Driving around the Denver Metro area can be a daunting task. Because of our extreme changes in temperature, our roads tend to suffer an abnormal amount of wear an tear. Each year, new potholes appear and each year the city tries their best to repair as many as they can before the summer hits. Unfortunately, a pothole can be your car’s worst enemy. Potholes on a road’s surface can seriously damage a vehicle’s ride control system.
If you do drive over a pothole, it’s recommended that you have your car’s shocks or struts checked to make sure they aren’t damaged.
Shocks and struts control how vehicles ride and handle. The struts and shocks act as a cushion to dampen the bouncing action of a car’s springs. Contrary to popular belief, roads are not smooth and flat. Due to changing climate, earth conditions, and construction obstacles, road bumps are literally everywhere. The springs on the struts and shocks are there to absorb all of the millions of inconsistencies of road conditions; without them, the vehicle would continually bounce and bound down the road, making driving extremely difficult.
Shocks and struts also control spring and suspension movement to keep the tires in contact with the road. This affects steering, stability and braking. A broken shock or strut could alter the steering and handling of a vehicle and create driving dangers. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs that your vehicle’s shocks or struts may need to be replaced. Here are a few indicators that you may have a suspension issue that needs attention:
- If you feel your vehicle sway on turns.
- When accelerating, the rear of the vehicle squats or noticeably dips down in the back.
- On a winding, rough road you notice that the vehicle bounces or slides sideways.
- The front-end of the vehicle dives when braking.
- You feel the vehicle “bottoms out” or thumps on bumps.
- You can see that the vehicle sits lower in the front or rear.
- The vehicle is leaking or has signs of physical damage, such as rusting or dents.
- You feel a loss of directional control during sudden stops of the vehicle.
There are many components that can affect a vehicle’s handling. If you experience any of the above conditions, it is a good idea to have your vehicle’s suspension system inspected by a mechanic. Remember, your car can only perform as good as the parts that are on it. Without good suspension, you run the risk of poor performance, dangerous driving control, and potentially disastrous results. Make sure you keep your vehicle safe for you and those around you!