The suspension system of your car sits behind each tire. It consists of components like leaf springs and shock absorbers, which are designed to smooth out the ride and absorb the irregularities of the road. A minor collision, especially one that involves an impact on the front end or front sides of the car, can damage the suspension system in hidden ways. Knowing the signs of suspension damage can help you schedule a prompt repair. 

1. Pulling to One Side

One of the first signs of suspension damage is a car that is pulling to one side when you drive. In some cases the issue is simple tire alignment, and re-aligning the tires will solve the issue. In other cases, though, pulling is a result of a broken control arm, tie rod, or leaf spring -- all components in the suspension system of your car.

2. Sitting Low

Your car should sit level upon the tires when you are parked in a relatively flat space. If the car seems to sit slung low over one tire, then damage has occurred in the suspension system. After a collision, the side you were hit or the side directly opposite of the impact are the ones most likely to have suffered the broken leaf spring that causes the car to sit low over one tire.

3. Steering Difficulties

Damaged suspension, particularly when only one wheel is affected due to a collision, can make it very hard to steer the car. The wheel may feel like it is slipping as you turn it, or the car may not respond as quickly as normal. Pulling, bumpy rides, and stress on the car's control arms all impact the ease of steering when you have damaged suspension parts.

4. Increased Road Bumps

Your suspension system is what protects you from feeling every bump and irregularity of the road. Once damage has occurred to any of the suspension components, you will start to notice that the ride gets much rougher. Every bump will be much more noticeable, and you may also occasionally hear bumps, grinding, and squeals from the damaged suspension components in response to the rough roads.

5. Rolling Movements

Suspension also works to stabilize your car. When a collision damages the shocks or struts, then your car may seem to roll. When you stop, the car will feel like it leans forward and nose dives into the stop. Acceleration can do the opposite, causing the car to roll back so the trunk seems to dip down. Turns will produce a rolling movement into the turns. 

Contact an auto collision repair shop if you suspect your fender bender may have damaged your suspension system.