What is an inspection for a car that excessively bounces or sways?

If your car bounces or sways more than usual, you need an inspection right away to identify a problem with your suspension, wheels, or steering system. These components work together to keep your car driving smoothly, and excessive bouncing or swaying signals a problem that a mechanic needs to examine and repair.

How to get an inspection for an excessively bouncing or swaying car

If you notice that your car is bouncing or swaying, take it to a trusted mechanic for an inspection. The inspector will examine the wheels, suspension, and steering system to look for the following common causes of this problem:

Poor wheel alignment

Wheel alignment sets the angle of the wheels so that your car can drive straight while on the road. When one or more of the wheels gets misaligned, it becomes increasingly difficult to drive in a straight line—your car will begin to sway to one side and bounce when you turn the steering wheel.

Excessive and uneven wear on the tires

When your tires get worn out they don’t wear down evenly. This includes wearing on the inside of the tires also, often making the tread on the outside of the tire much thicker than the tread on the inside. If this happens, the tires become misshapen and start to tilt, causing the car to sway as you drive.

Damaged struts

Struts are part of your vehicle’s suspension. They are responsible for connecting the wheels to the body of the car and contain smaller parts like shock absorbers, coil springs, and pistons.
When the struts get damaged or broken, the internal parts cannot function correctly. As a result, you will feel the full force of the car’s impact on the road—the bounce of hitting every bump and the sway of the car losing contact with the road’s surface.

Steering linkage is loose

The steering system has many components, but issues with the rack and pinion in the steering linkage are what will make your car bounce and sway. If the rack bushings get too loose or stiff they can get stuck, and your steering wheel’s functionality will be compromised.

How important is it to get an inspection for an excessively bouncing and swaying car?

A car that bounces and sways is not only a hassle to drive—it’s just plain dangerous. It is definitely in your best interest to get your car serviced timely. Also, continuing to drive an excessively bouncing and swaying car can make the problem worse.

Tips for an inspection for excessive bouncing and swaying

Contact a mechanic

A reputable mechanic can diagnose what repair is needed to fix the excessive swaying and bouncing. Call a mechanic who comes personally recommended or has good reviews online to ensure you’re getting quality service at a fair price.

Check if you are still under warranty

If you bought your car from a dealership, double-check that your warranty isn’t up yet. While you’re under warranty, the dealership will make all necessary repairs at no cost to you.

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