Heart in Hands

When to Replace Your Car's Struts

While the 'bounce test' has been the most common way to test older vehicles to see if shocks or struts need to be replaced, newer cars require a more sophisticated approach. In general, if your car feels as though it's bouncing down the road or swaying too much in turns, your struts and/or shocks may need replacement.

Here's three indications you need to replace your car's struts or shocks.

1. Vehicle Handling: Struts and shocks are essentially shock absorbers to smooth out your ride, not only absorbing bumps and dips in the road, but also stabilizing during turns, braking, accelerating and the like. Changes in how your car handles and steers are often a sign the struts are worn. Noises coming from steering, the front of the car diving more than normal during braking, swaying or leaning when turning and stiffness in the ride are other indicators you should get a suspension inspection to see if replacement of the shocks and struts is necessary.

2. Visual Signs: Upon inspection, visual signs of wear and tear may be apparent when shocks and strut replacement is needed. If the strut or shock body is dented or damaged, if the mounts or bearings are corroded, or if you see fluid leaking from the strut body, it's time for replacement. Another visual indicator is uneven wear of the tire tread, and an inspection by a full service auto repair shop will take all these into consideration.

3. Mileage: There isn't a magic number for replacing shocks and struts, as every car's suspension components wear differently. However, it's generally recommended to replace shocks and struts every 50,000 miles.

While it isn't necessarily high risk to drive a car with worn-out struts, studies show vehicles with weak struts and shocks take longer to stop on rough surfaces and are at higher risk of skidding on slick roads. Strut problems wear expensive tires out faster, too. Bottom line, your car will handle better and you'll have more control when struts and shocks are in good shape. For a suspension inspection to check on the condition of your shocks and struts, David's Auto Repair in Vancouver. Visit online at www.DavidsAutoRepairs.com.

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