Are your shocks and struts in control of your ride? (*Part 1*)
First, a little trivia about the life of struts and shocks; research by manufacturers shows that on the average road (not Saskatoon’s pothole roads) each strut or shock on your… car cycles (stops and starts moving) 1100 times per kilometer. That works out to be 88 million times in 80,000 kilometers! That’s 88 with 6 zeros added, WOW! When they get worn out they cycle even more. Your vehicle feels the wear, a vehicle with as little as 80,000 kilometers can take an additional 3 meters or more to stop than a vehicle with new struts and shocks! That can be the difference between making a quick controlled stop, or panic and possibly an accident.
Struts and shocks are the components on your vehicle that control the up, down and rocking or sway movement of your vehicle. The struts and shocks don’t hold the vehicle up, that’s the job of the springs. When a vehicle is new, the struts and shocks allow us to have a safe controlled ride. Over time, the struts and shocks are slowly wearing and most drivers do not realize how worn they are until after they have been replaced. The difference in ride and vehicle control after replacement of worn struts and shocks can be dramatic.
In the past we used a visual inspection and a bounce test of the vehicle to determine if they were good or bad. If we saw oil on the outside, or if the vehicle cycled too much after a good bounce we recommended new ones. With the newer manufacturing technology, this only works on struts and shocks that are extremely worn. Over time, as the internal seals, oil and components of struts and shocks wear, they lose the ability to control the springs. This becomes more obvious after driving for a while, the vehicle is relatively stable when starting out but after driving for some time, it becomes less stable and has a mushy feel to the ride. This extra movement creates excessive heat causing the shocks and struts to lose the ability to control the springs.
Watch for part 2 coming soon.
At Crestview Auto Service “We’ll Keep Your Car Young a Long Time”