Tangent and Albany Auto Repair

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Why should I have my shocks and struts replaced?

The shocks on your vehicle, often paired with struts, play a crucial role in maintaining a smooth and stable ride. They are key components of your vehicle's suspension system, ensuring that your car handles road irregularities with ease, maintaining comfort and safety. However, like all mechanical parts, shocks wear out over time and need replacing to ensure optimal vehicle performance. As an automotive expert, I’m here to guide you through why keeping your shocks in good condition is essential for your driving experience.

Shocks are essentially hydraulic pump-like devices that help control the impact and rebound movement of your vehicle's springs and suspension. Apart from smoothing out bumps and vibrations, they also keep your tires in constant contact with the road, which enhances safety and control. When shocks begin to wear, they can no longer perform these critical functions effectively.

The primary reason to replace old shocks is for safety. Worn shocks reduce the driver's control over the vehicle, increasing the risk of accidents, especially in rough driving conditions. For example, during sudden stops, worn shocks may increase the stopping distance as the vehicle’s nose might dive, which is a dangerous scenario on busy roads.

Old or damaged shocks contribute to a bumpy, uncomfortable ride. Replacing them restores the vehicle's ability to absorb road imperfections, leading to smoother rides. This not only makes daily commutes more pleasant but also helps reduce driver fatigue on longer journeys.

Good shocks reduce the strain on your vehicle's suspension system and other components. When shocks wear out, the increased vibration and movement can lead to faster wear and tear on the tires, suspension bushings, and the steering system itself. Regularly replacing shocks can therefore extend the life of these parts and reduce maintenance costs over time.

New shocks improve your vehicle’s stability by preventing body roll during turns and excessive bouncing in rough conditions. This results in better handling characteristics and more consistent performance, which is particularly important in adverse weather conditions.

Worn shocks can lead to uneven tire wear because they don’t keep the tires firmly on the road. Uneven tires not only need to be replaced more frequently but also negatively affect the grip and safety of the vehicle. Ensuring your shocks are in good condition helps promote even tire wear, saving money and enhancing your car's driving dynamics.

Shocks should typically be inspected and tested every 50,000 miles, though this can vary based on vehicle make and model, driving habits, and the types of roads you frequent.

Signs that your shocks need replacement include:

- After hitting a bump, if your vehicle continues to bounce or rock back and forth, it's a sign that the shocks are no longer damping the suspension movement effectively.

Shocks are filled with oil or a gas-liquid mixture that helps dampen vibration. If you notice fluid leaking from the shock absorbers, they need to be replaced.

Worn shocks can cause the tires to bounce on the road, leading to uneven tire wear. Check for bald spots or uneven tread wear as a sign that the shocks may not be functioning correctly.

- If steering response feels mushy or if you notice increased sway during turns, your shocks could be to blame.

Replacing worn shocks is an investment in your vehicle's performance, safety, and your comfort. Keeping up with this aspect of vehicle maintenance ensures that your ride remains smooth, your tires wear evenly, and your vehicle handles reliably in all driving conditions. Don’t wait for the overt signs of failure; keep on top of your vehicle’s maintenance to ensure safety and efficiency. Remember, maintaining optimal shock absorbers not only keeps your drives smoother but also protects your overall investment in your vehicle. If you're experiencing any of the symptoms of worn shocks, or if it’s simply time for a routine check, give us a call and let us take care of you.

Happy Adventures,



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