Odds are that, if you've just bought a BMW, Mercedes, Audi, or Volkswagen, you're not interesting in adding any after-market lift kicks to it. After all, you bought the car because of the attention to detail the manufacturers give it. However, if your car feels like it's starting to bounce like it has a lift kit, it's time to take it in for servicing, most likely for shocks.
And, speaking of bouncing, here are four other signs that your car needs new shocks or struts.
1 – World War II Styled Nose Dives
Okay, so maybe your car isn't going into a tailspin and threatening to make a dramatic sweep up just in time to avoid crashing into the land. However, it does feel like your car's front bumper is about to dig into the pavement each time you hit the brakes.
Shocks and struts are absorbers first and foremost. However, a lot of people think of them only providing a softer ride over bumps and potholes. When your car is dipping forward, it does so because the shocks/struts are unable to handle the weight of the vehicle.
This is a major problem because your car will not only take longer to stop, but it will also cause moments where you will lose the ability to steer the car. If you're applying the brakes in an emergency situation, you don't want either of these two problems.
2 – Shoulder Burns
Just as your car might dip forward when stopping, poor shocks are struts will also cause your car to lean and dip to the side through turns. In lower-sitting cars, this can damage other components, such as CV (constant-velocity) joints and wheel bearings.
In higher-sitting vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, this is a potential hazard for tipping. No matter what type of vehicle you drive, it's best to have your vehicle inspected.
3 – Reclining Seats
Sure, lots of people love sitting outside and staring up at the sky, watching clouds go by, and relaxing, but if your view of the sky is coming from every touch of the gas pedal, you've got problems.
Bad struts and shocks will cause the car to lean backward during acceleration, and all that force wreaks havoc on the undercarriage. Not only do you risk damage to the exhaust system, tailpipes, and the rear bumper, you also lose traction on the front tires, which can cause hydroplaning and spinouts on slippery roads.
4 – Flesh Wounds
The shocks and struts in your car might actually be working just fine — for now. They use a compression system to operate. However, the mechanical parts aren't always the first to go.
Reservoirs of hydraulic fluid are used to help control and stabilize the vehicle. If you look under your car and it looks like your shocks or struts have just suffered a strong left- or right-hook and are bleeding a dark fluid, it's not long before the rest of the component will go down for the count, too.