Torque Shop

I have just bought a used car. It is about three years old and has just 28,000km on the odometer. It runs fine and looks good.

But one problem I have with it is that it is not comfortable. It gets really bad when the road surface is not smooth. It actually strains my neck when I drive over bad roads. Even my passengers complain.

The previous owner did tell me that he had "upgraded" the car's suspension.

Is there some adjustment I can do to have a smooth and comfortable ride, like changing the shock absorbers?

Obviously, the upgraded suspension has compromised your car's ride comfort.

Some car owners like to have their car sit lower as it looks sportier. Lowering the suspension means reducing the total vertical distance the wheel can travel and increases the ride stiffness at the same time.

In addition, if the dampers were also replaced with more sporty ones, the overall quality of the car's ride will undoubtedly suffer.

The car might handle very well but only on smooth surfaces, like on a race track. On all other types of road, the car would get unmanageable, especially over uneven tarmac.

It may not be possible to improve the ride by just replacing the dampers. You may also have to replace the springs.

Any workshop with a garage hoist will be able to check which components are not original. For a car that is just three years old, it is best to take it back to the dealer.

Finally, although some upgraded suspensions are adjustable, there is little that can be done to significantly reduce the ride harshness.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2019, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe