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Six Signs it's Time to Replace your Shocks

Your vehicle's suspension system serves two primary purposes-managing road holding and handling. Your car's shock absorbers are an integral component of the suspension system, and their wear has a significant impact on the safety of your vehicle. Worn shock absorbers can affect how your wheels touch the road, causing dangerous swaying, hydroplaning, deteriorated performance and compromised road handling and holding.

Like most things that happen overtime, continuous use of your shock absorbers will lead to general wear and tear and they'll lose their ability to function properly. There are a number of clear signs that you need new shocks, and once you learn these, you'll be able to determine if you need to take your vehicle to the shop or not. Below are key signs to look out to keep you safe on the road:

The Noticable Signs

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1. Delayed or Longer Stopping DistanceHave you ever noticed the difference between driving a new car and an old car? Besides smelling like a dream, you will notice stopping at a stoplight or stop sign is a completely different experience. This is because of the new shock absorbers. Independent testing demonstrates that by replacing your shocks and struts after 50,000 miles, your vehicle's stopping distance could improve by up to 10 feet. Even half that length could save you from experiencing an unfortunate and unwanted incident.

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2. Swerving & Nose Dives Does your car do a dip or swerve when you're braking? If so, you need to have your shock absorbers checked as soon as possible. These symptoms will decrease your control over your car which can be very dangerous in inclement weather.

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3. Vibrations Are you feeling vibrations directly through the steering wheel as you're driving? When working properly, your shock absorbers should keep your tires in contact with the road and there shouldn't be any vibrations.

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4. Car Sliding & Veering Do you feel that your car is sliding or veering across lanes in cases of mild wind? This is a clear sign of worn shocks and can be easily fixed with a shock absorber replacement.

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5. Rocking & Rattling If your vehicle is rattling and rocking over any bumps, railway tracks and uneven surfaces, it is extremely likely that your shocks are heavily worn and are in need of a dire replacement. On top of being an uncomfortable ride, this rocking and rattling is placing unwanted pressure on other components of your car.

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6. Uneven Tread Wear Are you noticing uneven wear or even bald patches on your tires? This typically means your tires are lacking optimal contact with the road, which can be caused by worn shocks. This will have a substantial effect on handling control and tire grip and should be checked and replaced.

If you're not sure when to replace your struts and shocks , stop by your local Pep Boys. Our expert technicians can help you determine which service you need and when.