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The suspension of any vehicle has a large number of components and various parts, each of which has its own function in the operation of the car. An integral part of the front strut, or McPherson suspension, is such an element as the support bearing. This unit is responsible for the correct rotation of the wheels and is present in almost all cars with front-wheel drive. As comfortable and safe driving is possible only when each node is functioning properly, it is useful for automobile owners to know, what is the role of support bearing in the car and how to identify its defect in time.
This is a rolling bearing that is part of the front shock absorber assembly. In essence, it is the link that connects the body to the suspension and allows the shock absorber to rotate without resistance in the upper support. As noted, this suspension assembly is used in many front-wheel drive cars, but not in every model. It is present only in the design, where the shock absorber or the entire strut moves together with the knuckle.
Already from the name you can understand: the part plays the role of a support, which implies axial loads. Let's look at the components of a typical support bearing:
- The top plate, which has mounting elements (often - three studs);
- The bearing itself (often pressed into the body of the support);
The shock absorber rod passes through this assembly, and it is located above the front spring. In each particular car model, the manufacturer offers a prefabricated design or a one-piece part.
In general, the shock absorber support has an uncomplicated device, but it is very important for the suspension. This part should be distinguished by increased strength: in fact, it carries the weight of the front end of the machine, and operation involves heavy loads, especially when driving on broken roads. The bearing is also subject to wear due to the side loads that occur when turning the wheels. Another aggravating factor is the lack of protection, which prevents the ingress of dirt. This is why the condition of the bearings must be monitored and replaced in good time in the event of a breakdown. In addition, failure of the support legs leads to further damage to the struts and steering mechanism.
- Body knocking. The mechanical connection to the support cups leads to the fact that even a slight backlash will give off a knock to the body.
- Difficulty turning the steering wheel. It is especially expressed in cars without power steering.
- Creaks. Which occur in the supporting cups while turning.
Clicks in the front area are an alarming signal for various suspension elements, but you should start checking with the support bearings. Especially if the unpleasant noises appear when making sharp turns or driving over bumps.
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