FIVE REASONS TO CARE ABOUT WORN SHOCKS & STRUTS

Don’t let the weather wreak havoc on your car's suspension.

By Reed Jackson

Winter can be rough on your car’s suspension, and spring (hello, potholes!) can make it even worse. Here’s what can happen if you ignore some key warning signs—and tips on when to have your shocks and struts replaced, to help keep you cruising into summer.

 

1. REDUCED BRAKING ABILITY
When your shocks or struts become worn down, your vehicle "jounces" more over bumps, which means it bounces up and down. This makes braking more difficult and could significantly increase your stopping distance. So take note: If your vehicle is taking longer than usual to stop, or if it is nose-diving when you do so (another sign of decreased traction), have your vehicle checked at your nearest Ford dealer. A suspension check is part of the Multi-Point Inspection included in The Works package; during the inspection Ford technicians will ensure that all possible pothole-related damage is assessed, and you’ll have less to worry about.

 

 

2. LESS CONTROL ON CORNERS
Watch out for an exaggerated “body roll” when you turn corners—this is when you feel yourself and your vehicle tilting a bit more than normal, which can be a sign of damaged shocks or struts. If that’s happening to you, take your vehicle in for a suspension check right away, because excessive body roll can affect your ability to safely steer around obstructions in the road.

 

 

3. ROUGHER RIDE
Getting jostled on your journey is not only uncomfortable, it can affect your ability to safely control your vehicle. Try a quick bounce test at home by pushing down firmly on the front and rear of your vehicle. If the car moves up and down more than once or twice, have your shocks and struts checked at your Ford dealer.

 

 

 

4. TIRE WEAR
When struts or shocks are worn out, your tires wear out faster. A damaged strut or shock can also contribute to quicker wear on the other steering components of the vehicle, like rods and wheel bearings. If you notice a rumbling or increased vibrations at higher speeds, have a Ford auto technician look for “cupping” on your tires, which is a type of scalloped wear pattern associated with struts and shocks. Cupping happens when your car jounces up and down, leaving indented scuff marks on the tires, and is a big red flag that your suspension needs repairing.

 

 

 

5. MORE HYDROPLANING & SKIDDING
Worn shocks and struts can affect the way your wheels engage with the road, especially when roads are slick. If your vehicle is sliding or hydroplaning frequently, get your suspension checked at a local Ford dealer now—before April showers arrive.

Watch the video Do I Need New Shocks or Struts?

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