Shocks & Struts

How Do I Know If My Vehicle Really Needs New Shock Absorbers?

It’s obvious that you will need new shocks or struts if your old or original ones are damaged, leaking, or just plain worn out. A leak or damage is easy enough for anyone, even someone not trained as a mechanic, to see. Wear is a bit tougher to determine, and there are even cases where the original shock absorbers and struts are still in good standing, just not good enough to do the job. If you do a lot of trailer towing or hauling, you may need to upgrade your shocks, struts, and suspension to handle the load.

There are no set intervals for when you should have your shocks and struts examined or replaced. As a general rule, though, you should have both inspected somewhere between the 30,000 and 60,000-mile marks.

Shocks & Struts Near Me

If you asked a random person on the street what a strut was, they’d probably show you a fancy walk. They are correct, but a strut in your car is more like a shock absorber in a coiled spring. Struts are there for two reasons – they dampen bumps like a shock absorber would and they help maintain the integrity of your vehicle’s suspension.

Since your car’s shock absorbers and struts have so much to do with how your car handles, we here at Willoughby Hills Auto Repair do consider them to be of critical importance for safety while driving. Worn shocks and struts aren’t able to handle weight transference while your car moves, so this can lead to excessive tire wear and decreased performance from your accelerator and brakes. But, as we said before, it’s tough to gauge when a shock or strut needs replacing. Because they wear out so gradually, it’s nearly impossible to tell when your shocks and struts need to be replaced. So when a problem becomes evident, it’s usually way past the time when you need your shocks and struts replaced.

If you’d like to figure out whether you need new shocks or struts, ask yourself this: how’s your car handling these days? Do you bounce all over the place on bumpy roads? Does the front of the car dive when you brake? Does the front or back sit lower, especially when you’ve got extra weight onboard? The “bounce test” is also still a good way to see if your shocks and struts need replacing. If you put all your weight on your car and let go, and it bounces more than twice, you probably need your shocks and struts looked at.

Why Replace Them?

Having weak shocks and struts isn’t necessarily a driving hazard, per se, but having worn ones can decrease your ability to stop on slick roads. Worn shocks and struts can also increase suspension and tire wear. Most people have their shocks and struts replaced not for safety reasons, but to increase the smoothness and driveability of your car. Most people don’t want to bounce up and down every slightly bumpy road, so new shocks and struts can help with that.

Though shock absorbers and struts are generally replaced in pairs, we can replace a single shock or strut if it has sustained damage. Because new shocks and struts require quite a bit of suspension disassembly, it is best to leave the delicate process to the pros. You can find the shock and strut experts in Willoughby Hills, OH, at Willoughby Hills Auto Repair. Make an appointment today!

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