Car owners are aware of the basic maintenance of their vehicles to improve its performance. Proper upkeep is necessary, which takes time, effort and money, but it helps to extend the car’s lifespan. This is better than having to invest in a new car as your old one broke down too soon, which would otherwise have not given out.

One aspect people overlook to tend is the car suspension system or shock absorbers. Basically, shock absorbers are ‘dampers’. The suspension has a spring that absorbs the bumps and road shocks by compressing. The shock absorbers are designed to control the level of bouncing produced, when spring rebounds.

Mechanics advise to replace shock absorbers at specific intervals like every 50,000 miles. The need may vary because it depends on where and how you drive. If the car is driven over pockmarked or rough roads, it can put stress on car suspension system. This means, you will have to replace shocks more often in comparison to car driven on smooth pavements. Moreover, carrying heavy loads can also wear out the shocks rapidly.

Suspensions are strong anticipated to take extreme punishment without getting smashed up. After the car is driven thousands of miles, the ride control components obviously wear down. The pounding is harder on rougher roads, which wears out the shocks or struts faster.

Several warning signs will tell you, when your shocks need replacement

• Badly cupped tires, noticeable tire shaking, vibrating or shimmy wheel, after hitting a bump

• Bouncy ride

• Suspension conk up when you reverse the car out of driveway or on rough roads

• Body rocks or sways, when turning corners or driving in strong windy conditions

• Nose dives during hard braking

• Unusual noises over the bumps like rattling, popping or clunking

• Fluid leaks from shock or strut

Bounce test is good for investigating worn shock absorbers. Rock the car several times and then stop. If the car continues to rock for some time means dampers have worn out. Many car owners never change their shock absorbers because they are not aware or don’t find it necessary. A worn set of damper doesn’t stop a car from driving, but its performance on rough road gets tricky. This great site also offers 4×4 suspension lift kits that you need to replace the suspension on your car.

Types of shock absorbers

Shocks must be changed in pairs. Non-gas shocks have to be primed, before installing. However, gas shocks are upgraded version that does not need to be primed. High-pressure gas shocks can be adjusted because it has variable valve system. The ride characteristics can be changed. It depends on the kind of driving done. Stiff dampers are best for handling shocks, but not comfortable for daily use on rough roads.