What they do
If you own a car, you’ve probably heard about your shocks and struts before. But what do they do? Unsurprisingly, you probably assume that shock absorbers absorb shock.
Guess what? It’s a lie. Shocks (or shock absorbers) and struts actually help control the spring that absorbs the shock: They’re what keep your car from bouncing over rough terrain.
Think about it like this: You hit one of the many potholes littering the road this spring and – bam – the spring boings into action. Then your shocks or struts kick into gear and help dampen the effects of the impact by dampening the spring’s motion.
So instead of bouncing up and down a number of times before the car stabilizes again (like you would naturally do if only the spring was taking the hit), you’ll only bounce once. Unless, of course, your struts and shocks need to be replaced.
Why they’re important
Shocks and struts are vital to keeping your ride smooth and safe. Not only do they minimize uncomfortable bouncing, they keep your tires on the road, which in turn helps you brake more quickly and effectively and handle curves and turns without tipping over.
When to replace them
If you notice that your car tends to nosedive when coming to a sudden stop, get your shocks and struts inspected right away. That nosedive takes your back tires off the road, and can increase the amount of time it takes you to come to a complete stop.
Same thing if your car has started swaying a lot, or rocking when going around turns: It could be a sign that your shocks and struts aren’t properly stabilizing your vehicle.
Another sign that you need new struts or shocks? Check the odometer. If you’ve put more than 50,000 miles on your vehicle since you last changed them, come on into Cape Auto for new ones!
During March and April you can get between $50 and $100 back in the form of a VISA prepaid card with the purchase of 2 or 4 qualifying NAPA or Rancho ride control products. Download your coupon today!