Understanding your vehicle’s suspension system

If your vehicle isn’t as smooth to drive after a few years, you may find this news shocking – it probably has something to do with its suspension system.

This is called ride control. It’s really a combination of all the factors that determine how well your car, truck or SUV navigates the road while it’s in motion.

Excessive bounce or vibration while driving

Many believe ride comfort is the main reason shocks or struts may need replacing. However, ride control is especially important with today’s antilock brake and stability control systems, as well as electronic suspensions and self-leveling suspensions.
Under all these variables, however, the vehicle’s suspension system – including the shocks, struts, and springs – must be in good condition. Worn suspension components may reduce the stability of the vehicle and reduce passenger comfort. Even more concerning, it can reduce your braking distance.

Shocks and struts should be replaced after approximately 80,000 km

Worn out shock absorbers not only affect your ride, they will impact wear and tear on your tires, because when shocks get bad enough, they will affect how well your tires contact the road. Bad shocks often cause what’s known as “cupping”, where you can see small patches of heavy wear created when a tire bounces as it rolls. Steering stability and control will be improved and excessive wear on tires will be reduced by eliminating excessive bounce or vibration.

Make your car’s handling and control feel new again

If your car keeps on bouncing well past a bump, it may be time to replace your shock absorbers. Another indicator is if oil can be seen leaking out of them. It’s possible you could lose control in certain situations, such as if your vehicle hits a bump and bounces when you’re trying to negotiate a curve or make a lane change. Your ride quality will immediately improve when you install new shock absorbers.
It only takes a few minutes to conduct an electronic shock test or a bounce test to ensure your shock absorbers and suspension systems are operating efficiently. Preventive maintenance is the key to avoiding more expensive repairs down the road and keeping you and your passenger safe. If your vehicle’s suspension system is telling you it needs to be checked and new shocks are needed, don’t hesitate to replace them.

Not sure if it’s time to replace your shock absorbers? Contact an OK Tire location near you and our certified technicians can perform a simple ride control test on your vehicle to let you know the condition of your shocks and struts.