Should You Have Your Shocks and Struts Checked?
October 27, 2022
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think much about your shocks and struts. But the truth is, these parts of your car are essential to its safety and performance.
So, should you have your shocks and struts checked? The answer is yes! Here’s why:
Why You Should Have Your Shocks and Struts Checked
It’s important to have your shocks and struts checked regularly to ensure a safe and comfortable ride. These structural parts play a vital role in keeping your vehicle’s tires in contact with the road, and they help absorb bumps and absorb shock to protect you and your passengers from the jarring effects of driving on uneven surfaces. Over time, they can wear out and need to be replaced.
Worn shocks and struts can cause your tires to lose contact with the road, which can lead to a loss of control. They can also cause your vehicle to bounce or veer off course when driving over bumps. In extreme cases, they can even cause your vehicle to roll over.
Replacing shocks and struts is not typically a very expensive repair, but it is one that should be done by a qualified technician.
How Often Should You Check Your Shocks and Struts?
You should have your shocks and struts checked at least once a year, and more often if you do a lot of driving on rough roads. A good time to have them checked is when you get your tires rotated.
What Happens if You Don’t Check Your Shocks and Struts?
If your shocks or struts are damaged, it can cause a number of problems with your car. The most obvious problem is that your ride will be significantly less comfortable. You may feel every bump in the road, and your car may even bounce while you’re driving.
In addition to making your ride less comfortable, damage to your shocks or struts can also lead to other problems. For example, if your car’s suspension is not working properly, it can cause the tires to wear out prematurely. Additionally, damage to these components can adversely affect the handling of your car, making it more difficult to control on the road.
Because of the potential problems that can occur if you don’t check your shocks and struts regularly, it’s important to have them inspected by a qualified mechanic every 12 months or 20,000km, whichever comes first. If you wait too long to have them checked, you may end up paying for more extensive repairs down the road.
What are the Warning Signs That Your Shocks or Struts Need to be Checked?
Your car’s shocks and struts perform a very important job in keeping your ride smooth and stable. Over time, they can wear out and need to be replaced. Here are four warning signs that your shocks or struts may need to be checked:
1. Your ride is rougher than usual
If you feel every bump and crack in the road, it may be time for new shocks or struts. Worn-out shocks will cause your car to bounce more than usual, making for a less comfortable ride.
2. Your car body “rolls” when you take turns
If you notice that your car body “rolls” or sways when you take turns, this could be a sign that your struts are worn out. Worn struts can affect your car’s handling and make it harder to control on the road.
3. You see fluid leaking from your shocks or struts
If you see fluid leaking from your shocks or struts, this is a sign that they are damaged and need to be replaced.
4. Your “check engine” light is on
In some cases, a worn-out shock or strut can trigger your “check engine” light. If you see this light come on, it’s important to have your car checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.
How to Check Your Shocks and Struts
To check your shocks, apply firm pressure to the front or rear of your car and let go. The vehicle should rebound quickly and settle back down in a controlled manner. If the rebound is slow, or if the vehicle continues to “bounce” after you let go, then your shocks may be worn out and in need of replacement.
Struts also have a major impact on ride quality and handling. Unlike shocks, however, struts provide structural support for your vehicle’s suspension system. To check your struts, have someone bounce each corner of your car while you observe the strut assembly. If you see any movement in the strut or hear any noise, then it’s time to replace them.
How to Tell if Your Shocks or Struts Need to be Replaced
Your vehicle’s shocks and struts play an important role in keeping you safe on the road. They help to cushion your ride and absorb impact from bumps, potholes, and other irregularities in the road surface. Over time, they can wear out, which can lead to a rougher ride and reduced handling. In extreme cases, it can even affect your vehicle’s ability to stop quickly in an emergency situation.
Here are six signs that it might be time for new shocks or struts:
1. Your ride is rougher than it used to be
If you’ve noticed that your ride has become rougher than it used to be, it could be a sign that your shocks or struts are worn out. Remember, they’re designed to absorb impact from irregularities in the road surface, so if they’re not doing their job properly, you’re going to feel every bump.
2. Your vehicle bounces when driving over a bump
If your vehicle bounces more than once after driving over a bump or pothole, that’s a sign that your shocks need to be replaced. Once or twice might not be cause for concern, but if it happens every time you hit a bump, then it’s definitely time for new shocks.
3. You can feel every crack and seam in the road surface
If you can feel every crack and seam in the road surface when driving, that’s another sign that your shocks need to be replaced. You shouldn’t feel like you’re driving on the washboard – if you are, it’s time for new shocks!
4. Your vehicle sways when making turns
If you’ve noticed that your vehicle seems to sway more than usual when making turns, it could be a sign of worn-out shocks or struts. This is especially true if you’ve noticed increased body roll (the tendency of your vehicle’s body to lean when making turns). Worn-out shocks or struts can also lead to instability at higher speeds – something you definitely want to avoid!
5. You notice fluid leaks under your car after parking
Fluid leaks are one of the most common signs of worn-out shocks or struts. If you notice fluid leaking from any of these components after parking, have them inspected as soon as possible by a qualified mechanic. They’ll be able to tell if the leak is caused by worn-out seals or something else entirely. However, keep in mind that some minor leakage is normal – just don’t ignore it if it seems excessive!
If you think your shocks or struts might need to be repaired book an appointment at your local Trail Tire Auto Center and our team will help you out!Back