When should I replace my shocks and or struts
When a vehicle is brought into an auto repair shop for routine vehicle maintenance, the auto technician may suggest that the vehicle shocks or struts need to be replaced. Learn the function of a car or trucks shocks and struts. Find out why the shocks and struts need to be replaced and how someone can tell if they’re bad.
The Purpose or Function of a Cars Shocks and Struts
Shocks and struts serve the same purpose. They’re main function is to keep the vehicle from bouncing. A vehicle has front and rear springs to cushion the vehicle over rough road conditions. If there were no shocks or struts the vehicle would continue to bounce excessively. The shocks and struts prevent the car from bouncing by damping the springs.
What’s the Difference Between Shocks and Struts?
Shocks are usually used to dampen leaf springs, where as a strut is used to dampen coil springs. Shocks are usually a single cylinder in the open where as a strut is normally surrounded by the coil spring and are more massive and complicated.
That’s why struts normally cost a lot more to replace than a shock. On a car the front suspension usually has struts and the rear usually has shocks. Some trucks have shocks on the front and rear. Other than those distinctions, shocks and struts serve exactly the same purpose.
Why Should the Cars Shocks or Struts be replaced?
Keeping in mind that the purpose of shocks and struts is to keep the vehicle from bouncing, the following is some of the reasons why they should be replaced.
* An excessively bouncing car can be an uncomfortable driving experience.
* The vehicle can be harder to control leading to an unsafe condition.
* Excessive strain can be put on other vehicle components causing premature failure.
* Bad shocks or struts will cause the tires to bounce and create spotty or choppy wear on the vehicles tires.
How to Tell if a Cars Shocks or Struts are Bad
1. Shocks and struts can be oil or air filled. If they are leaking oil or air they need to be replaced. Consumer beware, some dishonest auto repair shops will squirt oil on the shocks, show the customer the leaky shocks and tell them they need to be replaced.
2. Another method is the bounce test. Put all your weight on the front or rear of the vehicle and push down on the vehicle. Let go of the vehicle and stand back to see of it bounces. If the vehicle comes back up without bouncing, the shocks are probably in good shape. If the vehicle bounces a few times, chances are the shocks or struts need to be replaced.
Shocks and struts are wear items, not maintenance items. There’s no set mileage or time limit when they should be replaced. If the tires seem to have a choppy wear pattern or the vehicle bounces excessively over bumps, the shocks need to be checked.
Look at the struts or shocks and see if they’re leaking. Perform the bounce test and see if the vehicle bounces. Replacing the vehicle shocks and struts when they’re bad will create a safer and more comfortable driving experience, not to mention saving money in the long run.