The suspension is composed of hundreds of different parts, and vehicles vary tremendously in suspension designs, but every suspension system has to do three things: hold the vehicle up, absorb bumps and other road shocks, and turn the vehicle in response to the driver’s input.

Wheels and tyres. Many drivers don’t think of tyres as part of the suspension, but they’re arguably the most important part. Tyres provide traction for acceleration, braking, and cornering, as well as absorbing smaller bumps.

Springs. Every vehicle today has some sort of springs, which support the vehicle and absorb large bumps allowing for a more comfortable and stable ride.

Shock absorbers. While springs absorb the bumps, shock absorbers dampen the motion of the springs after a bump, keeping them from bouncing up and down excessively.

Linkages. A complete compilation of suspension linkages would fill a book, but every suspension includes various arms, rods, and other connecting pieces that collectively keep the wheels where they’re supposed to be relative to the rest of the vehicle. Most of these linkages are solid metal parts with rubber bushings or rubber boot encased ball joints.

Bushings, bearings, and joints. Because most parts of the suspension have to be able to move, the various linkages are connected by flexible connections.