The suspension system of your vehicle (shocks and/or struts) is not something to take for granted. It is what supports several tons of metal, along with the occupants of your vehicle. A smooth, working suspension makes your ride comfortable. However, eventually shocks break down or wear out. This is not a problem to ignore.
A faulty suspension could affect your ability to control your car, especially for turning and stopping. In fact, industry experts say worn out shocks add approximately 10% to the distance it takes to stop your car in an emergency situation. That could translate to disaster at any speed and make all the difference in your efforts to avoid an accident. So don’t wait on suspension repairs.
Signs of Worn Out Suspension
How do you know you need to get the suspension fixed? Here are a few signs to watch for:
1. Rough Ride
Most drivers can tell right away when shocks or struts are worn out. You begin to feel every bump in the road. You will also notice extra movement when you stop and start. This is perhaps the most obvious sign you might need suspension repair.
2. Pulling or Drifting
If you start to notice your car drifting or pulling when you turn, this could indicate a problem. This usually means the suspension system does not keep the car body stable against the centrifugal force. In turn this lessens your control and increases your risk of a rollover.
3. Dips When Stopping
Ever feel your car take a slight nosedive when you stop at a light? This also tends to happen when shocks wear out, sending the body of the vehicle lurching forward and downward. This is what impacts your car’s ability to stop when you break firmly.
4. Bald or Uneven Treads
If you look at your tires and notice the tread has worn down unevenly, this can mean the suspension system needs repair. Basically the shocks no longer hold the car evenly, and put differing amounts of pressure on the tires.
5. Shock Damage
When you look under the vehicle at the suspension system, examine the struts or shocks. If they look oily, greasy, or broken you might have a problem with leaking fluid. In turn, this keeps the struts or shocks from working properly and it is time to get them replaced. However, be careful when checking under your car. Suspension parts or often dirty, and can get extremely hot. Allow the car to cool for at least 4 hours before touching any components.
To really test the suspension, put the car in park. Then get out and press down on the front of the car with your body weight, bouncing it a few times, then release. Repeat on the back. If the car keeps bouncing two or three more times after you stop, then your suspension system is wearing out. By testing the suspension regularly you can familiarize yourself with how it is supposed to feel, and be aware of any conditions if problems arise.
Don’t just guess at suspension problems. Take your car to the experts for Sacramento suspension repairs.