If you bounce and bump your way down the road, it’s time to tend to your car’s suspension.
A vehicle’s suspension system is comprised of individual components that determine how well the car or truck rides and handles. It supports the vehicle, maintains a predetermined ride height, allows the tires to stay in contact with the road and helps the vehicle soak up pavement imperfections without jostling its passengers.
If your vehicle is a few years old and you feel the bumps more harshly than before, it’s time to head into the shop. Here are a few key symptoms to be on the lookout for:
- Reduced steering response
- Exaggerated “nose dive” or instability under hard braking
- Rocking back and forth
- Excessive bouncing or “bottoming out” over bumps
- Leaning or sliding sideways on a winding road or while changing lanes
Even if your car isn’t suffering any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to have a mechanic give your car’s suspension system a good look as part of an annual checkup. That way, you catch problems before they have a chance to inflict further damage.
If you drive a front-wheel-drive car or crossover, it will probably have struts at the front wheels for efficiency in packaging, with shock absorbers at the rear. Rear-drive vehicles – typically luxury cars, sporty cars and trucks – usually feature suspension designs that place shock absorbers at all four wheels.
Be aware that shocks and struts are not interchangeable components. While shock absorbers are standalone parts that help dampen the effects of riding over pavement irregularities, struts are structural parts of a vehicle and integrate various suspension components into a single assembly. These include the coil spring, shock absorber and steering knuckle.
Shocks and struts are engineered to last anywhere from 60-90,000 miles, but can wear out sooner depending on the vehicle and how it’s driven. Regularly traversing badly pockmarked and unpaved roads, for example, can wear down a car’s suspension parts more quickly than driving over smoothly finished thoroughfares.
Driving on worn struts and/or shocks can accelerate wear and tear on your car’s tires and other suspension parts, and can adversely affect its handling – perhaps even dangerously under extreme circumstances.
In addition to returning a car or truck’s ride and handling qualities to their original luster, replacing struts and/or shocks can also benefit a car’s braking by shortening its stopping distance by as much as 10 feet according to some sources.
To give your shocks and struts the treatment they deserve, consult the experienced, local technicians at Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care. For more than 55 years, the experts at Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care have been serving the Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley and Sierra Vista communities. Whether your vehicle needs a tune up or repairs, the team at Jack Furrier has the expertise to help. They were even voted “Best Auto Repair Shop,” “Best Tire Store,” “Best Locally Owned Business” and “Best Customer Service” in the Arizona Daily Star’s 2016 Reader’s Choice awards.
To find the Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care location nearest you, visit JackFurriers.com.