Have you ever felt like you were driving inside a blender? That is, your car started shaking uncontrollably? If that’s ever happened to you, you probably needed new shock absorbers/struts. Shock absorbers (struts) do exactly what they say they do, they absorb shock, which means that they keep your tires firmly planted on the road and consequently you can easily control your car. Without properly working shock absorbers/struts, your car is going to bounce and keep bouncing. This bouncing is going to make your car hard to steer, especially on turns. Also, when you brake, you may find the front of your car dips downward. Driving a car with shocks/struts that are failing or falling apart is a little like going on a ride at an amusement park, without the amusement.
So how can you tell if your shocks/struts are worn and need replacing? Obviously, if your car is bouncing, rolling in turns, dipping when braking and/or shaking uncontrollably, you probably need shock absorbers/struts. Aftermarket manufacturers recommend replacing shocks/struts every 50,000 miles under normal driving conditions. If you drive aggressively or often on bumpy roads your mileage would be less. If you have any of these conditions with your vehicle you at least need to take your car to your local Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission to be inspected.
Anyone can spot obvious signs that a car needs new shocks/struts but unfortunately sometimes the symptoms aren’t so clear cut. So, if you’re looking for not-so obvious clues that your car may need shocks/struts, look for these.
Are your shock/struts leaking fluid? Shocks/struts use pressurized hydraulic oil and valving to absorb those bumpy roads. If you look into each wheel well you can get a look at your shock/struts. If you see any oil or fluid on the shock/strut that might be hydraulic fluid, which with worn out shock/struts will escape past the seal when shocks push against the piston. Of course, if you see any other colored fluid under your car, maybe your shocks are fine, but you should still bring your car over to Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission be looked at. Unless it’s water, which is condensation coming from your air-conditioning which is normal, there’s nothing good about car leaks.
Have you found it hard to steer in the wind? Yes, that can be hard for any driver, if the wind is super strong, but if a serious gust of wind seems to push your car to one side, keep your guard up. A vehicle with worn out or failed shocks/struts make the car less stable which can mean you have a problem when it’s windy.
Are you having a tough time or delayed braking? f you’re putting your foot on the brake and seeing the front of your car dip down, or when you brake your vehicle steers to one side or another, as you probably realize, your car is not supposed to do that. Maybe you’ve noticed that when you hit the brakes, you must press down on them harder and longer before your vehicle comes to a stop. These are signs of worn out shocks/struts. So before something goes wrong, and you hit another vehicle, we strongly recommend that you come into Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission to have your vehicle looked at. The problem is probably with your shocks, but again, even if the shocks are fine, something is wrong.
Is the tread on your tires uneven? Bad shocks/struts affect other parts of your car, like your tires, and so if you let your shocks go, that can cause problems throughout your car. Look over your tires and run your hand over the tread all the way across the tire. If you see (feel) a lot of patchy spots, where the tread is worn unevenly in places, that can be a sign that your shocks/struts are done, shot, finished. Why is that a sign? Because your tires aren’t pressed firmly against the road when you drive. The tire and wheel actually bounce around when they encounter bumps or pot holes, which causes the tread to wear down unevenly, and it could lead to bigger trouble.
In short, your shocks/struts are important, and so are you. So please don’t risk driving in a car that you’re having trouble controlling. Steering and braking are especially important, so if you’re finding that your vehicle is shaking you around uncontrollably get it checked out as soon as possible.