Signs That Your Car Might Need New Shocks

You probably already know that the suspension on your vehicle is quite complex and engineered to safely carry the weight of your vehicle at high speeds. So, what happens when the shocks start to go out? The shock absorbers at each wheel are sometimes called struts, and the difference boils down to whether the shock assembly also includes a coil spring. This is what most modern vehicles come with and this combination is called a strut. Below, we look at six things the experts in our Subaru service center think are important for customers to be aware of when it comes to shocks and struts.

Regular inspections are the best way to ensure your car's suspension is ready for whatever the road throws at it 

6. Strange Noises Under Car

We probably don't need to tell you that a strange noise coming from your vehicle is most likely a problem. If a shock or strut were to come loose, it will probably make quite the racket when driving as it bounces around and knocks against things. Among the things that a loose shock could damage is the brake system, so don't roll the dice and drive with noises coming from your suspension while driving.

Take note of differences in how your car drives and feels 

5. Bottoming Out The Suspension

Another type of noise you might here in relation to bad shocks or struts is also something you might feel. If you go over a big speed bump, pothole, or even less significant bumps in the road, my might hear one or two loud knocks when your suspension bottoms out. So, your car's suspension works by allowing the wheels to travel up and down with the various bumps in the road. The suspension bottoms out when the wheel can't go up any further, and this is a common symptom of shocks that are well past needing to be replaced.

4. Bouncy Ride

Have you been cruising along, minding your own business, and noticed that your car seemed to take a couple blocks after the dip in the road before it stopped bouncing? Maybe you didn't notice it, but your passenger is showing signs of sea sickness. You see, the shocks and struts on your vehicle help steady it after going over a bump. If your car keeps bouncing after a bump like it was just riding on springs, it could be because it is and the shocks are totally bad.

Catching suspension issues early can save you from buying new tires too soon 

3. Body Roll

If you've ever ridden in an old, high-mileage, full-size truck, you've most likely experienced what's called body roll. This is when the vehicle noticeably leans from side to side in the turns or pitches forward and back when stopping and accelerating. Of course, the flat engine design of Subaru models and the resulting low center of gravity almost eliminates this, but only when the shocks are doing their job. If the shocks in your Subaru are out, you may notice body roll.

2. Tire Wear

The way the tires on your vehicle wear can tell many stories from whether the wheel alignment is good to how many burnouts your teenager did last weekend when they borrowed the car. Tire wear can also indicate shocks that have outlived their usefulness. Of course, it's better to have bad shocks replaced before you can read the story on the tires. However, if you notice cupping or other abnormal tread wear across the width of the tread, it may well be time for new shocks or struts.

1. Easy Shock Absorber Test

So, how can you test if your shocks or struts really are bad? Perhaps the easiest and most common test of your shocks is to safely park your car on a level spot. Step around to the front of the vehicle and push down hard, but not hard enough to dent the hood, on the vehicle a couple times and let go. Does the car take more than about two 'bounces' before it stops moving? If so, it's probably time to swing by an authorized service center for new shocks. You can do this same test around back, and we typically recommend replacing all shocks or struts at the same time.

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4045 Wild Chaparral Dr
Directions Shingle Springs, CA 95682

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