Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Tell If Your Shocks Need to Be Replaced - Checklist

Some car parts like spark plugs and filters have a standard maintenance schedule for when they need to be replaced. Other car parts like shocks don't have a schedule so you need to check them frequently to ensure top performance in your car and prevent unwanted wear on other car components. Shock wear mostly depends on road and terrain quality. If you drive on roads with a lot of potholes or terrain that is uneven you will need to replace your shocks sooner. It is true that many new cars start showing aging on shocks after only 30,000 to 40,000 miles but your car may not fall into this category. Diagnosing shock health is an easy job if you know what to look for. The checklist we provide tells you everything you need to know to decide whether it's time for new shocks. Be weary though, shocks age slowly over time so problems can go unaddressed if you do not check frequently. Mechanics look for three things to decide whether shocks need to be replaced. Are they leaking? Are they damaged? Are they worn out?

You can tell if your shocks are leaking if:
• There is wetness or oil on the outside of the shock.

You can tell if your shocks are damaged if:
• There is physical damage on the shock like a dent in the housing or a broken mount.

You can tell if you shocks are worn if:
• When driving your car bounces too much when you hit bumps or potholes
• When you break the nose of the car dips
• When driving in crosswinds your car sways or rolls excessively
• When you haul extra passengers or weight the suspension bottoms out.
• You do not pass the bounce test
• In the bounce test you make the car bounce or sway by applying force to the body of the vehicle. After you stop the car should only bounce one or two times before going to rest. If it bounces more than that your shocks are worn and they should be replaced.

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