The Suspension and Shock Absorbers are often the last components of a vehicle to be considered for replacement, but they’re also a primary key to your safety. They are as important as properly fitted, quality tyres, airbags and properly functioning brakes.
Your vehicles suspension/ shocks do more than contribute to a smooth ride. In fact, their primary purpose is to help you maintain control of your vehicle. Since worn or bad shocks/ control arms can turn any ride into an uncomfortable, even unsafe nightmare, learn how to determine if your suspension is in need of some help. Remember the symptoms of a worn or failing suspension by asking yourself, “Is my vehicle showing signs of being C.U.R.S.E.D.?”
C – Car veering or sliding in side winds? Unless you’re driving through a tornado (which we don’t advise), this could mean you’re dealing with a shock absorber problem. Worn or leaking shocks can lead to unsteadiness on the road. You shouldn’t have to “correct” your vehicle, even in mild gusts.
U – Uneven wear appearing on your tyres. Big red flag! When your shocks are worn, they can’t keep your tyres firmly on the road. The result? Patchy areas of wear. To perform as the manufacturer intended, tyres must maintain uniform contact with the road. Uneven tyre wear can increase your risk of hydroplaning and leave you more prone to a sudden flat. Remember to do the wheel alignment.
R – Rocking, rolling and rattling. Hold tight! It could point to worn shocks when your vehicle shakes, rattles, and rocks a little too hard when driving over minor road bumps or railroad tracks. Since a vehicle’s shocks are responsible for controlling the impact and vibration of a vehicle’s springs and suspension, worn ones won’t be able to soften the blows of the road. A rattling ride is not only uncomfortable, it can put undue pressure on other parts of the vehicle and could soon lead to more than shock troubles.
S – Swerving and dipping when applying your brakes. If bringing your vehicle to a stop causes the front end to dip noticeably or, worse yet, results in any swerving, worn shocks may be the culprit. Watch out, since this symptom could prove especially dangerous in wet weather.
E – Excessive vibration in your steering wheel. Traveling over an uneven road surface can naturally cause the steering wheel to vibrate a little, but the vibration should go away as soon as you reach a smoother surface. If the vibration remains constant while you’re driving, it might be a sign that there’s a serious problem with your shocks. At highway speeds, these vibrations could become more intense and hamper your ability to control the vehicle.
D – Delayed or longer stopping distances. Worn shock absorbers can increase your braking distance by 20%, which could mean the difference between a safe stop and an accident. This symptom may have you thinking you are coming in for a brake inspection. Our experienced technicians will be able to diagnose the real culprit, whether it’s low brake fluid, worn shocks, or something else entirely.
Wait. So how can I test my shocks? Here’s one way, but not the only way to do it. With your vehicle parked, press down on the front end of the vehicle and release. If more than a couple bounces are required to calm the vehicle, the shocks might be worn. You can repeat this test with the rear of the vehicle, too.
These worn shock symptoms won’t appear overnight. Shocks wear out over time, making it difficult to determine when they need to be replaced. If you notice one of these signs, spring into action for your own safety and start with a complete vehicle inspection. During an inspection, technicians will check for any suspension-related issues, including damaged shocks or struts, broken mounts or bushings, and vehicle swaying or bouncing. After diagnosing the problem, they’ll advise you on next steps to get rid of any “C.U.R.S.E.D.” symptoms of bad shocks!
If you experience any of the above scenarios, please feel free to book in your Vehicle so our experienced technicians can do a thorough vehicle inspection/ test drive and use our suspension 'Joint Play Tester'. Many Customers are hesitant to replace their vehicles shock absorbers and suspension items, because of the costs, but through our Supplier Network we are able to source Bilstein Shocks and Meyle Products which are Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to all the major manufacturers, at very reasonable pricing.