Should I Get My Vehicle’s Suspension Checked?

Every car and truck is suspended by a combination of springs, shocks, and struts. Just look behind any of your four wheels, and you’ll see these hard-working parts that move up and down, up to 1,900 times every mile. By the time you put 50,000 miles on your vehicle, those parts will have done their job 75-million times.

You may be wondering if you should get your vehicle’s suspension checked. The answer is yes.

A Suspension Check Will Help Keep You Safe

Your car’s suspension - the springs, shocks, and struts - keep your tires on the road. That’s a good thing when you’re taking a sharp turn, heading down a steep hill, driving on rough roads, or stopping to avoid an accident. However, when your suspension is worn, it can cause added wear to other parts of your vehicle, including your tires.

Your vehicle’s suspension system includes either shocks or struts that help ride, control, and tire wear. When your shocks and struts aren’t doing their job, you might see it or feel it. But those changes progress slowly over time and can include excessive bounce or sway, abnormal tire wear, bottoming out, or nose-diving when braking. And when there’s body or suspension movement beyond the vehicle’s original design, it can cause safety issues. These include an increased stopping distance, reduced road traction, and a delay in steering response. Getting your shocks and struts visually inspected should be part of your regular vehicle maintenance schedule to help keep you in control.

Shocks and struts of a vehicle

Inspecting Your Shocks and Struts

Part of your suspension check will involve getting your shocks and struts inspected. There are several reasons you may want to do this.

  • Your Shocks and Struts are Damaged
    Spotting fluid under your vehicle is rarely a good thing. When it comes to ride control, it could mean the seal on one of your struts has failed and is dripping hydraulic fluid. Other indications that something is wrong may include physical damage you can see as well as a bouncier ride. The pros at Les Schwab know what to look for and can make recommendations to keep your tires in contact with the road.

  • Your Ride Control is Lacking

    It could be time for a suspension check anytime you see cupping or irregular wear on your tread (see image below), or your vehicle starts to bottom out, bounce and sway over bumps and around corners, ride rough, or nose-dive when you brake. New shocks or struts can help restore the quality of your ride control.

  • Example of tire cupping

  • You’re Already Due for Maintenance

    Have you ever had your shocks replaced? Are they the ones that came with your vehicle? Those parts of your suspension take a beating every time you hit the road. Shocks and/or struts can cycle up and down thousands of times per mile on the smoothest roads. Over time, their performance will decrease, and it will only worsen as you add more miles to the odometer. The gradual degradation of your ride control means you’re missing out on a comfortable and safe ride. And because the change can happen slowly, you might not even realize it. To fix it, bring your vehicle in for a suspension inspection.

  • You Want to Upgrade Your Ride

    Anytime you’re looking for better handling, increased stability, and more control, or you’re adding plus-sized wheels and tires, lifting your vehicle, or leveling, it’s a good time to upgrade your ride control. The added weight of larger wheels and tires can strain the original shocks and struts, affecting their performance.

A Quick Test for Your Suspension

Take a short drive and check off any of the following that applies to your vehicle:

Print Checklist

If any of those apply to your vehicle, it’s probably time to get into Les Schwab. Our pros will inspect your whole suspension, let you know if anything needs to be replaced, and give you a complete estimate. You’ll also get our Best Alignment and Suspension Value limited warranty.

Les Schwab is Your Suspension Inspection Headquarters

Our professionals know what to look for and how to bring your vehicle back to its original control and handling. Plus, most of our shocks and struts include a lifetime warranty on parts and labor. Stop by any location or book an appointment for a free pre-trip safety check of your vehicle’s suspension and other vital components.

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