Three Signs You Need to Have Your Shocks Serviced

Your shocks are a part of your vehicle that you likely will not notice when they are working properly. However, as soon as they begin to malfunction, your shocks can affect the performance of your entire vehicle and contribute to other mechanical issues. Before this can happen, you should know a few of the early warning signs associated with shock issues. That way, you can head to an auto repair shop at the first sign of trouble.

Excessive Bouncing and Rough Driving

The most significant sign of shock damage and wear is if you notice that your car is bouncing around quite a bit, even when driving on relatively smooth paved surfaces. Beyond bouncing and vibrations, you may notice that your car also has a great deal of body roll if it is not properly supported. This means that you will lean more to the side when turning, slide back when accelerating, and move forward while braking. You can test this without driving by simply pressing down on the hood of your vehicle: if your shocks are in good condition, the car should not bounce that much once you let go. In contrast, if the shocks are damaged, your vehicle will continue to move for a while.

Responsiveness While Turning

In a somewhat related vein to the above point, increased body roll and bouncing while turning means that your vehicle will be harder to control and direct on any turns. If you find yourself struggling to keep your vehicle in line when turning, you need to head to a mechanic straight away since this will greatly increase the risk of experiencing an accident while driving.

Uneven and Visible Tire Wear

Another sign that your shocks are no longer properly supporting the weight of your vehicle is if you notice that there are sections of your tires that have had rubber seemingly scooped out of them, which can happen due to bouncing while driving. Improper support may also make your tires wear unevenly with significant portions of the tread wearing away on the affected side of your vehicle. Keep in mind that multiple different things—including alignment issues and improper air pressure—can cause the same symptom, so it is best to have a professional check out your vehicle to determine the cause of the wear (though if you notice it with either of the above symptoms, your shocks are probably the culprit).