Is it Time to Replace Your Car’s Shocks? Expert Advice on Signs to Look Out For and When to Act.

Dear Mike,

I’ve been experiencing a lot of rattling and bouncing in my car lately, and I’m starting to suspect that my shocks might need to be replaced. However, I’m not exactly sure when is the right time to do so. Can you give me some advice on when I should replace my shocks and what signs to look out for?


Dear Caroline,

Firstly, thanks for reaching out to me for advice. You’re right to be concerned about the rattling and bouncing you’re experiencing in your car. Based on your description, it sounds like your shocks might need to be replaced.

Let me start by giving you a little background on shocks and their function so that you understand the importance of replacing them regularly. Clinical testing has shown that a shock has a lifespan of about 88 million times in 80,000 kilometers. Once they start to wear, they can cause the premature demise of your vehicle’s tires and other crucial suspension components. That’s why it’s vital to replace them once they’ve reached their lifecycle.

In modern-day cars, shocks aren’t rebuildable as they once were. Instead, they are designed for replacement only. Once your vehicle has reached the 100,000 kilometers mark, you should complete a regular ride control inspection. This will help you determine if your shocks need to be replaced.

Weak shocks can cause the early demise of front brake pads and rotors. This happens because of the weight transfer from the rear of the vehicle to the front. If the rear shocks of your vehicle can no longer hold the rear of the car, it puts more stress on the front brakes and rotors. Quite often, owners of vehicles with over 150,000 km find that they are having to replace the front brakes due to brake pulsation caused by overheated front rotors that warp.

Shocks and struts affect the steering, stopping, as well as the stability of your vehicle. They are one of the most overlooked items that require regular attention. Failing to replace them can lead to reduced performance, poor handling, and even accidents.

As for the signs that you need new shocks, here are some things to look out for:
– Excessive bouncing after hitting a bump or pothole
– The car bottoms out when going over bumps or dips
– Unusual noises like clunking, knocking, or squeaking when turning or driving over a rough patch of road
– Uneven tire wear
– Leaking fluid from the shocks or struts

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s time to get your shocks inspected by a professional. At Urban Automotive, we can help you identify the root cause of the issue and recommend the best solution. If you’ve never had your shocks replaced and your car has over 100,000 kilometers, it’s best to schedule an appointment with us for an inspection.

In closing, Caroline, don’t ignore your shocks’ condition, or it could end up costing you more in the long run. Regularly maintaining and replacing your car’s shocks can improve your driving experience, extend your car’s lifespan, and prevent costly repairs down the road.

Drive safe,

Mike Urban