According to statistics, at least 1.3 million people die from road accidents every year, which is equivalent to over 3,000 deaths every single day. Aside from taking very good care while driving, it is equally important to check your car for possible faults before driving. And yes, this includes your Firestone airbags, if you have these.
By the way, we are referring to the airbags used in car suspensions. In the past, these were installed in huge trucks but a decade ago, this type of suspension system has been put into different kinds of cars (performance, custom, all terrain and the commuter type) and even in motorcycles.
But, let’s go back to what you need to check in your car before you drive. The driving instructor probably told you to remember the acronym: BLOW BAG. These are your brakes, lights, oil, water, battery, air and gasoline. But, we’d like to add the air lift airbags here because this is equally important.
Unfortunately, you’ll really know that something is wrong with the suspension while the car is moving – most of the time, at least. The most obvious sign is when it shakes and shimmies. That, alone, is worrisome if you are going for a really long drive.
We will list down other things that you will notice while you’re driving:
There’s a drifting or pulling feeling when you’re turning. This means that the shocks are not stabilizing the vehicle, as it should. Have the Firestone airbags fixed ASAP or your car will rollover.
The suspension is defective also when your car lunges or nosedives when you step on the brakes. Again, this is bad because it lessens the braking capability of your vehicle by at least 20%.
Suspension damage is easier to see when the cars have those coiled metal shock absorbers. Greasy shocks, for example, means that these are leaking fluids already and does not work, as it should be. However, just looking at the air suspension is a bit trickier.
What you could do, though, is to give the ‘bounce test’ a try. While the car is in ‘park’, press down the hood (front of your vehicle) and bounce it. Do the same with the back of the car. The whole car will bounce, of course. However, if this bouncing motion continues for three times or more, you need to have those firestone airbags checked or maybe changed by a skilled mechanic.