Posted on: 29 December 2016Share
The shocks or shock absorbers on your car may be more important than you realize; high-quality shocks may cushion your ride, but they also cushion the car and protect its parts from being jostled and jolted when on the road. Without good shock absorbers under your car, the axles and struts will absorb more shock with every bump, and they may be more likely to break. While it may sometimes be obvious that your car needs new shock absorbers, such as when your head is practically hitting the ceiling of the car every time you drive over a bump, note some other telltale signs that mean your car needs new shocks.
Excessive body leaning during turns
When you make a turn on the road, the shocks help to keep the body of the car upright and balanced. When shocks are worn down, the body of the car will lean or dip into that turn more than usual. You may feel your car start to slide inward toward a turn when this happens; don't just assume this is a steering problem or problem with the brakes, but have the shocks checked as well.
When shock absorbers get rusted, they may make a scraping noise as they bump and jostle around. They may also be worn down so that your car's wheel well scrapes other parts rather than being cushioned. You'll often hear this sound the most when you hit a bump, but it can also be present when you turn or brake.
Body bouncing on braking
When you hit the brakes of your car, the shocks absorb that motion so that the body of the car stays smooth and balanced, just as with turning. You may feel the back end of your car seem to rise up while the front end dips very low every time you brake, and this usually means the shocks are worn and need replacing.
A good manual test you can give your car is to push down on the hood or trunk, over a wheel. If the car continuously bounces as you let up, this often means the shocks are worn down. This can be a difficult test as you may need a bit of strength and especially for larger and heavier vehicles, so you might ask a friend to help. You can also have a friend watch from a safe distance as you drive over a bump; if he or she notices one part of the car bouncing more than the others, this can mean the need for new shocks.