Been experiencing a bouncy ride lately? Chances are, you need new SHOCKS OR STRUTS. It’s an unfortunate truth some of us don’t want to face. We try to reason with ourselves by saying: “We don’t need them yet, they aren’t that important” or “my car still gets me from A to B so I’ll hold off on them until later”. Bad idea. If your vehicle is experiencing any of these symptoms I am about to list, then you should definitely take your car in and get your struts or shocks replaced:
•When turning, the vehicle rolls or sways.
•The front end dips or “nose dives” when braking.
•The rear end sags or squats when accelerating. This is more noticeable when you accelerate from zero.
•The vehicle bounces for an extended amount of time when going over bumps (a bounce is normal, but if you feel your car continuously keeps bouncing for an extended amount of time after the bump, then you should be worried).
•The vehicle’s rear end “bottoms out” when going over a bump. This means that the rear end actually drops down low enough to thump the ground.
Like any part in your car, if you let problems linger the damage to your vehicle could spread. Leaving your shocks or struts on your car beyond their time could cause other parts of the suspension system to suffer. Ball joints, steerage linkages, springs, drive axles and maybe even your tires will wear faster if you lay off of this repair.
A simple test you can perform on your car to check the shocks or struts is to manually push your car down on each of its 4 corners. The car should only bounce when you are pushing it down, meaning that after you let it go it should also stop bouncing. If bouncing persists then you should take your car into a professional. This test is going to be harder to perform if you have a bigger, heavier vehicle as it requires the strength to actually push the car down. For bigger vehicles, if you can’t get the leverage to do this, perform a visual inspection of the shocks or struts. Things to look for here include:
1.Leaks on the housing.
2.Dents on the body of the shock or strut.
3.Worn rubber mounting bushings (silent killer).
4.Abnormal wear on the high and low spots of the tires.
5.You rubber bumpers are beat up (caused by bottoming out).
Keep in mind that some auto experts recommend replacing your shocks and struts every 50,000 miles but that is probably a lot sooner than most of you will need this repair. It really depends on where you drive, how often you drive and how you drive. If your daily commute is over bumpy roads and you drive through them like a maniac every single day, then yeah you will probably need to follow this rule. When all is said and done, replacing the shocks or struts improves your ride quality and makes it much safer to drive around, so take this repair seriously.