Probably the most neglected parts on a car are the shocks and struts. The truth is, shocks and struts are vitally important to not only the ride quality, but for owner safety. A car’s suspension allows the driver to control the vehicle while it is moving and makes it so tight turns are a breeze. If your car isn’t handling like it used to, bring it in to Leonard’s Garage for suspension repair in Austin, TX. Give us a call at (512) 326-3474 today!
It is very common to see owners operating cars with over 100,000 miles which still have the original shocks and struts.The reason for this is the “boiling frog” effect. If a frog is put in a pot of boiling water- he jumps out. If he is put in cool water and the water is slowly heated, he will boil to death. It’s the same with shocks and struts.The driver slowly becomes accustomed to the deteriorated ride quality and doesn’t even notice it! The comments we routinely hear from customers after a shock and strut replacement is; “Oh my gosh, it drives like new. I had no idea how bad it was!”
Shocks and struts are constructed in basically the same way. They are a tube with a piston. The tube is filled with oil or nitrogen gas used as a dampener. The dampener is forced through small passages and allows for controlled movement of the piston up and down. The ends are connected to the car body and the wheel.
The shocks and struts have several important jobs in addition to smoothing out the bumps in the road.
First, the shocks and struts keep the tires firmly planted on the road. Think about it, when the car hits a bump the tire leaves the pavement. A car without a shock will just keep bouncing. The bouncing will prevent the driver from controlling the vehicle. A worn shock or strut will do the same thing to a lesser extent. A properly functioning shock or strut will drive the wheel back down to the pavement and cause the tire to make firm contact and allow positive control of the vehicle.
Another important function is to preserve tire quality. If the tire is allowed to bounce along the pavement, it gets cupped. Cupping is a pattern of wear caused by worn shocks and struts. Cupping damages the tire and the only cure is replacement.
The shocks and struts also prevent wear to the steering and suspension parts. The more abnormal movement, like bouncing and vibrating occurs, the faster the parts wear. If your car, truck or SUV has worn shocks or struts, call Leonard’s Garage and schedule suspension repair in Austin. TX.
The safety aspect of shocks and struts is very important. In order to effectively control a car, the tires must make contact with the pavement and body roll must be controlled. A car with worn shocks and struts will dive and recover violently when a trough in the road is encountered. This is especially noticeable on city streets with storm gutters. The violent dive and recovery can literally jerk the wheel out of the driver’s hand.
Keep in mind that a tire steers the vehicle. A tire which has lost contact with the ground is of no use as far as steering is concerned. This is especially dangerous when a pot hole or dip is encountered during a turn or on a curve! There is no preventative maintenance required for shocks and struts but they should be replaced at around 50,000 miles. Replacement will ensure a smooth, safe ride. When it is time to replace your shocks or struts, trust Leonard’s Garage for your suspension repair in Austin, TX. Let our mechanics show you the Leonard’s difference today! Call (512) 326-3474.