Inspect, test and replace light vehicle suspension components

Business Sectors (Suites): Vehicle Fitting
Developed by: IMI
Approved on: 31 Dec 2021


This standard is about inspecting and replacing suspension components using a variety of equipment and testing techniques.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

P1 select and use suitable personal protective equipment and vehicle coverings throughout all suspension damper inspection, testing and replacement activities 
P2 work in a way which minimises the risk of damage to the vehicle and its systems 
P3 carry out tests on suspension dampers and springs relevant to the faults reported 
P4 conduct all testing and replacement activities following: 

P4.1 vehicle, equipment and component manufacturers’ recommendations 
P4.2 your workplace procedures
P4.3 health and safety requirements 
P4.4 legal requirements 
P5 ensure your testing techniques clearly identify the type of suspension damper and spring fault(s) 
P6 make clear and suitable recommendations for further action based upon the results of your inspection to the relevant person(s) 
P7 carry out removal and replacement activities using: 

P7.1 suitable tools and equipment 
P7.2 the correct techniques 
P7.3 suitable suspension dampers or springs for the vehicle 
P8 ensure that vehicle geometry is checked and adjusted to manufacturer’s recommendations before release to the customer 
P9 ensure that the replacement suspension dampers and springs functions correctly prior to releasing the vehicle to the customer 
P10 dispose of removed suspension dampers and springs safely to comply with your workplace procedures 
P11 complete all inspection, testing and replacement activities within the agreed timescale 
P12 promptly report any anticipated delays in completion to the relevant person(s)

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

Legislative and organisational requirements and procedures
K1 the current health and safety legislation and workplace procedures relevant to workshop practices and personal and vehicle protection 
K2 your workplace procedures for: 

K2.1 the referral of problems 
K2.2 reporting of delays to the completion of work 
K2.3 personal protection 
K3 how to dispose of removed components in line with health and safety requirements 
K4 the importance of disposing of waste safely and the consequences of not doing so to others and the environment 
K5 the importance of working to agreed timescales and keeping others informed of progress 
K6 the importance of promptly reporting anticipated delays to the relevant person(s) 
K7 the relationship between time and costs

Tools and equipment
K8 the tools and equipment used for the replacement of suspension dampers and springs and how to select and use them 
K9 how to perform safety and operational checks on tools and equipment
Inspection and replacement of suspension dampers and springs
K10 the types, purpose, function and location of suspension dampers and springs *
K11 the possible faults associated with *
ion dampers and springs *
K12 the *testing techniques
and procedures associated with suspension dampers and springs *
K13 the removal and refitting procedures associated with **suspension dampers
and springs including health and safety requirements 
K14 the dangers of and precautions to be taken when using spring compressors 
K15 how to check that replacement components are of the correct type and quality for the vehicle and conform to legal requirements where relevant 
K16 how to check that components are functioning and adjusted correctly and the importance of doing so before release to the customer 
K17 how to check suspension and steering geometry post replacement
K18 how to work safely avoiding injury to yourself, to others and damage to vehicles
K19 the implications of adjustment or replacement of suspension components on ADAS systems


​1. Suspension dampers include:

1.1. telescopic 
1.2. semi-strut/MacPherson strut 
1.3. gas assisted
1.4. air
1.5. magnetic

  1. Springs include:

2.1. metallic
2.2. rubber
2.3. pneumatic

  1. Tools and equipment include:

3.1. hand tools 
3.2. lifting and supporting equipment
3.3. specialist tools 
3.4. electronic equipment
3.5. vehicle geometry 
3.6. diagnostic tools
3.7. heating and cutting equipment

  1. Testing techniques include:

4.1. functional
4.2. sensory
4.3. electronic

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





​This section contains examples and explanations of some of the terms used but does not form part of the standard.
Advanced driver-assistance systems, includes systems for driver safety, pedestrian safety, motion/stability control and collision avoidance systems.
Agreed timescales
Examples include job times set by your company or agreed with a specific customer.
Heating and cutting equipment *
To include oxy-acetylene, plasma cutters, induction heating equipment etc.
Specialist tools *
Examples include spring compressors, strut guide, strut insert retainer tools, ball joint separators
Suspension components

Components used to support the weight and adjust the ride height of the vehicle to provide a comfortable ride for the occupant.

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Dec 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Vehicle Fitters, Vehicle Fitting Operations (Automotive)

SOC Code



Inspect; replace; light; vehicle; suspension; dampers; springs;