When Should I Replace My Shocks and Struts?

How can you tell if its time to replace your shocks and struts?

Shocks and Struts aren’t usually the most recognizable of issues. The purpose of these mechanisms is to stabilize your vehicle and absorb or “dampen” the amount of movement your vehicle experiences when hitting bumps. When you consider rough roads with potholes, bumps, rocks and uneven pavement do you ever consider how you’re not slamming your head into the roof of your vehicle? Probably not. That’s because most people don’t really ever consider their shocks and struts as being necessary for safety on the road.

There are ways to tell if your shocks and struts are in need of replacement. The most obvious is excessive bouncing even with the littlest of bumps. At first the bouncing may not be all that distracting to your driving, but it can really damage your tires and suspension.

Once this happens, it becomes a domino effect to your braking system. You may notice that you’re jolting forward at stops, or that its taking longer to stop. This happens because once your suspension has been affected by worn out shocks and struts, more weight is added to your brakes. You run the risk of having or causing an accident because of impaired handling of the vehicle and slow brake time.

If you’re looking for some easy telltale signs of worn out shocks and struts there are a few of methods:

  1. The “Bounce Test”- Push down on each corner of your vehicle and pay attention to how quickly it bounces back. If it seems to continue bouncing, then it may be time to see an auto repair shop. If it returns slowly, you should be in the clear.
  2. The Fluid Check- If you notice fluid seeping from the shocks, thats an indication that they are weak.
  3. Steering Check- If you’re noticing that its harder to turn the wheel or you feel swaying on the road, shocks and struts could be the culprit.

It is recommended by most manufacturers to replace your shocks and struts every 50,000 miles. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, bring your vehicle into our repair shop and we will inspect the issues for you.