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Shocks & Struts

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Shocks and Struts
Shocks and Struts are part of your car's suspension system, which controls the up-and-down and side-to-side motion. Without the suspension system, every time you drove over a bump, the car would bounce and bounce and bounce. You'd need to have a good supply of Dramamine on hand every time you headed off to work or the grocery store.

Shocks, struts, and springs springs are also part of the suspension system not only make the ride more comfortable, they make the ride safer. That's because they help keep the tires in constant contact with the road, and that affects steering, stability, and braking. If the suspension isn't working like it should, your car won't hold the road like it needs to. That can be dangerous.

Even if you don't know a lot about cars, you may have heard the term "MacPherson struts." They're named after the engineer who designed them and they're found on most front wheel drive cars. They combine the spring and the shock absorber into one unit. A more compact unit is beneficial because so many of today's vehicles are smaller and lighter and have precious little extra space in the front of the car.

Shocks and struts in fact, all "front end work" (that includes all suspension and steering components) have traditionally been an area of high consumer rip-off. Some mechanics will tell you that you need new shocks and struts when you don't and, since you might not know better (and the mechanic has that Very Serious Mechanic Look on his face), you may buy new ones when you don't need to.

The truth is, it's not easy for you to tell when your shocks and struts need to be replaced. Here's one test: step down firmly on the bumper at each corner of your vehicle. Then take your foot of the bumper. There should be little or no bounce. This isn't a very accurate test, though, as some shocks that are worn, pass the step-on-the-bumper test.

Another way to determine whether you need new shocks is to look at the tread on your tires. If the tread is worn erratically, that indicates the tires are bouncing up and down. (The technical term for this pattern is "cupping" or "scalloping.")

One of the best ways to keep worn shocks from becoming a problem is to have your suspension inspected regularly first at 25,000 miles then every 15,000 miles after that. Shocks and struts generally last about 25,000 miles, but that will vary depending on the type of shocks your car has and the kind of roads you drive on. Springs usually last the life of the car.

If you notice any of these problems with your vehicle, stop by Nichols Automotive Service Center and let our friendly, professional mechanics advise you of your options. We will not rip you off, just offer professional, courteous advice, repair and service.

We are conveniently located near the corner of Washington Rd and Bobby Jones Expressway and open Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Stop by and visit with us today,
and you will see why our reputation is growing!