Does your car feel like it's bobbing up and down while driving down the road? Does it nose dive under moderate or hard braking? These are typical symptoms of worn out shocks or struts.
Shock absorbers are designed to dampen or counteract the springing action of the suspension's coil springs. Over time, the shock absorber will lose its ability to compress under the weight of the vehicle and the spring will bear most of the weight, resulting in excessive bounce and rebound.
Driving with worn out shock absorbers will no only negatively affect the ride quality of your car or truck, it will affect the way your car handles and cause premature wear of your tires and suspension components.
You can prevent premature wear and tear by not overloading your vehicle and driving carefully on rough roads. Slow down and avoid potholes and other road damage.
How to Test Your Shock Absorbers
You can test your vehicle's shocks by performing a "bounce test". Apply downward pressure
to each corner of the vehicle to compress the suspension, one at a time. Be careful not to apply too much pressure to plastic bumpers and body parts that can be easily damaged. Do this three times. If the shocks are good, the vehicle will dip briefly when rebounding then return to the normal position. If it bounces excessively the shock is likely worn out.
Also visually inspect all the shocks or struts. They should be dry and free of any oily stains. If you notice any oily residue the shock may have a leak and should be inspected by a mechanic.
If your vehicle shows signs of worn out shocks or struts, don't wait to have the car serviced. Worn shocks can cause poor handling and breaking, resulting in an accident, therefore they should replaced them as soon as possible.