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How to Tell It’s Time for New Shocks

Posted at Fri, Apr 17, 2020 10:45 AM

The daily wear and tear of driving manifests in a number of different ways, which is why it is so important to keep up with regular maintenance tune-ups for your vehicle. A common issue that may happen over time is the wear of your car’s shocks. Most people know that the shocks are responsible for making driving a smoother process, but they also play an additionally important role: They help you to maintain control when you are behind the wheel.

It is therefore a good idea to be familiar with the signs that your shocks are in need of replacement so that you can ensure you are able to keep driving as safely and comfortably as possible. To help you out, our staff here at Westbury Toyota has put together a list of the most common indicators of worn shocks.

Shaky Driving Experience

Normally, the only bumps and shakes you would feel while driving would come from related dips and potholes in the road. If your everyday driving experience is shaky no matter what the condition of the road, it is one of the most telltale signs that your shocks are in need of replacing. The problem will be amplified whenever you drive over speed bumps or rumble strips, leading to a lot of unnecessary movement and noise. Once your shocks are this worn, it is not only a matter of driving being uncomfortable – undue stress will be put on other parts of the car, which can lead to more costly repair work needed in the future.

Issues with Stopping Distance

Worn shocks can quickly become a hazard and an example of this is that they can contribute to longer or delayed stopping distances. Worn out shock absorbers can affect the distance it takes for your car to stop after you apply the brakes, meaning that you will have less reaction time than you would normally. This is not something to take lightly as it means the difference between a safe stopping distance and one that is dangerous stopping distance. If you notice that your braking time is delayed, you should most definitely book your Toyota in for a checkup with the experts here at Westbury Toyota.

Unusual Tread Wear Patterns

The way the tread on a tire wears can be indicative of a number of different things such as wheel alignment, but also of worn shocks. If the shock absorbers are quite worn, it means that they are unable to keep your car’s wheels firmly on the road while you are traveling. As a result, the tires will exhibit patchy tread wear patterns, and one of the most obvious ones is a series of "dips" or "ups" right around the edge of the tread. If you spot this wear pattern on your tires, you should book your vehicle in for maintenance as soon as possible.

Steering Problems

Worn out shock absorbers can also affect the way your car steers. A steering wheel that is stiffly responsive or hard to turn is a common sign that the shocks need some attention. What’s more, you might find that your steering wheel vibrates greatly when you are driving. You can tell the difference between what is normal and what is not because while the steering wheel will vibrate when going over bumps, that should subside once you are traversing smooth ground once again. Perpetual vibration is a sign that repair is needed.

Don’t Wait on Worn Shocks

As you can see, shock absorbers are a vital part of your car, not only for delivering a nice, smooth drive but for letting you drive safely. The longer you let your shocks go unattended, the more problems will arise, which can culminate in further damage to your vehicle as well as unsafe driving. If you suspect your Toyota’s shocks are worn out and in need of replacing, do not hesitate to give us a call here at Westbury Toyota for an inspection by one of our professionals. We can knock this problem out for you and have you back out on the roads of Long Island in no time.

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