Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tires Rely on Shock and Strut Performance

It’s easy to notice if your tires have uneven or excessive tread wear, spot a tell-tale coolant leak under your car or hear that grinding sound that tells you your brake pads need replacement. Shocks and struts are different.

Like other important vehicle systems, they do wear out over time, but often so gradually you don’t even notice. They’re also more difficult to inspect. But, because they’re an important part of your car’s suspension system, your shocks and struts should be inspected for wear and tear at least twice a year. And, you can depend on your local Michigan or Ohio tire store to have ASE Certified Technicians with the training, tools and quality replacement shocks and struts from Tenneco to do the job right.

Suspension Basics
Most suspension systems have three primary components: coil springs, anti-sway bars and shocks or struts. Coil springs support most of the weight of the vehicle, maintain proper ride height and also help resist pitch and dip when you accelerate or stop. Anti-roll bars, sometimes called anti-sway bars, connect the left and right suspension systems to the frame and help resist sway or body roll during cornering.

A shock absorber, also called a damper, is an oil or gas filled tube that helps the coil springs and anti-roll-bars work more effectively by preventing unwanted motion in the suspension system. It converts kinetic energy created by the up and down motion of the tires into heat energy by forcing fluid or gas through a series of control valves inside itself. A strut is a single, self contained unit that integrates a shock absorber within a coil spring. In addition to absorbing road shock, noise and vibration, shocks or struts play an important role in keeping your tires firmly planted to the road every time you accelerate, stop, corner or hit a bump.

When is it Time for New Shocks and Struts?
Most vehicle owner manuals recommend frequent shock and strut inspection and replacement every 50,000 miles, depending on your personal driving habits. However, any of the following warning signs can tell you if your shocks and struts might need replacement.

  • Pitching or dipping – Coil springs can’t do it all. If you experience excessive pitching or dipping whenever you accelerate or stop, your shocks or struts may need replacement.
  • Body roll – Anti-roll or sway bars also can’t do it all. If you experience excessive body roll as you go around corners, it’s time to check your shocks or struts.
  • Tire bounce or hop – If your tires bounce, hop or lose contact with the road after you hit a bump, it’s a sign your shocks or struts may need replacement.
  • Fluid leaks – As shocks or struts wear, the seals that contain the fluid or gas inside them can begin to leak. Streaks of fluid that look like tears on the outside of the shock or strut tube are a sure sign of a fluid leak.
  • Excessive tire wear – Cupping is a type of excessive tire wear associated with worn out shocks or struts. If you see a diagonal wear pattern across the tread of a tire, worn-out shocks or struts may be the problem.

Why spend your time bouncing through even minor bumps in the road, swaying through corners and replacing your tires more frequently then you should? Visit your local Ohio or Michigan tire store and have an ASE Certified Technician inspect and replace your shocks or struts if necessary. You’ll not only enjoy a smoother more comfortable ride, you’ll also maximize the performance and tread life of your tires.

About Belle Tire

Allen Park, Mich.-based Belle Tire was founded in 1922 when it opened the first Belle Tire location in Detroit, Mich. Today, the company has expanded to 80 locations across Michigan and Ohio. Belle Tire offers discount tires and variety of car care needs, ranging from auto glass repair, auto glass replacement, brakes, alignments, batteries, shocks and struts, exhaust system repair, batteries, and oil changes. For more information about Belle Tire, visit Join the Belle Tire Advantage today,

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1 comment:

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