Suspension bushings play an important role in being able to drive smoothly and protect your vehicle’s engine. When the suspension bushings begin to fail, your Volvo may be at risk for greater damage.

It is normal for suspension bushings to wear over time. However, it is important that when they begin to affect your vehicle’s driving quality, you take your vehicle to a certified mechanic and have the suspension bushings replaced. This avoids other potential damage that could cost far greater than a suspension bushing replacement.

When suspension bushings completely fail, they cause metal to metal contact and leave vulnerable engine parts at greater risk of harm. In order for you to avoid unnecessary damage to your vehicle’s engine, it is important for you to understand the signs of failed suspension bushings to ensure prompt maintenance and replacement.

Below you can find a detailed explanation of what a suspension bushing is, signs of failed suspension bushings, how failed suspension bushings might occur, and ways you can prevent excessive wear on suspension bushings.

What is a suspension bushing?

Suspension bushings are sleeves or linings, typically made of rubber or other materials such as polyurethane, that are mounted on various parts of the vehicle’s suspension system. There are different types of suspension bushings for different parts of the suspension system. Suspension bushings can be found fitted to control arms, shock absorbers, springs, and sway bars, among other parts of the vehicle’s suspension system.

The primary purpose of suspension bushings is to absorb the shocks and vibrations that occur when driving. Other purposes of suspension bushings include reducing friction at the mechanical joints and holding the vehicle’s suspension system in place, isolating it from the body of the vehicle.

Signs of a Failed Suspension Bushing

If you experience any of the following, you may be dealing with failed suspension bushing:

  • rattling sound, especially when with driving over rough road (e.g. potholes, speed bumps, unpaved road)
  • clunking sound when turning or braking
  • instability in vehicle’s braking mechanism (e.g. shuddering at stops)
  • steering becomes noticeably more difficult or easier/looser
  • shaking or trembling coming from primarily the front of the vehicle
  • abnormal or uneven tire wear
  • grinding sounds when vehicle is in operation

Causes of a Failed Suspension Bushing

Other than age and wear over time, the following are potential causes for failed suspension bushings:

  • Frequent time on rough road conditions, such as unpaved roads and potholes, because the bushings are forced to work harder in order to absorb the excessive amount of shocks and vibrations.
  • Leaking oil or other corrosive fluids cause damage to rubber suspension bushings.
  • Extreme heat or cold weather conditions.
  • Dirt and debris can get inside of the suspension bushings and increase wear over time, sometimes cracking the casing.
  • Frequently pulling heavy loads puts extra strain on the suspension bushings, increasing rate of wear over time.

How to Prevent Failed Suspension Bushing in your Volvo

If you would like to try and extend the life of your suspension bushings, you can prevent excessive wear by doing the following:

  • Avoid rough road conditions when possible.
  • Schedule standard regular vehicle maintenance to prevent leaks.
  • Avoid off-roading or unpaved roads that may increase chances of dirt or debris inside suspension bushings.
  • For larger vehicles, avoid frequent towing and hauling when possible.

There is no specified maintenance or replacement period for suspension bushings. Instead they are meant to be replaced as needed due to wear and cracking of the rubber casing. This means it is important to pay close attention to your vehicle and watch for the aforementioned signs of failed suspension bushings. With proper attention to your vehicle, you can notice the signs of failed suspension bushings early and promptly acquire a diagnosis and maintenance before the issue advances and puts other parts of the vehicles at risk, such as the engine.


If you are in the Green Bay, Manitowoc, and Sturgeon Bay, WI area and are experiencing any signs of failed suspension bushings on your Volvo, please contact Dell’s Service Center. Our ASE certified technicians are well-experienced with Volvos as well as other European made cars. At Dell’s Service Center, you will receive expert care for your vehicle and be ensured a safe, smooth drive.

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