Do I need new shocks?
One of the most common question we get asked is, “Do I need new shocks,” or “How do I know if my shocks should be replaced.” We will try our best to answer it, but first, let’s make sure we understand what shocks really do.
Shocks and struts are not just about ride and comfort. They use a series of complex valves to control fluid movement, this manages the speed of body movement and controls the up-and-down motion of the tire. When shocks are working as designed, the vehicle is in control, able to quickly respond to and recover from steering and braking commands. As the valves wear inside shocks, they can’t control the fluid as well as when new. This means additional tire movement, body movement and ultimately, less vehicle control.
So, how do you know if they should be replaced? Thankfully there are a couple of clues you can look for to help you make a better decision. How does your vehicle feel and respond?
Normal Driving: Does your vehicle still feel and sound like a new car? Worn shocks allow additional movement, this means more vibrations and more noise when driving at normal speeds.
Stopping: How does your vehicle respond when stopping? If your shocks are working as designed your vehicle should stay controlled when stopping and you should be able to feel the rear brakes helping to slow the vehicle down. As the shocks wear, they allow too much body and tire movement, weight shifts too far forward too quickly and the vehicle may be harder to steer. At the end of the stop the nose of the vehicle may bob up and down, this is a good clue the shocks are worn as they are no longer able to control body movement.