Tips For New Car Owners To Test Their Shock Condition

Posted on: 31 August 2016


When the struts on your car become worn, they need to be replaced. If you don't deal with them in a timely manner, it can eventually lead to other problems with the car's suspension. For an inexperienced car owner, spotting the signs of worn struts can be difficult. Here are a few things that you need to understand to help you determine when the struts are worn so you can seek repairs right away.

Checking The Suspension's Bounce Response

Find a flat area where you can park your car so that it is completely level. This is important, because the level ground allows the suspension to react without outside forces interfering. Put one knee on one corner of the front bumper. Push all of your body weight down on that knee. Then, put your hands flat on the hood of the car so that they are facing palms-down. Push your body up off the car, bouncing your knee against the bumper a bit as you move to encourage the front end to bounce.

Watch the front end bounce and count the number of times it actually bounces before it settles. Cars with good struts should only bounce a couple of times. If it bounces more than two or three times, you'll want to have your mechanic look at them and possibly replace them.

Looking At The Car's Stance

While the car is sitting on a level surface, it's also a good time to look at the way that the car body rests. It should sit flat so that the front bumper is level when you look at it straight-on. If one side of the car appears like it's sitting a little bit lower than the other, it may be due to problems with the strut on that side. Worn struts often cause things like this.

Evaluating How The Car Rides

When the car has worn struts, it can drastically affect the quality of the ride. The struts help to dampen bumps along the road. Take the car down a dirt road or one that is bumpy, then listen to how it sounds. If you hear a clunking noise as it hits bumps, that often means that the struts are worn and not dampening the bumps well. If the car feels excessively bouncy, that's another indication of problems.

These tips will help you to evaluate the condition of the car's struts to determine if you need them replaced. The more attentive you are, the better the chances of catching them before your car suffers any further damage. Talk with your mechanic about replacing worn struts as soon as you notice a problem.