The shocks and struts on your vehicle play a big role in the stability and control of the vehicle. The vehicle being stable means that is has the ability to stop, turn, and swerve at exactly the moment you need it to. Your shocks and struts are designed to react to every wheel and body movement, and also to every bump and corner. They also help to keep the vehicle at the proper ride height that the vehicle was designed to having. They keep the geometry of the suspension in the correct position.

Shocks and struts that are wearing will allow the vehicle to dip, sway, bounce and overreact to corners, during stopping and acceleration, and over bumps or uneven surfaces on the road. These effects result in reduced braking ability, along with tire and suspension parts having accelerated wear. It is also more difficult for the driver to maintain control of the vehicle, causing them to constantly make steering corrections while driving to compensate.

Studies show that it only takes one worn shock to increase your vehicle’s stopping distance. When you are braking a worn shock will cause the front of the vehicle to nose dive. This makes the rear end of the vehicle rise and causes the tires to loose their firm grip of the road. This poor traction increases the stopping distance of your vehicle.
Some studies show that it can be increased by as much as 23%.

If your shocks or struts are getting worn this can be indicated by the following symptoms:

  • Nose Dives During Hard Braking
  • Vehicle Squatting During Acceleration
  • Excessive Body Roll Around Corners
  • Extended Bounce Time Over Bumps or Dips in Pavement
  • Bottoming Out
  • Tire Cupping

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms we recommend having your trusted repair facility perform an inspection. At minimum your shocks and struts should be inspected on a yearly basis. Having your shocks and struts replaced when they show signs of being worn will help to keep your vehicle responsive and safe. This will help to keep the ride and handling of your vehicle like new.

Steve and Karen Johnston are owners of All About Automotive in downtown Gresham. If you have questions or comments, call them at 503-465-2926 or email them at [email protected] and Karen Johnston are owners of All About Automotive, providing auto repair and auto maintenance in Historic Downtown Gresham. If you have questions or comments, call them at 503-465-2926 or email them at [email protected], you can also visit our website at

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