Torque Shop: How to improve ride comfort for my used car

The most common cause of ride discomfort - which gets especially bad on irregular road surfaces - is worn dampers. PHOTO: ST FILE

A used sport utility vehicle (SUV) I bought has clocked up close to 50,000km. While the engine performs smoothly, I am not happy with the ride comfort. It does not take to patched-up road surfaces well and there is too much body movement. Sometimes, passengers sitting in the rear complain of car sickness.

Is it possible to make modifications to improve comfort?

At the mileage you mentioned, it is likely that some of the car's suspension components are worn and may need replacement. It would be a good idea to have a known workshop raise the car on a hoist to inspect the springs, dampers, mountings and connecting joints of all the suspension arms.

The most common cause of ride discomfort - which gets especially bad on irregular road surfaces - is worn dampers (commonly referred to as shock absorbers). Body movements become more pronounced and the vehicle gets easily unsettled.

A new set would improve ride quality significantly. Any other worn components detected during the inspection should also be replaced.

At the same time, check that the tyres are inflated appropriately. Also, note that lower-profile tyres on larger wheels affect ride comfort adversely.

Although uncommon, the ride quality you experience may be an inherent characteristic of the vehicle and not a result of any wear and tear. For instance, SUVs tend to display more body movement than sedans.

In this case, you might have to replace the dampers with adjustable types. This will allow you to tune them to your desired settings. This may improve things somewhat.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.