With more vehicles expected to hit the road during the warm weather months, which we're currently in the midst of, vehicles will need to be in the best shape in order to ensure safety while driving. Checking shocks and struts on a car should be done in order to make sure the rest of the vehicle will be able to get from Point A to Point B.

Shocks and struts on a vehicle are designed to absorb the feedback from the road, which includes bumps, potholes and dips in the concrete. Healthy shocks and struts can make the difference between a car having a smooth or bumpy ride.

Car owners can tell if the shocks and struts need to be replaced if they are worn out, damaged or leaking. While leaking is easy to determine, being able to tell if shocks and struts are damaged is often subjective to judge. The shocks and struts aren't required to be replaced at a specific mileage interval similar to filters or spark plugs, but they do wear out and should be replaced when they are no longer useable.

Some original equipment shocks may get weak after 30,000 or 40,000 miles and others could last up to 60,000 miles, proving that its difficult to determine exactly when the parts need to be replaced.

The best way to determine when a vehicle needs to have its shocks and struts changed is when the drivers can tell how well the car has handled lately. Bouncing excessively when driving on rough roads or after hitting a bump are usually sure fire ways to determine if the parts need to be replaced. Other ways of determining if a vehicle needs new struts and shocks is is the nose of the car dips when braking or the body roll or sway excessively when cornering or driving in crosswinds.

The bounce test is also still a sensible way of checking the shocks and struts. If the suspension keep bouncing more than one or two times following rocking and released the bumper or body, the shocks and struts are showing signs of aging and need to be replaced.

Replacing shocks and struts
While having bad shocks and struts wouldn't necessarily cause a driving hazard if motorists continue to drive on them, old parts have been proven to increase the distance it takes to stop the car on a rough surface, which could cause an accident or prevent the driver from stopping in time to avoid potholes or other obstructions on the road.

Increased swaying of the body could also increase the risk of skidding when there are unfavorable weather conditions that leave the roads wet. Suspension wear could also be an effect of the worn shocks and struts.

The most common reasons people have their shocks and struts replaced is to improve overall riding quality, in addition to firming up the suspension and restoring proper ride control.

Premium gas charged shocks or struts are now an option for motorists looking to have a smoother ride on roads. Gas charged shocks and struts have high pressure nitrogen gas that helps minimize foaming in the hydraulic fluid inside the shock, which lessens the fade on rough roads and maintains a better ride control for the driver.

Maintaining the best performance on a vehicle's brakes are also important. Improving performance by having a vehicle checked between the transition of seasons could be the difference in smooth sailing and being involved in an accident.