How Do You Know When Your Shocks and Struts Need To Be Checked or Replaced?

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Shocks and struts are integral parts of your vehicle’s suspension system and help keep the tires in contact with the ground for greater stability. Making sure they’re in great shape is an absolute necessity.

Here’s how they work: shock absorbers control the amount of bounce created when your car’s springs rebound, ensuring proper wheel contact with the road, whereas struts reinforce the active components of the suspension, hence, they “suspend” the body and frame of your vehicle above the wheels.

So how do you know when to replace your shocks and struts? Here are some warning signs:

  • Bumpy rides or excessive vehicle bounce – Any feeling of bumpiness or shakiness while driving should alert you to check your shocks and struts as this could mean they are not at their best in preventing excess suspension movement.
  • Poor Steering Response – Check your suspension if the steering wheel becomes stiff and hard to turn, or when you start to hear unusual noises as you turn the wheel.
  • Rock and Roll Effect – If your car sways or leans on turns or when changing lanes, you may have worn-out shocks and struts.
  • Visually Damaged Struts – Check for fluid leaks from shock or strut body, and broken, damaged, corroded or worn mounts or bushings.
  • Excessive “nose dive” or instability when braking – When you feel a lurch forward while braking, it’s time to visit your mechanic and have your vehicle inspected.
  • Mileage – It’s recommended to inspect shocks or struts for damage every 50,000 or  60,000 miles.
  • Cupping in tires due to improper balance. See example below:


Once you notice any of these signs, it’s best to talk to your mechanic to see whether replacement is necessary. And if you do need new shocks and struts to bring your ride back in tip-top shape, you can count on JC Whitney for the best replacement parts for your vehicle.

Author: JC Whitney

JC Whitney is the largest and oldest catalog and Internet direct-to-consumer auto parts and accessories retailer in America. Since 1915, JC Whitney has been filling the needs of customers by providing the right part at the best price. You can always shop with confidence at

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