Why You Should Check Your Car Shocks

August 24th, 2018 by

Although checking car shocks may slip many people’s mind, doing so is vital to the well-being of your vehicle and to the safety of the people riding in it. Whether you are looking to learn how to check shocks on a truck or how to check rear shocks specifically, it can all be done in a very quick and simple process—and often without a trip to a service center. In the video below, master technician, Pat Goss, shows you why you should check your shocks and how to do it.

Goss’ Garage Shocks & Struts [Video Transcription]

A car that bounces as you go down the road can be very tiring and very annoying, and keeping it from bouncing is the job of the shock absorbers or the struts – whichever your car happens to have. The way you test them is, a couple times a year, you go around each corner of the car and bounce it up and down like I did this one. And what’s going to happen is it’s going to go like this: you let go of it in the down position, and if the shock or strut on that corner of the car is good, it will come back to the center and it will stop — it won’t continue to bounce. If it continues to bounce, probably you need new shocks or struts.

But, what’s the difference between a shock absorber and a strut? Well, here we have an example of a strut. Now, what this does is it has a shock absorber in the middle, and then, around it, it has a spring to support the weight of the vehicle. A shock absorber, on the other hand, such as we have here, these shocks do not have the springs on them. They have nothing to do with the height of the vehicle or anything like that. The only thing they do is to keep the car from bouncing. The spring is mounted some place away from the shock.

Now, a shock or a strut – whichever it is – all they do is convert the vertical movement of the car into heat energy. They dampen it, so that you don’t go down the road just kind of this motorboat-effect, floating along. Now, if you have bad shocks or struts, they can wear out in as little as 50,000 miles, or it may be 150,000, but you should check them 2 or 3 times a year. And, when they’re bad, replace them in pairs – two fronts or two rears.

Now, here’s the thing, this shock right here – this one is worn out. If we push this down, we see that it comes back virtually immediately. Now over here, we have a brand new one. This gives you an idea as to what these things do. As you see, this comes back very slowly. It’s very controlled and that’s how it controls the ride of your vehicle.

So, check them on a regular basis, replace in pairs when necessary, and remember, that if you don’t replace them, you can have a dangerous car – that’s number one – but, number two, you could have severe tire wear problems, as the result of a bad shock or strut.

Visit Our Service Center in Santa Cruz for Your Next Repair

We hope this helps! Contact us with any questions about car shocks, or simply schedule your next service appointment online. Whether you’re looking to get your shocks replaced, have questions about tire pressure or repair, or simply need an oil change, the highly-trained technicians at the Santa Cruz Dodge Ram service center are here to help.

Posted in FAQ, maintenance, Service