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4 Minutes Read

Importance of Inspecting Your Vehicles Suspension After a Harsh Winter  

As we transition from winter to spring, the road conditions change drastically. The winter season causes a lot of wear and tear on our roads, leaving behind thousands of new potholes that can damage our vehicles' suspension system. Your car's suspension system plays a crucial role in ensuring your safety and providing you with a smooth ride. It's important to inspect and replace your shocks and struts, especially after a harsh winter, to keep your vehicle running smoothly and avoid any potential safety hazards.

What Are Shocks and Struts?

Before we dive into why inspecting and replacing your shocks and struts is important, let's understand what they are and what they do. Both shocks and struts are parts of your vehicle's suspension system and work together to absorb and dampen any impact from the road, providing a smooth and comfortable ride for the passengers inside the car.

Shocks are standalone hydraulic cylinders that are attached to the wheels and suspension system. They use hydraulic fluid to reduce any impact from the road and help control the movement of the wheels. Struts, on the other hand, are a more complex component that includes a coil spring and a shock absorber in one unit. Struts are typically found on the front wheels of most vehicles and provide structural support for the car's weight.

Why Inspect and Replace Your Shocks and Struts?

After a harsh winter, the roads are filled with potholes, cracks, and other obstacles that can damage your car's suspension system. It's essential to inspect and replace your shocks and struts regularly to maintain the integrity of your vehicle's suspension system. Neglecting to do so can cause a range of problems, including reduced stability, reduced handling, and increased tire wear.

Safety: Your car's suspension system plays a vital role in keeping you safe on the road. The shocks and struts are responsible for controlling the movement of your car and keeping the wheels on the road. Worn-out shocks and struts can lead to a range of safety issues, including increased stopping distance, reduced handling, and reduced stability when making turns.

Comfort: A damaged suspension system can also affect your car's comfort level. Worn-out shocks and struts can cause a bumpy and uncomfortable ride for passengers inside the car, leading to a higher chance of motion sickness, headaches, and other discomforts.

Tire Wear: Your car's suspension system also plays a crucial role in protecting your tires. Worn-out shocks and struts can cause your tires to wear unevenly, leading to shorter tire life and reduced performance.

Fuel Efficiency: A damaged suspension system can also affect your car's fuel efficiency. When your car's suspension system is compromised, the wheels are not properly aligned, leading to increased resistance and more energy required to move the car. This can cause a decrease in fuel efficiency and cost you more money at the pump.

When to Inspect and Replace Your Shocks and Struts?

The frequency of inspecting and replacing your shocks and struts can vary based on several factors, including driving conditions, mileage, and vehicle make and model. It's important to follow your vehicle's manufacturer guidelines and have your suspension system inspected regularly by a qualified mechanic. Generally, you should have your shocks and struts inspected every 50,000 miles and replaced every 80,000 miles.

In addition to regular inspections, there are a few signs that indicate your shocks and struts may need to be replaced, including:

Bumpy and Uncomfortable Ride: If you notice your car is bouncing or feels rough on the road, it may be a sign that your shocks and struts are worn out and need to be replaced.

Poor Handling: If you experience reduced stability when making turns or have difficulty controlling your car, it may be a sign that your shocks and struts are worn out and need to be replaced.

Uneven Tire Wear: If you notice that your tires are wearing unevenly, it may be a sign that your shocks and struts are not functioning properly. This can also cause your tires to wear out more quickly, reducing their lifespan.

Leaking Fluid: If you notice fluid leaking from your shocks or struts, it may be a sign that they are damaged and need to be replaced. This fluid helps to keep the shocks and struts lubricated, so any leaks can indicate a problem.

Noise: If you hear any unusual noises when driving, such as clunking or knocking sounds, it may be a sign that your shocks and struts are worn out and need to be replaced.

It's important to note that even if you don't notice any of these signs, regular inspections and replacements are still necessary to ensure the longevity and safety of your vehicle's suspension system.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the suspension system is a critical component of your vehicle, and it's important to inspect and replace your shocks and struts regularly, especially after a harsh winter where thousands of new potholes have appeared. Neglecting to do so can cause a range of problems, including reduced safety, comfort, and fuel efficiency, as well as increased tire wear.

If you're experiencing any of the signs mentioned above, or if it's been some time since your last inspection, it's important to take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic for a thorough inspection. They can help identify any potential issues with your shocks and struts and recommend the necessary repairs or replacements to keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely. By taking care of your suspension system, you can ensure a comfortable and safe ride for you and your passengers, as well as extend the life of your tires and save money on fuel costs.



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