The suspension provides more stability as you drive over any variety of road surfaces, or blemishes. There are many key components in a vehicle’s suspension system, the most critical being shock absorbers or the strut-based system typical in many front-wheel-drive cars.
If you are hearing clunks or rattling from your wheel areas when hitting bumps and your starting to feel every little bump on the road, it’s a good indication that your shocks or struts need to be checked. Bad shocks will cause additional fatigue on all the other components of your vehicle’s suspension system and in particular extra wear on your tires.
How do I know if I need new shocks or struts?
Shock absorbers on a vehicle can generally last up to 50,000 miles, while struts can go up to 80,000 miles. That life expectancy is based on the quality of the shock or strut as well as where you drive and how you drive. Here are some telling signs if your shock or strut needs to be replaced.
- Push down on front or rear of your car. A good shock or strut will absorb the bounce and quickly level the car. If your car continues to bounce up and down, the shock or strut is likely wearing out. You’ll probably notice that while driving as well
- Shocks are charged with oil which absorbs bounce and energy when hitting a pothole or crossing over uneven surfaces. Seals keep the oil in place. But over time the seals dry up and become dislodged. Oil will start seeping pass the seal and leak out onto the exterior of the shock or strut. That visible oil is a sign of the shock loosing its ability to perform as needed
- Over time the components of a shock or strut wear out and break. It could be the spring around the strut that breaks along the coil. Or, the mounts where shock or strut meet the chassis will weaken. Another issue is when the piston within the shock or strut rusts, preventing it from moving freely. When these types of breakdowns happen you will begin hearing a clunking or rattling sound when driving over bumps.
- If your car, truck, van or SUV dips forward when braking or dips inward while making a sharp turn, that could be caused by worn shocks or struts
Complete Suspension Inspection and Repair
When you bring your vehicle to Guaranteed Brakes we’ll thoroughly examine your suspension system and find out what’s causing those clunks, rattles, bumps and dripping fluids. Our detailed assessment includes:
- Shock absorbers
- Springs–coil or leaf
- Control arms
- Ball joints
Control Arms & Ball Joints
In automotive suspension, the control arm is what holds it all together. It’s hinged suspension link between the chassis and the hub that carries the wheel. Most control arms have a rubber bushing or ball joint that allows the bar to rotate up and down without binding up. The common reason control arms go bad and need replacing is because the bushing or the ball joint become worn out. The ball joint is a critical part serving as the pivot between the wheels and the suspension of the vehicle.