Struts play an important role in the making your vehicle ride smoother. They are a part of the car suspension system and are used to reduce the bouncing of your car considerably as it crosses every bump on the road. Struts are typically used in combination with car shock absorbers in order to strengthen the entire suspension system. This combination of shock absorbers and struts, although present in each and every vehicle, varies from car to car and model to model in order to cater to the design needs of each vehicle exclusively.
As is the case with any other automotive component, your car and motorbike shock absorbers and struts too need timely maintenance, especially considering the rigorous use they are put to. Also, if they are past maintenance and have totally reached a condition wherein they are beyond repair, you might want to simply buy shock absorbers and struts altogether.
If you are wondering and all perplexed about how to figure out whether or not you really need to replace them, read on to know more:
1. Increased Bouncing
In an ideal case scenario, as soon as your car passes over a bump, the car body should stop bouncing and return to a stable state of motion—all thanks to the perfectly-working struts and shock absorbers. On the contrary, if your car continues to jump back and forth for either a few seconds or up to a minute, it is a loud-and-clear indication that the struts and shock absorbers have worn out and it’s high time you replace them.
2. Diving of the Nose and Squatting of the Rear
If the front of your car tends to bend forward every time you press the brake or the rear of your car hits the ground as you accelerate so as to drive even faster through a stretch on the road, chances are the struts and shock absorbers require either maintenance or complete replacement, depending on the condition they are in. Another sign of worn-out struts could be the squatting of your vehicle in case way too many people are occupying the rear seats.
3. Scalloping of Tyres
Scalloping of tyres is a condition that is very commonly an indication that it is high time you replace your shocks and struts. Bad struts lead to more prominent and vehement bouncing of the vehicle tyres; every time the tyre strikes the ground, tiny scrapes of rubber come off, resulting in wearing away of the tyre treads and the subsequent degradation of tyres in the process.
4. Leaking of Hydraulic Fluid
Struts and shocks that are very greasy and oily to look at are a pellucid sign that they have worn out and require immediate replacement. This is because the hydraulic fluid which is responsible for absorbing shock under normal circumstances gets squeezed out to drench the malfunctioning struts which otherwise are dry or only slightly wet in appearance.
5. Increased Inclination at Bends
If your car tends to tumble and turn over to the right while taking a steep left turn or vice versa, then immediately consider replacing your struts and shocks, lest you want to meet with a deadly accident resulting from sheer misbalance of your vehicle.
It is best that you buy shock absorbers and struts only from manufacturers who have been in the business for long and have managed to make a name for themselves with the passage of time. A few such manufacturers are Gabriel, Monroe, TRW, Magneti Marelli and Motolamp, to name a few.