems to have shrivelled away. I’m not sure what they do, but evidently they’re vital. and the car bounces a few times if you push down hard on its bum. Plainly it’s ready for a new undercarriage.
If you’re looking for a service specific for your car, check out our recently updated article on the best car service centres in Canberra.