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How to Know When to Replace Your Shocks and Struts

Today we’re talking to Washington DC car owners about shocks and struts. They’re easy to forget because they last so long and wear out so slowly. But, good shocks equal good ride quality and safe handling for motorists. Without shocks, your wheels would be bouncing over bumps and lifting in corners. They push the tire down to the road to maximize traction.

Shocks, Springs, and Struts

There’s a difference between shocks and springs. Springs support the weight of the vehicle, keeping it suspended up off the axles. The shocks moderate the rebound motion as wheels hit bumps. A strut combines a shock and a coil spring in one compact unit.

Signs of Wear

When your shocks are worn out you may notice degraded handling as you drive. Your vehicle feels squirmy around corners and floaty over bumps. You may notice the rear end squatting as you accelerate or the front end diving when you brake. Your car might even be sagging at one corner.

Uneven tire wear can also be a a vital sign of worn shocks. Of course, if your shocks are leaking or have a big dent,they need to be replaced.

Replacement Schedule and Options

Check your owner’s manual for when to replace the shocks and struts on your late model vehicle. It’s usually between thirty and fifty thousand miles. Of course, if you tow a lot, regularly carry heavy loads or do a lot of driving on bumpy roads, your shocks might wear out faster. If these driving conditions apply to you, you can get special shocks that are better suited to your driving.

The shocks that come from the factory are designed for the way most consumers are expected to drive that particular vehicle. If you have different driving needs you can get premium shocks that improve performance handling, off-road abilities or towing comfort. Your service professional can help you determine your needs and then give you some options.

It’s best to replace all four shocks at the same time. That way you’ll have even, predictable handling at all four corners. Anything less could be detrimental.

Visit Metro Motor to have your shocks and struts inspected by a professional service specialist.

Vehicle care information made available by Metro Motor is presented as helpful advice for general maintenance and should not be construed as instructions for at-home vehicle service. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual and a licensed, professional mechanic for diagnostics and repair.

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