Sunday, March 2, 2008

When Good Parts Go Bad

Here are some ways to tell if you have worn shocks or struts:

Excessive bounces (3 or more) after crossing a dip.
Vehicle rocks back and forth after stopping.
Vehicle drifts left or right when braking hard.
Vehicle rocks side to side when changing lanes.

Recognize any of these signs of impending strut or shock failure? Think now. Sometimes, these symptoms sneak up so gradually, motorists think that's the way the car always reacted. Okay, now that you've considered it again, and might consider that something may be wrong, take it to a good repair tech who will (or should) look for any of the following potential or actual trouble spots:
Leaking shock or strut. The component is losing fluid and can't provide the correct resistance.
Coil clash. Topping and bottoming of the spring coils created by too much suspension travel.
Broken or loose mounts. Shock or strut connection may be broken at either end.
Broken or damaged piston rod. Unit can't operate properly.

Any of these symptoms can be signs of a damaged shock or strut. Not only can that damaged or worn component affect your ride comfort but it can also drastically affect your safety comfort because the entire front-end alignment, the steering, the braking and overall handling can be headed toward heavy damage and so can your entire vehicle and you