6 Signs It’s Time for New Shocks or Struts

Are you driving on bad shocks or struts? Shocks and struts that are worn will affect the handling, ride, stopping distance, and tire wear on your vehicle. Does your car jump and bump constantly? Does the front end of your car dip when stopping? Does your car feel like it leans as you turn a corner? It’s probably past time for replacements. If you are noticing any of the signs below, have your vehicle assessed by a qualified mechanic.

1. Bumpy Ride

Your car is designed for a smooth ride. Worn shocks and struts will allow the tire to bounce after hitting a bump. When the tires bounce they no longer have full contact with the road, reducing control of the car. An unusually bumpy or shaky ride likely indicates a suspension problem. Worn shocks and struts also increase the chances of hydroplaning in bad weather. You can have the best tires money can buy, but if they are regularly leaving the road surface they aren’t improving your steering or braking.

2. Braking Issues

If your car dips forward or lurches during hard braking it takes longer to come to a complete stop, increasing braking distance.

3. Steering Issues

Noises while turning, difficulty turning, or the car swaying or leaning into a turn indicate you should have your shocks and struts checked.

4. Unusual Tire Wear Patterns

Bumping around on a worn suspension can cause them to wear unevenly. A scalloped edge may wear into the tread as a result of repeatedly bouncing off the road surface.

5. Visual Damage

Because they wear on the inside, a visual inspection of the shocks or struts can only reveal leakage or external damage.

6. Mileage

Your car’s shocks and struts can bounce up and down more than 1000 times per mile. That’s over 50 million compressions over their expected lifespan of 50,000 miles. That lifespan is reduced under heavy use or severe road conditions.

Watching for and informing your mechanic about any of these issues can prevent further damage to your car. Often, however, performance tends to decrease gradually without the driver realizing how much is lost. Don’t wait until they fail to replace your shocks and struts. They should be replaced on a schedule suited to your car and driving habits. Bring your car in to us at Hillside Automotive and we’ll help you assess whether it’s time to have your shocks or struts replaced.

Written by Hillside Automotive

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