Shocks, struts and a car’s suspension take a beating from winters here in the Johnsburg area and the Midwest. You may want to check yours out to see how they did this past season.

Do you remember some of those potholes you hit this past winter driving in the Johnsburg area? Brutal, weren’t they. If you thought they were bad just imagine what your shocks, struts and suspension thought. A car’s shocks, struts and suspension are made to handle tough roads such as these but they still take a beating.

In the Johnsburg area, snow, ice and temperatures that fluctuate between frigid and just over freezing conspire to tear the roads apart. Shocks, struts and suspension parts are made to help us negotiate reasonably rough pavement. It’s questionable whether the engineers really knew what Johnsburg and Midwest winter roads could throw at them.

Customarily, as set of shocks or struts, should last about 100,000 miles. The same could be said of suspension parts. Just imagine, however, if you took your family van off road every day. Of course, the shocks, struts and suspension wouldn’t last very long. Even winter doesn’t make the roads around here comparable to an off-road excursion. Still, those potholes do take a toll.

What happens when your shocks, struts or suspension parts go bad? If you don’t fix the problem soon it spreads. Next thing you know, a small repair bill has ballooned into something more significant. The moral of the story is to have your shocks, struts and suspension checked at appropriate intervals – usually once each year.

There is no more appropriate time to check your shocks, struts or suspension than in the spring after they’ve endured another Johnsburg winter. If anything is going to knock your shocks, struts or suspension out of whack, winters around here will do it. Giving your vehicle’s steering and suspension a thorough checkup in the spring is a wise thing to do.

In terms of the shocks and struts, that’s something you can probably check yourself though you may want an expert opinion. Simply stand by one corner of the vehicle and push down several inches. Hold it a second and then release suddenly. If the shocks or struts are bad, the car will jump up and bounce a bit. If the shocks and struts are still good, the car should move smoothly to its original position and stop.

Checking the steering and suspension really requires a qualified auto repair technician. They need to get the car up on the lift and have a good look at your suspension. They’ll be able to tell you if any of your suspension parts are worn and need replacing.

While shocks, struts and a car’s suspension will take a beating, a car’s wheel alignment is almost assuredly knocked off kilter by winter roads. It’s best to have an alignment each spring. Taking care of the alignment, shocks, struts and suspension now will provide you with a smooth driving experience in and around Johnsburg, or even further, the rest of the year.