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How To Tell If Shocks
Under normal conditions, shocks
and struts wear out gradually.
The main reason why shocks wear
is because they are constantly
Even under normal conditions on a
smooth repaved road, shocks
stroke over of 1,700 times for
every mile traveled.
Inside the shock, a piston travels
up and down a tube.
Wear can occur between the piston
and tube, and, over a period of time,
oil will pass between the piston
If the shock is worn, the springs
will have to work harder and could
wear out sooner causing ride height
and ride problems.
Many other factors can affect
how much wear is actually occurring
and at what rate it is occurring.
For example, two people buy the
same kind of car; the first one lives
close to their job, and drives mostly
on repaved roads, and the other lives
20 miles from their job and travel on
mostly pothole infested streets.
Because shocks operate in an
extremely hostile under-vehicle
environment, where anything from
gravel & potholes to ice and snow
can affect the life of the product,
it is a good bet that the 2nd driver will
need to replace his or her shocks
long before the first driver.
The piston rod can easily be nicked
or damaged by flying gravel allowing
grit and dirt to damage the piston
If the springs are already worn out,
they can shorten the life of the new
shocks and struts you are installing.
Springs also control the ride height
and the suspension angles.
Shimming a set of weak springs
with spacers or inserts may take
care of the sagging and bottoming
problems, but it won’t restore the
ride quality or spring rate.
Among signs of worn shocks or struts:
When stopping quickly does your car
rock back and forth?
Do you experience excessive bounce
( 3 or more ) when crossing
While applying your brakes firmly at
higher speeds, does your car
drift left or right?
When changing lanes quickly does
your car rock or sway from side to
with your mechanic for
professional advice or service.