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Are Your Shocks & Struts Failing? When Your Suspension System Needs Attention

Struts on BMW

The Consequences of Worn-out Shocks and Struts: When Your Suspension System Needs Attention

When it comes to your vehicle’s suspension system, the shocks and struts play a crucial role in providing a smooth and comfortable ride. However, over time, wear and tear can take a toll on these components, compromising their performance and putting your safety at risk. In this article, we will explore what happens when shocks or struts are worn out, highlighting the signs that indicate the need to replace them and the potential consequences of neglecting this important maintenance task.
Shocks and struts, often referred to as shock absorbers, are essential parts of your vehicle’s suspension system. They help control the movement of your vehicle’s springs, minimizing the impact of bumps and uneven surfaces on the road. Shocks are typically used in vehicles with separate coil springs, while struts are employed in vehicles with integrated coil springs and suspension components.

blown strut on BMW, suspension is failingSigns of Worn-out Shocks and Struts:

1. Unusual Noises: If you hear clunking, rattling, or banging noises when driving over bumps or rough terrain, it may indicate that your shocks or struts aren’t working correctly.

2. Vibration in Your Steering Wheel: Worn-out shocks or struts can cause vibrations to travel through the suspension system, resulting in a noticeable shake or tremor in your steering wheel.

3. Tire Wear, Including Cupping: Worn shocks or struts can lead to uneven tire wear, causing the tires to develop cupping or scalloping patterns. This wear pattern often appears as raised and lowered sections on the tire surface.

4. Squat During Acceleration or Dive During Braking: If your vehicle tends to dip forward when braking or squat excessively in the rear during acceleration, it may be a sign of worn-out shocks or struts.

5. Leaking Fluid: Visual inspection may reveal fluid leakage from the shocks or struts, indicating internal damage and a need for replacement.

Consequences of Worn-out Shocks and Struts:

1. Compromised Handling and Stability: Worn shocks or struts can significantly impact your vehicle’s handling and stability. Have you ever seen a car go over a bump on the road and violently bounce up and down a few times? They have bad shocks!

2. Longer Stopping Distance: When your shocks or struts are worn, the suspension system loses its ability to keep the tires in contact with the road consistently. This can result in longer braking distances, potentially compromising your ability to stop quickly in emergency situations.

3. Tire Wear and Alignment Issues: Worn shocks or struts can lead to uneven tire wear, reducing the lifespan of your tires and requiring premature replacement. Additionally, misaligned wheels can result from the compromised suspension system, leading to further tire wear and potential steering issues.

4. Impact on Comfort and Ride Quality: As the shocks or struts wear out, the overall comfort of your ride diminishes. You may experience increased vibrations, jolts, and a rougher ride quality, making your journeys less enjoyable and potentially causing discomfort for you and your passengers.

Don’t Ignore the Signs:

Given the potential consequences of driving with worn-out shocks or struts, it is essential to address these issues sooner than later. Regular inspections from qualified independent shops like ours (especially after hitting a significant bump or encountering unusual noises or vibrations) can help identify signs of worn suspension components. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned earlier or suspect that your shocks or struts are nearing the end of their lifespan, it is crucial to consult a professional independent shop and have them replaced as necessary.
If you ever have any questions, we’d be more than happy to help you with a free visual check of your suspension if you are in the Houston area!

Alex Noll

CEO – ABR Houston

Your Local Experts in Audi, BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce & Volkswagen Service In The Woodlands.

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