How often should your shocks and struts be replaced?
There is no doubt the reliability of modern vehicles has improved throughout time, so is the quality of the ride. Apart from keeping your tires properly pressurized, shocks and struts are vital to your safety. They play a significant role in helping absorb the unevenness on the road, keeping your car from bouncing and they are crucial to your steering and braking systems. Sometimes shocks and struts are referred to as shock absorbers or dampers.
A good condition shock absorber can lead to shorter stopping distances, increase the braking efficiency and reduce the risk of hydroplaning on wet roads. Defective shocks and struts can increase operating costs due to tire wear, poor gas mileage and higher maintenance on other suspension and steering components. The reason for this is due to the way springs work. When a spring is pressed, and released, it rebounds and returns to its original state. When a spring is pressed quickly, which is what happens when a car hits a bump, the spring rebounds faster. The process happens over and over expanding a little less each time until the movement finally stops.
How often should they be inspected or replaced?
You may not know when your shocks and struts are worn out and become a hazard because it happens gradually. The fact is that every day driving puts a beating on your suspension, such as rough roads, bumps and especially potholes – they damage shocks and struts. If this happens, you may feel a bounce bottoming out or nose diving when stopping.
Here are five indicators that may indicate you need replacements.
- You see oily fluid around the shocks and struts;
- Notice unusual tire wear;
- When you do a bounce test over the engine cover and it continues to bounce more than one or two times.
- Speed bumps. You can easily tell if shocks are worn due to how the vehicle bounces. Does it bottom out and/or bounce multiple times?
- Rough roads. If you drive on rough logging type roads and you find yourself bouncing too much, and feel you could lose control is a sure indicator.
Just like brakes in vehicle safety your shocks are struts are equally important and we highly recommend regular inspections each time you get an oil change to have a professional have a visual look. If your vehicle has any of the symptoms in our five-point list do not leave them, have them replaced.
Call 250-385-7033 or email us to schedule an appointment to see our factory-trained technicians.