A lot of vehicle owners would agree that the best driving feeling is when you can cruise down the road with your windows cracked, feel the wind in your hair, and enjoy a smooth ride. But when your shocks are on the fritz, that smooth ride becomes less and less of a reality. In fact, if this happens to you, bad shocks don’t just result in a bumpy ride, but they can more importantly be a safety hazard.
What Are Shocks?
Shocks are one component of a vehicle’s suspension system. The rest of it includes tires, springs, struts, and linkages between the vehicle and its wheels. The entire suspension system gives a driver more control and contributes to better ride handling and quality.
Specifically, shocks, also known as shock absorbers, help keep the tires in contact with the road. They absorb energy to control the vehicle’s impact and rebound movement, ensuring it stays steady. Without shocks, a vehicle would bounce off the road and vibrate erratically on rougher roads.
How Long Do Shocks Last?
Of course, you don’t want your car bouncing up and down the road, so you might be wondering just how long shocks should last. Well, this depends on both your car itself and your behavior when driving. If you drive extra cautiously, your shocks will last much longer. For instance, shocks should last about ten years for a very safe driver, and only between five or seven years if you’ve worked your car a little too excessively.
Signs of Bad Shocks
Like most problems with your vehicle, if you pay attention, you can pick up on any problematic signs. Here are the most common indicators that it’s time for you to replace your shocks:
- Bumpy ride. As mentioned, your shocks directly impact how smooth of a ride you have. So if you notice that driving is more uncomfortable lately and you can notice your car bouncing more, you might have a shock problem. This also can be evident when you drive over a bump or pothole. If you have bad shocks, you’ll feel like you’re losing or about to lose control.
- Steering problems. Because your shocks help give you control while driving, it’s possible that if you’re having difficulty steering then your shocks might be bad. Pay attention while you take a turn for any sways or feelings of leaning.
- Braking problems. If you’re having difficulty with braking, it doesn’t automatically mean you need new brake pads. Your shocks or struts might need to be replaced if your car feels unstable as you brake.
- Unusual tire tread wear. Another benefit of a well-functioning suspension system, specifically with your shocks, is that your tires wear evenly. This is because the shocks help to ensure there’s the proper amount of tension between your tires and the road. So, if you notice that your tires are weary unevenly and in a more unusual manner, then your shocks likely might be bad.
- Mileage. Finally, another quick and noticeable sign to decipher if your shocks need to be replaced is your vehicle’s mileage. Shocks typically need to be replaced about every 50,000 miles or so. (But as we mentioned above, this can differ on a few factors.) Keeping up with your car’s maintenance tasks will indicate a likely time when your shocks are due for a replacement. (In fact, this is one of many reasons why it’s good to have your trusted mechanic perform 3 annual vehicle inspections.)
Find Car Help with Performance Muffler
If you want professional, expert car help, then look no further. The Performance Muffler team is your go-to garage. We’ve been a top custom exhaust shop in the Phoenix area since 2007, and we’ve even grown to have locations in Peoria and Glendale.
Contact us today for a free quote to repair or improve your vehicle.
About Performance Muffler
Performance Muffler specializes in exhaust repairs & replacements, catalytic converter services, cat-back exhaust systems, and more. Browse our website to learn more about superior customer service and automotive craft. Or, stay up to date with automotive expertise and tips with our blog. We frequently answer helpful questions like “How long do exhaust systems last?” or offer advice like “What to do when your car overheats.”