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Although the road may appear to be perfectly straight and smooth, there are dips and bumps somewhere. And these little imperfections can make the car go bouncing up and down. Thanks to the shock absorber and strut assembly of your car, you won't have to endure that bumpy ride and suffer from that roller coaster misadventure on the road.
Smooth steering and trouble-free braking have much to do with a sound car suspension system, two important components of which are the shocks and struts. These two help improve vehicle handling and ride quality. Shocks do this by serving as dampers. They reduce the impact from the upward and downward movement of the vehicle while allowing it to easily revert to its position after it has gone through a bump or pothole.
While shocks support suspension movement, struts, on the other hand, deal with wheel movement control and vehicle weight suspension. Composed of spring coils, spring seats, strut bearings, steering knuckle, and shock absorbers, struts provide support as the spring compresses and recoils when the car moves or bounces.
Shocks and struts work hand in hand in making sure that the ride would be safe and smooth even in rough, bumpy roads. They improve the car's braking performance and even reduce the braking distance. Cornering is also much better and smoother as the wheels retain good ground contact, thanks to the car suspension's sound shock absorber and strut assembly.
According to some manufacturers and automotive specialists, it may take 50,000 to 60,000 miles before the car's shocks and struts show signs of deterioration. This rate depends on the how the car is driven and how often it is used. It's recommended that you check the shock absorber and strut assembly every 12,000 miles.
Test-driving the vehicle
Drive your vehicle on rough parts of the road, over dips and bumps. If the shocks and struts are no longer up to snuff, you may notice how the vehicle seems to shake or bounce excessively. The car suspension feels kind of loose. When you brake, there's some nose dive. You may also notice the rear of the vehicle dipping when it accelerates.
Taking note of strange noises
When driving through potholes or rough sections, you may notice unusual noises, like banging or rattling. These may be coming from worn-out shock absorbers and struts that need to be inspected for repair or replacement.
Taking a closer look at the shocks
You'll have to take out the wheels to have a closer look at the shocks and the strut housing. An oil leak is a sign of bad shock absorbers.
If you experience a rather bouncy ride or excessive sway in your vehicle, then it might be time to get your shocks and struts inspected. Uneven tire wear is another symptom you shouldn't miss when diagnosing the condition of the shock absorber and strut assembly.