Replacing Worn Shocks

Published: 02/05/2011 by AutoShopit

Replacing Worn Shocks

Replacing Worn Shocks

Shocks are an integral part of the suspension system in your car and work to keep your tires in contact with the road while driving. They are designed to absorb any lumps and bumps you hit in the road to make your journey smoother and reduce the possibility of damage to your car.

By replacing worn shocks you can improve your car’s handling and make it a lot safer to drive. Your braking time increases with worn shocks symptoms, making your car more dangerous.

There is no set mileage for how long your shocks will last. Some will start to go before they have traveled 48,000 (30,000 miles) and others might last more than 64,000km (40,000 miles). This will depend on the type of driver you are, the loads you carry and the roads you drive on. Heavy loads on rough roads will wear the shocks and supporting struts out faster than light loads on smooth roads. 

Worn Shocks Symptoms

The performance of your vehicle’s shocks and struts will gradually diminish over time. This means it is difficult to tell, when you are driving, whether it is time for replacing worn shocks. The following are all possible worn shocks symptoms:

  • Excessive bouncing after hitting a bump in the road
  • Front end dipping when you brake
  • Excessive rolling or swaying when cornering or hitting crosswinds
  • Suspension bottoms out when you have extra passengers

You can also take a visual inspection of your vehicle to check for worn shocks symptoms.  Make sure there is no fluid leaking from them as well as no obvious visible damage to the struts or housing. You can’t easily tell if you will need to replace your shocks just by looking, however.

One final method you can use to check for worn shocks symptoms is the bounce test. Push down the corners of your car and count how many bounces it takes until it stops. If it takes more than two or three to stop then it indicates your shocks are worn.

Replacing worn shocks can be easy to do and is a common home repair.  It is usual to replace a pair of shocks at the same time, unless one sustained damage at a low mileage.

If you find normal shocks do not last long in your car, then you might want to invest in heavy-duty shocks that can handle more stress. These can include gas-charged shocks that use high-pressure nitrogen to prevent foaming of the fluid or air-assisted shocks that allow you to adjust the pressure. This might be useful if you sometimes carry a heavy load.

If you struggle when you are replacing worn shocks, you might need to get assistance from a professional mechanic. This is definitely the case if you need to replace your struts, as this will also require the wheels to be rebalanced and the entire suspension might need to be taken apart. To find a great mechanic, run a search on our site to find hundreds of local listings that you can trust. 



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