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7 Warning Signs of Failing Shocks and Struts

An important aspect of your car are the shocks and struts, as these parts are essential in ensuring a comfortable and safe ride. Not all vehicles have both shocks and struts, some just have shocks while others have only struts. Shocks are part of a vehicle's suspension system, while struts are a complete suspension assembly.

shocks in vehicle suspension assembly

What Happens When Shocks or Struts Give Out?

If your shocks and/or struts are worn, your ride will become less comfortable and stable as the car will experience more bouncing. Even if you are willing to put up with a bouncy ride, you should consider the safety factors. Driving with worn or failing shocks and struts can increase your stopping distance, especially when the road is slippery or wet. You may not think you have a problem until you hit a slippery road and find out the hard way.

How Can I Tell if My Shocks and Struts are Failing?

Many factors are involved with the life of your shocks and struts. If you notice any of these warning signs, have a licensed mechanic check your car as soon as possible.

  1. Your vehicle constantly moves up and down, particularly at highway speeds. The movement may be slight but is noticeable.
  2. When braking suddenly or slamming on your brakes, the front of your car dips more than expected.
  3. During turns, the vehicle leans to one side, and during a sharp turn the vehicle feels wobbly and leans to the outside.
  4. When you hit the gas hard, the front of your vehicle rises and the rear lowers.
  5. Your tires bounce, particularly after hitting a bump. You may also hear a clunking sound.
  6. Your tires wear unevenly.
  7. Fluids leaks on the shocks or struts. This is a sign that the seals have broken and the internal fluids, essential to proper functioning, are escaping.

Driving with bad shocks and struts can be dangerous and lead to more expensive repairs if not promptly fixed. To learn more about our shocks and struts services, or for any of your vehicle questions and maintenance needs, contact us at Custom Complete Automotive today!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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