Time for Richmond car owners to check their shocks, struts and suspension

Some roads here in and around Richmond made it through winter in pretty good shape. Others, well, let’s just say winter wasn’t kind. And, if winter was rough on the roads that means the roads were rough on your car.

In Richmond, we just can’t get away from the annual winter experience – whether we have a bad winter or a mild winter, we always have a winter. The side effects of winter-tortured roads are the symptoms of abuse to a car’s suspension. In other words, winter is tough on a car’s suspension, including shocks, struts, alignment and suspension parts.

Shocks and struts generally last about 100,000 miles, depending on your driving habits. Your driving habits include your choices of roads. If you choose roads in and around Richmond that were badly hit by winter you can probably start shaving miles off the figure above. And, when a car’s shocks and struts take beating, so does a car’s alignment.

Now that winter is about to pass on from the Richmond area, it’s not a bad idea to check your shocks and struts. You can do this yourself by pressing down on a corner of the vehicle and then suddenly releasing. If the vehicle moves smoothly back to its original position, and stops there, your shocks or struts are probably in good shape. If, however, the car bounds back up and then bounces, you probably need a new set of shocks or struts.

Checking your alignment, however, requires bringing your car into your trusted auto repair shop where they can have a good look at the suspension and alignment. While checking the alignment, any good auto repair technician will also check the parts of your suspension, including the shocks and struts, as well as tierods, ball joints and more.

Problems with shocks, struts, alignment or suspension problems is that they’re like apples; one rotten apple in the basket will spread to the other apples. In the same way, any problem with your shocks, struts, alignment or suspension parts will cause additional wear on other shocks, struts and suspension parts. That means that, if you choose to drive too long without repairing a problem with your shocks, struts, alignment or suspension, you’re liable to create additional problems.

The simple premise is that you can pay a little now or a lot later. And, once again, that’s why it’s time to check your shocks, struts, alignment and suspension now that winter is bowing out of Richmond.