What are the Symptoms of Bad Struts or Car Shocks?

Because it’s not necessary to replace car shocks or struts at specific mileage intervals, knowing how to identify the warning symptoms of bad struts and shocks is vital to your safety and the safety of your passengers. Shocks and struts wear out over time as your vehicle accumulates mileage. When they fail, the results can be dangerous. Replacing shocks and struts can improve stopping performance as well as increase vehicle stability and driver control.

Is there a difference between car shocks and struts? The terms shock and strut are often used interchangeably so drivers often are confused as to what is needed on their vehicle. To add to the confusion, some vehicles have struts on the front axle and shocks on the rear. Even though a shock and a strut do the same basic job on a vehicle, i.e., damping the movement of the spring and stopping oscillation and bounce, they are completely different parts. A shock cannot be used to replace a strut and a strut cannot be used to replace a shock.

Whether your car has shocks or struts, the symptoms of bad struts and shocks listed below are basically the same:

  1. Excessive Bouncing – When your vehicle hits a bump, it bounces on the coil springs. If it continues to bounce after hitting a bump, it is an indication that your struts or shocks are worn.
  2. Vehicle nose dives or “squats” – When braking, the front end of your vehicle dives, or the rear end of your vehicle “squats” when accelerating.
  3. Tire “Cupping” – You will feel the tires will literally bounce up and down as you drive. Each time the tires hit the ground, a little bit more of the tire is worn off. This is commonly referred to as “cupping” or “scalloping.”
  4. Leaking Fluid – Inside every shock and strut is a piston and hydraulic fluid. Sometimes the fluid can leak out. A tiny seepage is normal, but a large leak is a sign of worn shocks and struts.

Are you experiencing the symptoms of bad struts or car shocks? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at theWrench, Ltd. Car Care Center today for more information about car shocks and struts and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in Silverdale, WA, and the surrounding area.