Struts and Shocks: Telltale Signs It’s Time to Replace

Struts and Shocks, Difficulty Steering, Uneven Tire Wear, Uncomfortable

Struts and Shocks: Telltale Signs It’s Time to Replace

Struts and Shocks, Difficulty Steering, Uneven Tire Wear, UncomfortableIs your car bouncing like a trampoline every time you hit a bump? Do you feel every minor imperfection in the road? If so, it might be time to consider replacing your struts and shocks. They are part of your vehicle’s suspension system to keep your ride smooth and stable. Over time, struts and shocks can wear out due to everyday driving and harsh road conditions. When this happens, you may experience a variety of telltale signs. These include excessive bouncing or swaying, a bumpy or uncomfortable ride, difficulty steering, and uneven tire wear. Ignoring these warning signs can compromise your safety and lead to more extensive and expensive repairs.

Don’t wait any longer if you’ve noticed any of these signs. Get your struts and shocks checked today and enjoy a smoother, safer, and more enjoyable ride.

What Are Struts and Shocks?

Struts and shocks are two integral components of a vehicle’s suspension system. While they perform similar functions, they are designed differently and work together to provide a smooth and controlled ride.


Struts are part of the suspension system and serve multiple purposes. They support the weight of the vehicle. They also provide a mounting point for the coil springs and house the shock absorber and steering mechanism. The front suspension of most modern vehicles typically uses Struts. However, the rear suspension often combines struts and separate shock absorbers.


Shock absorbers, on the other hand, are hydraulic or gas-filled cylinders that reduce the movement of the suspension. They control the up-and-down motion of the vehicle by absorbing and dissipating the energy generated from bumps and uneven road surfaces. By doing so, shocks help maintain tire-to-road contact. They also provide stability and control during cornering, braking, and acceleration.

The Purpose of Struts and Shocks

Struts and shocks ensure a smooth and comfortable ride. They also maintain control and stability. Struts and shocks achieve this by absorbing and reducing the impact and vibrations caused by potholes, speed bumps, and uneven surfaces.

Struts and shocks keep the tires in contact with the road, especially during braking and accelerating. They help prevent excessive weight transfer, leading to loss of traction and control. Finally, they support the handling and steering response of the vehicle, allowing for precise and predictable movements. In summary, struts and shocks are essential for…

  • Absorbing and reducing road vibrations and impacts.
  • Maintaining tire-to-road contact for improved traction and control.
  • Enhancing stability, handling, and steering response.

Signs of worn-out struts and shocks

Like any automotive component, struts and shocks can wear out over time. Here’s how to recognize that it’s probably time to replace your struts and shock.

  • Excessive bouncing or swaying: Your vehicle bounces excessively after hitting a bump or continues to bounce for a while. You notice increased body roll or swaying during turns.
  • Bumpy or uncomfortable ride: You may feel every minor imperfection in the road, even at low speeds. This can be especially noticeable when driving over potholes or rough surfaces.
  • Difficulty steering: Your vehicle’s steering feels loose or requires more effort. Your steering feels more challenging and less responsive.
  • Uneven tire wear: Your tires have an uneven wear pattern or bald spots. Excessive bouncing can lead to uneven tire contact with the road, resulting in irregular wear across the tire surface. 
  • Fluid leaks: Inspect your struts and shocks for any signs of fluid leakage. Fluid leaks can indicate internal seal failure and a loss of damping capability.

Worn-Out Struts and Shocks Hazards

Worn-out struts and shocks can severely impact your driving experience. Both your comfort and safety become compromised. There are also risks to other drivers and pedestrians. Ignoring the signs of worn suspension components can lead to potentially dangerous situations and costly consequences.

  • Impaired ride comfort: A harsh and uncomfortable ride, making long drives or daily commutes a less enjoyable experience.
  • Uneven tire wear: Reduced tire lifespan, compromised traction and handling, and increased risk of skidding or hydroplaning in wet conditions.
  • Reduced stability and control: Reduced stability makes it harder to maintain control during maneuvers such as cornering, braking, and accelerating. The vehicle may sway or roll excessively, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Longer braking distances: Reduced tire-to-road contact, reducing the effectiveness of your brakes. This can result in longer braking distances and compromised stopping power.
  • Compromised passenger safety: The excessive bouncing and lack of proper damping can result in discomfort, fatigue, and potential injuries in an accident or sudden maneuver.
  • Compromised vehicle dynamics: Handling and steering response may suffer, leading to a less predictable and controlled driving experience. 
  • Increased repair costs: Continued driving with compromised suspension components can put additional stress on other parts of the suspension system, potentially causing further damage. 

Driving with worn-out struts and shocks is not only uncomfortable but also dangerous. Recognizing the signs and taking appropriate action is necessary for the safety and longevity of your vehicle.

When to replace your struts and shocks

While there is no exact mileage or time for when to replace your struts and shocks, there are some general guidelines to consider. The lifespan of these components can vary depending on driving conditions, vehicle weight, and maintenance.

As a rule, have your struts and shocks inspected by a qualified mechanic every 50,000 miles. However, have an earlier inspection if you regularly encounter rough roads, potholes, and speed bumps, or carry heavy loads. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific recommendations from the manufacturer. 

Struts And Shocks Replacement Benefits 

Replacing worn-out struts and shocks can benefit your vehicle’s performance and overall driving experience. Here are some advantages of investing in new suspension components:

  • Improved ride comfort: An immediate improvement in ride comfort. You’ll experience reduced vibrations, smoother handling, and a more enjoyable driving experience.
  • Enhanced stability and control: Greater stability and control allow for more precise steering and handling.
  • Better braking performance: Better tire-to-road contact, improving braking performance. You’ll experience shorter braking distances, increased stopping power, and improved overall braking response.
  • Extended tire lifespan: Your tires wear evenly, increasing longevity and saving money.
  • Preserved vehicle dynamics: The vehicle delivers ideal handling and driving dynamics.
  • Prevention of further damage: Prevent additional wear and tear, ensuring the longevity and reliability of your vehicle.

When replacing your struts and shocks, finding a reliable and experienced mechanic who can perform the job correctly is essential.

Schedule A Suspension Inspection

Recognizing the signs of worn-out struts and shocks is essential for maintaining the safety and performance of your vehicle. If you notice excessive bouncing, a bumpy ride, difficulty steering, or uneven tire wear, it’s time to consider replacing these vital suspension components. Get your vehicle inspected today and enjoy the benefits of a smoother, safer, and more enjoyable ride. 

Call JJ Auto Care at (904) 721-6646 or visit us online to schedule a Suspension Inspection with one of our service writers.