How Do I Know When the Shocks or Struts Are Bad on My Car?

When the shocks or struts need replacing on a car, the car may exhibit excessive bouncing, vehicle sway or even fluid leaking. It is important for your safety and others on the road to identify if your shocks are failing and quickly correct the issue.

Unlike other areas of the engine that are regularly serviced, the shocks or struts do not typically receive regular maintenance. If you are noticing problems, such as the nose end of your car diving, poor gas mileage, or a shaky ride, it could be the car's shocks. The average lifespan of shocks is about 50,000 miles, after which shocks may start exhibiting signs of failure.

A quick test to see if the shocks need replacing starts with parking the car on a level service. Press down hard on the corners of the front and rear bumpers so the car moves down several inches. Properly functioning shocks bounce once then return to normal height. If the shocks are blown or need replacing, the car continues to bounce after pushing down on the corner.

If you suspect that the shocks are worn or blown, seek the advice of a professional mechanic to properly diagnose and repair the issue.