Why Check Your Car’s Shock Absorbers?
For a smooth, safe ride, get in the habit of checking your shock absorbers from time to time. This is especially true if you’re about to take a big vacation. Part of your preparation should be checking out the car’s tires, steering, shocks and making sure your spare tire is in the trunk along with the jack. Though most of us don’t do that type of maintenance on our cars anymore, but it’s a good idea to form this regular habit.
Shock absorbers can easily be checked simply by pushing down on the car’s fenders while it’s sitting still. It should not bounce at all when you let go. Another easy way to check the shocks involves taking the car down to a vacant parking lot. Drive around slowly, accelerating then braking. This will test your brakes as well as your shocks. The car should not bounce when braking. If it bobs up and down, then get a mechanic to check it out for you. Some shocks do have fluid in them, though most are gas charged. You could simply have a fluid leak.
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It would seem that drivers would know at once if their shock absorbers are wearing out simply through the rough ride. These days, drivers spend a great deal of time on city roads and highways that are in good condition though. Think about the last time you drove over rubble or a bumpy road. It doesn’t happen that much anymore unless you love off-roading. For that reason, motorists can get really complacent about worn tires and shocks or steering alignment problems.
If you’ve done these simple tests and still aren’t sure about your shock absorbers, then ask a local mechanic to take a look at them. It’s always better to catch mechanical problems early on. When we let things go, they always get worse and cost more to eventually repair. Anytime you’re involved in an accident, it’s a good idea to have all the basics like tires, shocks and steering checked out by a professional.