If you travel down a bumpy road and feel every single bump, then it’s time to replace your shocks. Sometimes, however, it’s not quite that obvious and many urban drivers just don’t find themselves on old, bumpy country roads anymore. So how can your tell when you should replace your shocks? Or, more to the point, is there a perfect time to replace them?
Our shocks wear out gradually, just like tires and other car parts. This means you can get used to the additional bumps and noises so that you may not even realize you have a problem. One age-old test that you can do while the car is at rest is to go around to each corner of the vehicle and push down as hard as you can. The vehicle should not keep bouncing once you let go. You can also purposely driver over railroad tracks. Your car should bounce a little over the tracks but then stop as soon as you move off them.
Your vehicle’s suspension is designed to absorb the bumps so that you maintain full control of your car regardless of the road conditions. That’s one of the major reasons why you should have your shocks replaced right away the moment you know you have a problem. If you get into an emergency situation, it’s very important to have 100% control of your vehicle, otherwise it can careen off the road, causing injury and damage.
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Bad shocks can also cause you to bottom out when traveling over railroad tracks or bumpy roads and this can result in damage to your underpinning. So it’s not just about avoiding a bumpy ride; it’s all about keeping your car in max working order so that when emergencies do occur, you and your car will be completely ready.
If you’re concerned about this, the best time to have it checked is when you go in for an oil change or tire rotation. Ask the mechanic to check your shocks and ensure that they’re working correctly. They can also check to make sure there are no fluid leaks, worn-out bushings or mounts or other problems. Keeping your car in top working order is just part of being a responsible driver.