Suspension systems will continue to operate effectively for many years and tens of thousands of miles. Eventually car components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive in Burnsville.
As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth Minnesota highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy roads or hauling heavy loads. In addition to just wearing out, car suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact – like a pothole, hitting a curb or a rock in the road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, your car manufacturer recommends periodic inspections.
During an inspection at Valley Auto Care, your experienced Burnsville service technician will check for worn, broken or missing parts. Let me give a rundown of the major suspension components.
First there are the springs. The springs hold the weight of the vehicle. There are several kinds of springs. Springs are obviously heavy duty parts that rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers work in conjunction with springs to smooth out the ride and help keep the tires on the road. The shocks are key to handling performance and ride comfort.
You’ve probably heard of struts. They combine a shock absorber and a coil spring in one unit. Shocks and struts will wear out over time. There are some signs that shocks or struts are wearing out. The tires may have a cupped wear pattern. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly. You may notice a floaty or drifting sensation when cornering. If the front of your car dives excessively when stopping, or rocks back and forth after you stopped, your shocks may be worn out. And if they are leaking fluid, it’s definitely time to replace them.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit Valley Auto Care for a suspension inspection. Same if you’ve been in an accident that involved one of your wheels. If your car suspension actually fails, it could lead to a serious accident, so take care of these things.
When you replace your shocks, it’s usually a good idea to replace all four at the same time. That’ll give you more even handling. Talk with your Valley Auto Care service advisor because you don’t want a big difference between the performance of your shocks from wheel to wheel, and replacing all may be the safest bet.
There different grades of shocks and struts. You always want to use a replacement shock or strut that equals the one that came as original equipment when your car was new. But remember, they were designed to meet the expected needs of the broad range of Burnsville people who buy that particular vehicle. Your needs may be more specialized.
For example if you want increased handling performance for your car, your experienced Valley Auto Care advisor can recommend an upgraded shock or strut to give you what you want. If you haul heavy loads or trailers, you can get a more heavy duty shock absorber.
Shocks and Struts For Apple Valley Bumps and Bounces
If you're like most of us in Apple Valley, you want your car to handle well. That's the job of your suspension system.
There are different types of suspension systems, but they all work on the same basic principles. First, there are the springs, which bear the weight of the car. The most common springs are coil or leaf - although we see air springs and torsion bars more often. The springs do most of the work.
Visit our Apple Valley location for an inspection of your suspension. Valley Auto Care 7125 151st St. West, Suite 105 Apple Valley, Minnesota 55124 952-431-2700
But if all you had were springs, your vehicle would be bouncing around like a bobble head. That's where the shocks come in. They control the rebound of the springs and smooth out the up and down motions. They also keep the tires on the road, and you in control. Some cars use struts. Struts are a combination of shocks and springs, together in a more compact system.
Shocks wear out slowly over time, so it's hard to notice when they get badly worn. One way to tell is to look for an uneven, cupping wear on your tires. If the shock or strut is leaking fluid, it needs to be replaced. If your car feels floaty in turns or if the front end dips a lot when you stop, it is time to get your shocks checked. Your owners' manual will tell you when your shocks should be changed - it's usually between 15,000 and 30,000 miles or 24,000 and 50,000 kilometers .
When you replace a shock, be sure to replace all four. Then your car will have an even suspension and will handle much better. Talk with your service advisor about how you drive. No, not your traffic violations, but how often you carry heavy loads, tow a trailer or drive in rough terrain. If you do a bunch of that, you'll need a heavy duty shock.
Regular shocks use hydraulic fluid and air as their dampening system. Premium quality shocks and struts use compressed nitrogen gas instead of air. Gas shocks don't get air bubbles that affect the performance of regular shocks. If you do a lot of high performance driving, off-roading or just want added comfort and control, think about getting premium gas shocks or struts.
Replacing your struts may take your car out of alignment, so be sure to get an alignment at the same time. So, to smooth out the bumps on the road of life, change your shocks and struts when they need it.
Today we're talking about shocks and struts. They're so easy to forget about because they last so long and wear out so slowly. But your shocks are really responsible for keeping your tires on the road – so they're very important.
Without shocks, your wheels would be bouncing over bumps and lifting in corners. The shocks push the tire down to the road to maximize traction. Good shocks equal good ride quality and safe handling.
Visit Valley Auto Care to have your shocks and struts inspected by a professional. You can find us at 7125 151st St. West, Suite 105, Apple Valley, Minnesota 55124 Or give us a call at 952-431-2700 to make an appointment.
There's a difference between shocks and springs. Springs support the weight of the vehicle, keeping it suspended up off the axels. The shocks moderate the rebound motion as wheels hit bumps. Now a strut combines a shock and a coil spring in one compact unit.
When your shocks are worn out you may notice degraded handling as you drive around our Apple Valley streets. Your vehicle feels squirmy around corners and floaty over bumps.
You may notice the rear end squatting when you accelerate or the front end diving when you brake. Your car might even be sagging at one corner.
Uneven tire wear can also be a sign of worn shocks. Of course, if your shocks are leaking or have a big dent, they need to be replaced.
Your owner's manual will have a recommendation for when to replace the shocks and struts on your vehicle. It's usually between thirty and fifty thousand miles. Of course, if you tow a lot, regularly carry heavy loads or do a lot of driving on poor roads, your shocks might wear out faster.
If those driving conditions apply to you, you can get special shocks that are better suited to your driving.
The shocks that come from the factory are designed for the way most consumers are expected to drive that particular vehicle. If you have different needs for your driving around Apple Valley Minnesota, you can get premium shocks that improve performance handling, off-road abilities or towing comfort. Your Apple Valley Minnesota service consultant at Valley Auto Care can help you determine your needs and then give you some options.
It's best to replace all four shocks at the same time. That way you'll have even, predictable handling at all four corners. Anything less could be dangerous.
When you hear the word 'suspension', you may think back to those energetic days of grade school. Well, your car’s suspension is actually a good thing because it keeps your car up off the road and helps provide a comfy ride. It needs to keep your wheels firmly planted over bumps and through curves. Your suspension system has many parts. If you look under your car, it’s basically everything that connects your wheels to the car’s frame. These are heavy duty parts that do a lot of work. They need to be inspected for damage and excessive wear at least once a year. A good time for this is when you get your annual alignment service.
Here are some warning signs that your suspension may have problems:
the car pulls to one side;
the steering is erratic;
you see uneven tire wear;
you experience a poor ride or handling;
you see oil leaking from shocks
. . . you get the picture. You just don’t feel in control when you’re driving.
Some suspension parts just wear out with use. Shocks and struts eventually lose their ability to control your ride. Wheel bearings need to be repacked every couple of years. And some suspension pieces need to be lubricated when you get your oil changed. Your service advisor can oversee an inspection and tell you what problems you may have.
If you’re in an accident, your suspension can be damaged or knocked out of alignment. Even a minor accident, like hitting a curb around Apple Valley or even a large rock can mess things up. With a minor accident it’s tempting to just get an alignment or wheel balance to correct the problem. But if there’s some damage, a simple alignment won’t actually fix the problem, and you’ll just have to align it again after the repairs are made. So if you have an accident, get your suspension system inspected right away. Suspension problems should be fixed immediately because they can lead to unsafe handling.
One big cause of suspension damage is potholes – those nasty magnets that seem to draw our tires right into them. Here are some tips for avoiding damage from potholes: First, keep your tires at their full air pressure. That gives tires their maximum resiliency and will hopefully keep your wheels or other suspension parts from crunching on a big hole. Next, just pay attention. When you see a hole you can’t miss, slow down before you hit it. Driving at a slower speed will limit the damage, and may keep your drink from spilling. But don’t brake directly over the pothole. That will cause the car’s weight to shift forward and add to the potential damage.
So don’t put off an inspection of your suspension. We promise the principal won’t be involved.
Valley Auto Care Give us a call today at 952-431-2700. Or stop by at 7125 151st St. West, Suite 105, Apple Valley, Minnesota 55124
Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley MN helps people and their vehicles throughout Apple Valley and along Cedar Ave, County Rd. 42, Galaxy Ave, and 160th St. We work on all vehicles including the following manufacturers: Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Ford, Mazda, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, GMC, Cadillac, Mercury, Lincoln, Infiniti, Acura, Lexus, Buick, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Plymouth with most auto service needs including: Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Transmission, Tune-Up, Computer Diagnostics, Engine Codes, Suspension, Shocks, Struts, Alignment, AC, Clutch & more.