Shocks and Struts: Theyre Important!

When is the last time you even thought about your vehicle’s shocks and struts? They are a critical component of every vehicle, but often taken for granted until there is a big problem. We just had a new customer recently that was having problems with their front brakes needing to be replaced more frequently than normal, while their rear brakes stayed in good shape. They came to us hoping we could help them figure out what was going on. We did a thorough brake inspection and determined that they did not need their brakes replaced. So we got their approval to do further investigation and found that the culprit was worn shock absorbers and struts.

Your vehicle’s shock absorbers or shock struts are the second most important part of your car, next to the brakes, and when worn, need to be replaced. Shock absorbers and shock struts are what help keep your car stable and allow you to stay in control while driving. As they wear, your vehicle begins to dip, sway, bounce and over-react. This results in reduced braking ability, tire and component wear and a need to work harder to maintain control of the vehicle.

Vehicle stability means being able to stop, turn, or swerve at exactly the moment and in the amount needed. Your shocks and struts react to every wheel and body movement, every bump and every corner. Any shock or strut with 50,000 miles or more is worn to the point that it can no longer provide the handling and control your vehicle should be capable of. During braking, a worn shock or strut will allow your vehicle to nose dive, causing the rear of the vehicle to rise and prevents the tires from keeping a grip on the road. The result: poor traction and loss of control which lengthens the stopping distance up to 23%. Also, more weight is transferred forward, causing the front brakes to wear faster and increasing the need for more pressure on the pedal to stop the vehicle. All this could be the difference between involvement in a serious accident and avoiding an accident.

Bottom line: if your shocks/struts are bent, broken, leaking or just worn due to mileage, it is highly recommended to have new ones installed. Be sure to have this important component of your vehicle inspected periodically as part of your maintenance program.

Donna McCord
Owner, Dean’s Automotive