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Bushings are cushions made of rubber, polyurethane (often shortened to “poly” or “urethane”) or other materials. They’re mounted on car suspension and steering joints to absorb road bumps, control the amount of movement in the joints and reduce noise and vibration. Bushings often take the form of fat, rubbery washers through which suspension components — or the bolts that attach them — pass.

When bushings wear, they allow more movement. The driver may feel a shimmy from the front of the vehicle, or hear clunking or rattling noises on rough roads, when turning the wheel or in hard braking. Drivers may also experience poor handling or loose steering. Failure of rear suspension bushings may be harder to detect as they don’t involve the steering system and may be less affected by cornering.

Bushings are used for control arms, stabilizer bars (also called sway bars), ball joints, tie rods, shock absorber and strut mounts, and other suspension and steering parts, as well as in engine and transmission mounts. They wear and crack from friction, age, heat, exposure to road salt and lubricants, and the stress of frequent movement and weight loads.

Like the cartilage that protects knees and elbows, when bushings wear, it puts more stress on the joints and connected parts. Like bone-on-bone contact, worn bushings can allow metal-on-metal contact. Worn control-arm bushings can allow the vehicle’s front end to slip out of alignment and cause premature tire wear.

What feels or sounds like worn shocks or ball joints, or another suspension problem, may not be the fault of the part itself but the bushing that cushions joints and mounting points. A thorough suspension bushing inspection should reveal which is the culprit. For example, a loose stabilizer bar will allow more body lean (and perhaps noise) in turns, but if the bar isn’t bent or broken, maybe only the bushings need replacement.

On the other hand, repair shops may recommend replacing the part and not just the bushings, because if the are worn, it may indicate the part itself is old and may not last much longer. In addition, many bushings are pressed into a metal sleeve and difficult to remove, which increases labor time and costs. On some cars, control-arm bushings cannot be replaced separately, so the mechanic may have to replace the control arm itself.

A bushing is one classification of the overall category of bearings. A bushing is a thin tube or sleeve that allows relative motion by sliding (our type), as compared to rolling. A bushing might also be called a sleeve bearing. However, the term sleeve bushing would be redundant. Thus, a bushing is a bearing, but a bearing is not necessarily a bushing type.

A bearing is the general term for something that allows relative motion between two components, surfaces, etc.

Because of the amount of labor associated with installing new bushings on some vehicles, the overall cost can be high relative to the bushings themselves. New bushings, though, can markedly improve the ride and handling of a vehicle that’s been in use for several years.

If you feel like your suspension system needs repair, please bring your vehicle into any one of our three locations of Sierra Car Care and Tire Centers in the Reno area and one of our ASE Certified Technicians will take care of you.

Siarre Car Care and MST Tire Center

Best Place to Get a Car Repaired: Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center

Welcome to Reno News & Review’s “Biggest Little Best of Northern Nevada 2014”, the state’s most accurate, most unbiased and biggest popularity contest. Participate in the yearly poll to tell everyone who is the “best-of-the-best” in Reno.

Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center WOULD LIKE YOUR VOTE!

Sierra Car Care has taken care of Reno and Sparks with valuable ASE certified automotive repair and outstanding customer service. With our 5 full service gas and repair stations around the Reno and Sparks, Nevada area, we are close when you need us!

We are a Full Service auto repair company providing repairs for all ranges of vehicles; from passenger cars and trucks, to RVs and even fleet vehicles. Each store specializes in tires from MICHELIN®, BFGoodrich®, Uniroyal® and many other brands. Our tire prices can compete with Costco and the Tire Rack.

Each year, Reno News & Review chooses a special aspect of Northern Nevada to feature in their poll. This year, they’ve decided to highlight the women of arts, business, politics and culture. Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Centers are owned and operated by Laurie & Steve Yarborough and are an equal opportunity employer.

We would like your vote! Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center would appreciate your recognition for the following Section: Goods & services – Best place to get a car repaired. Hurry voting ends July 25, 2014. Vote Here: http://www.newsreview.com/reno/ballot/bestofreno14

The readers’ poll will be conducted from June 5 through July 25. Published results will be available on Aug. 7th, 2014.

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