After many years and tens of thousands of miles, your suspension system components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive.
As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy roads or hauling heavy loads. In addition to just wearing out, suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact – like a pothole, hitting a curb or a rock in the road.
Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your vehicle manufacturer recommends periodic inspections.
During an inspection, your service technician will check for worn, broken or missing parts.
Signs that shocks or struts are wearing out: The tires may have a cupped wear pattern. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly. You may notice a floaty or drifting sensation when cornering. If the front of your vehicle dives excessively when stopping, or rocks back and forth after you stopped, your shocks may be worn out. And if they are leaking fluid, it’s time to replace them.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, go into your service center for a suspension inspection. Same if you’ve been in an accident that involved one of your wheels. Worn or broken shocks can cause premature wear or failure on other suspension parts such as ball joints and other steering components as well. If your suspension fails, it could lead to a serious accident, so take care of these things.
When you replace your shocks, it’s usually a good idea to replace all four at the same time. That’ll give you more even handling. Talk with your service advisor because you don’t want a big difference between the performance of your shocks from wheel to wheel and replacing all may be the safest bet.
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931 E Little Creek Rd.
Norfolk, VA 23518