A lot of car owners think that shocks and struts are the same thing, but they’re not. Your shocks give you a smooth ride, essentially keeping your car from bouncing when you hit a pothole. The struts are structural and aid in steering and alignment. Together they make your drive more comfortable and safer. Both are made to last for years and at least 50,000 miles, which often means that we don’t notice the signs that we may need new shocks or struts. Here are some signs you should watch for as you reach a 50,000-mile mark on your car.
1. The Front of You Car Dips When You Slam on the Brakes
This might be one of the easiest to feel and notice signs. When you notice this, your car no longer has the traction it once did. That may mean your brakes can’t work as they should, increasing your stopping distance which may lead to an accident.
2. Uneven Tread Wear
Although there are many reasons your tires may wear unevenly, one that’s often overlooked by car owners is the need for new shocks or struts. If you notice uneven tread wear, specifically with tire cupping, you should have your mechanic check your suspension.
3. Your Car Bounces a Long After You Went Over a Bump
As you go over the potholes, your car’s shocks and struts don’t keep it from bouncing. The springs are what absorbs the bounce. Your shocks and struts control the bounce and keep your tires on the road. If you generally drive on smooth roads, you may not notice this, but you can test their effectiveness by pushing down on the front and back of your car and see how it reacts.
4. Your Car Doesn’t Handle Like It Use To
Have you ever driven over one of our bridges in high winds? How does your car react? If it sways or feels harder than ever to drive in the wind, that’s a sign. Sometimes even driving by a semi-truck can cause your car to veer. And, if when you go around a corner the car noticeably leans, that’s a sign of a suspension issue. You may also notice that your steering wheels vibrates when you are on the highway.
5. Leaking Hydraulic Fluid
Perhaps one of the least noticeable signs is leaking hydraulic fluid. Because most hydraulic fluid is a tan color, it’s easy to miss. The fluid itself comes out of the piston as the seal wears. This will cause a decrease in your car’s handling and comfort in the ride.
Oldsmar Automotive replaces shocks and struts regularly. If you have noticed any of these signs, we’d be happy to provide an inspection and provide you with an estimate to get your car handling as it should and increase your safety. Call us today at (727) 784-3501 or come by 3166 Tampa Road in Oldsmar for an inspection.