Elastic members designed to cushion the impact of road irregularities on a portion of an automotive vehicle. The members link the vehicle's tires with its suspended portion, and usually consist of springs and shock absorbers. Spring elements used for automobile suspension members include (in increasing order of ability to store elastic energy per unit of weight) leaf springs, coil springs, torsion bars, rubber-in-shear devices, and air springs. The springs absorb the energy of impacts of the tires along the road surface, and the shocks damp or dissipate that energy, using hydraulics, so that the suspended portion of the vehicle does not keep bouncing.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on suspension, automobile, visit Britannica.com.
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