Do you need your shocks or struts replaced?

Shock and Strut Replacement is vital to maintaining your vehicle in proper working condition. What we call shock absorbers are really “dampers.” The springs in a vehicle’s suspension absorb bumps and other road shocks by compressing, and the shock absorbers control the amount of bouncing created when the springs rebound. The shock absorber controls the rebound of the vehicle’s springs and dampens the initial shock when you hit a bump. Shock absorbers are essential to vehicle safety. They control body roll, reduce hydroplaning, and decrease stopping distance when braking.

What is the difference between a Shock Absorber and a Strut?

A strut and a shock are very similar. When the shock and the spring are combined in one unit we call that a Strut. When the shock is separate from the spring it is called a shock.






How do you test a Shock Absorber?

Only in severe cases will it be easy to tell if your vehicle needs new shock absorbers. The first way is if the vehicle is excessively bouncy. So, if you hit a bump and the vehicle continues to go up and down and does not recover stability very quickly, then the most likely cause is worn out shocks. You may not even notice the excessive bouncing because they degrade over time and since you are driving the vehicle every day you just don’t notice the subtle change over time. The next way is noise. If your vehicle makes noise when going over bumps then you may have a bad shock or two. Several years ago we used to be able to easily test shocks by pressing down on the corner of the vehicle and watch the vehicle rebound when you let go. Quite simply it was very easy. If the car kept bouncing the shock was bad. If it stopped quickly or didn’t bounce at all then the shock was good. You would repeat this on all four corners to determine how many shocks were bad. Today it’s not so simple. A qualified professional must take the vehicle for a test drive and experience the shock rebound and body roll. He/she must then raise the vehicle and perform a visual inspection of the shock absorber.

At Apex Automotive we recommend shocks in pairs. So if the left front has failed we recommend replacing both front shocks. If the vehicle has over 50,000 then the customer may want to consider replacing all 4 but our professionals will properly diagnose and make necessary recommendations based on what your vehicle needs so you can decide what is best for you.

What does a bad Shock Absorber look like?

Leaking shock absorbers are the easiest way to spot a failed shock absorber. Take a look at this image and see what a leaking shock absorber looks like. The dampening fluid leaks out and creates a black wet look that is easy to spot.


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