Most people use their instincts to determine when they need to take their car in for service. You can notice when different components are going bad, including your shocks. Pay attention to how your car drives when it is functioning the way it should so that you can notice these problems if they start to occur. Take a look at the following methods for determining that your shocks might be bad.
Your Car Bounces
When you are driving, your can should move smoothly over potholes, bumps, and uneven surfaces without bouncing up into the air. The shocks are there to absorb these changes in landscape so that your tires stay close to the ground. If your shocks are loose or damaged, they will not be able to keep the wheels stable and close to the ground. You might notice that your car is bouncing up and down more than it should.
If you notice this change while you are driving, you should go in to have it looked at right away. You may just have loose shocks, and having them adjusted can save you time and money and keep you safe on the road.
The Front or Rear of the Car Dives Down
Another sign that your car has shocks that may be going bad is when it dives down or squats when you accelerate, brake, or turn. The shocks help the car to be smooth when you accelerate and brake, and when they are bad, they cannot handle the weight of your auto. If you notice that your car is diving down as you accelerate or brake, you may need new shocks.
In addition, your car will have this problem around turns. Your shocks allow the car to handle corners and when they go bad, the car will feel as though it is leaning around the turns. You should go in for service right away because this can be dangerous. It can have an impact on your ability to brake to slow down and your ability to turn.
You Hear Strange Noises or See Fluid Leaking
Finally, you can notice that the shocks are bad when you hear a noise. When the shocks wear out, they lose their ability to support the strut. The strut then starts to bottom out. When it bottoms out, there is metal to metal contact that makes a knocking sound near the front tires. You might also hear a bouncing noise when the shocks go bad, but any noise is a sure sign to go to get your car looked at right away.
The shocks control the struts, and these two components keep your car from bounding and jumping up and down. The car should slow down and accelerate without any issue. In addition, you should be able to go around turns without feeling as though the car is leaning over.
In addition, you may notice fluid leaking as well as uneven wear on the tires. These can be symptoms of other things, but if they accompany the above symptoms, it is likely that your shocks have gone bad.
It can be very dangerous to drive a car with bad shocks because the car loses its stability. This makes it easy to lose control when you accelerate or brake, and you can lose control around a turn as well. Make sure that you have your car checked right away if you notice any of the signs that your shocks have gone bad.
If you have your shocks checked every 12,000 miles, you should be in good shape. You should also check them if you get new tires or if you notice any of the signs above. There is no set time given by the manufacturer on when you need to replace your shocks, so it is important to pay attention and recognize the signs that you need to have them checked.