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Shocking news - When to replace struts? Ask Douglas Automotive

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If your car just isn’t riding the way it used to, if it takes a nosedive when you brake, if it bottoms out on railroad tracks, it may be time to have your struts replaced.

Struts are the shock absorbers in a car’s suspension system, controlling bounce. Most suspension manufacturers indicate that at 50,000 miles the performance of shocks and struts is starting to degrade, so by 70,000 to 80,000 miles it’s time.

Good indicators that your struts need replacing include:

1. Body roll, causing excessive leaning when changing lanes.

2. Traction loss. Accelerating from a dead stop where the drive wheels come off the ground and cause a skipping sensation.

3. Harshness or buckboard ride. The car just doesn't ride well anymore. It's bouncy or just plain harsh.

4. Nose dive. The nose of the car just dives to the pavement when braking, totally upsetting the balance of the vehicle and increasing stopping distance by 20 feet or more, depending on how fast you are going and how worn out the suspension is.

5. Bottom out. The suspension can actually reach the limit of its travel and cause a harsh bottoming feeling.

6. Acceleration squat. Accelerating causes the back of the car to squat down, upsetting the balance of the car and possibly affecting control..

7. Tire cupping. A choppy wear pattern appears on your tires, causing them to wear out prematurely and creating road noise. You would definitely want to think about changing the shocks and struts on a high-mileage car before putting a nice, new expensive set of tires on.

You’ll notice the difference immediately if  replacing shocks and struts is causing the above issues. To make sure, consult a trusted mechanic.

Douglas Automotive

Three locations:

Crystal Lake – 123 E. Virginia, (815) 356-0440

Barrington – 417 W. Main Street, (847) 381-0454

Fox River Grove – 416 Northwest Highway, (847) 639-4552

Visit www.douglasautomotive.com for more info.