Suspension systems function effectively for many years and tens of thousands of miles. Eventually, however, van suspension components do wear out, but how long that takes depends a lot on how you drive around Chesapeake and Norfolk.
As you can imagine, if most of your driving is on smooth Virginia highways, your shock absorbers will last a lot longer than if you do most of your driving on bumpy Chesapeake roads or haul heavy loads. In addition to just wearing out, van suspension components can be damaged in an accident or by a hard impact – like a pothole, hitting a curb or a rock in the road. Because the life span of shocks can vary so widely, van vehicle manufacturers recommend periodic inspections.
During an inspection at West Service Center, Inc. in Chesapeake, your honest automotive service technician will check for worn, broken or missing parts.
Here’s a quick rundown of suspension system components:
First there are the springs which hold the weight of your van. There are several varieties of springs. Springs are obviously heavy duty parts that rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers work in conjunction with springs to smooth out the ride and help keep the tires on the road. Good shocks are essential for handling performance and ride comfort.
You’ve probably heard of struts. They combine a shock absorber and a coil spring in one unit. Shocks and struts will wear out over time. If your tires develop a cupped wear pattern, your shocks or struts may be wearing out. This is from the shocks bouncing unevenly. You may notice a floaty or drifting sensation when cornering. If the front of your van dives excessively when stopping, or rocks back and forth after you’ve stopped, your shocks may be worn out. And if they are leaking fluid, it’s definitely time to replace them at West Service Center, Inc..
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, visit West Service Center, Inc. for a suspension inspection. Same if you’ve been in an accident that involved one of your wheels. If your van suspension actually fails, it could lead to a serious accident, so don’t put it off.
When you replace your shocks, it’s usually a good idea to replace all four at the same time. That’ll give you more even handling. Talk with your West Service Center, Inc. technician because you don’t want a big difference between the performance of your shocks from wheel to wheel, and replacing all may be the safest bet.
There are different grades of shocks and struts. You always want to use a replacement shock or strut that equals the one that came as original equipment when your van was new. But remember, they were designed to meet the expected needs of the broad range of Norfolk people who buy that particular vehicle. Your needs may be more specialized.
For example, if you want increased handling performance, your honest West Service Center, Inc. advisor can recommend an upgraded shock or strut specially designed for improved handling. If you haul heavy loads or trailers, we can recommend some heavy duty shock absorbers.