Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Shake, Rattle, and Roll | Certified Automotive

Shake, Rattle, and Roll could be the description of an earthquake. It was also a song recorded by Elvis, the man some call the King of Rock and Roll. But if you want to be king (or queen) of the road, having worn out shocks and struts will shake you right off your throne—no earthquake needed! When your suspension system is operating efficiently, it takes a beating, so you don’t have to. 

On the other hand, when it’s not working well, your ride is anything but smooth. Are you experiencing the following as you drive?

  • Bounce — The compression of the spring and damper of the shock absorber keeps your wheels on the asphalt. When compromised, you will feel the car jump when it hits a bump.

  • Sway and Roll — When you take a turn, does the body of your car tilt? Sways and rolls happen when worn out suspension system parts allow gravity to compress the outside of the car and lift the inside during a turn. Your car should feel solid while turning.

  • Diving and Squatting — Coming to a stop, does the nose of your car dive down? Squatting occurs when the rear of the car dips during hard acceleration. Each might mean that your suspension system is not operating efficiently.

  • Rattling — hearing loud noises such as clunking and rattling could mean a number of things, the main one being that it’s time to bring your car into a trusted professional!

Any one of these indications means it might be time to replace your shocks or struts. Your suspension system eases the pain of driving through road construction zones and stabilizes you as you run into bumps in the road. We take the system for granted as we brake, hit the gas pedal or navigate turns. But the above indications are like having a toothache. Treat it early and you have minimal pain, damage, and cost. If you wait, it begins to affect other parts of your car, such as your tires.  

So, what should you do? In an earthquake, try to find something solid to crawl under. While you’re down there, take some time to listen to the original Joe Turner version of Shake, Rattle, and Roll — considered to be 126th of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine. And when that pothole feels like it will rattle the fillings out of your teeth, call the professional at Certified Automotive Specialists a call at 253-854-6762 or schedule your appointment online today!

Smooth Ride? Thank Your Suspension System!

Sure, the road of life can be bumpy. SoCal roads can be even bumpier! But you don’t need to get jolted at every pothole and gap in the asphalt. At least, not if your suspension system is operating right.

A suspension system is something you don’t notice until it stops working properly. What are some of the obvious signs your suspension system is not doing its job? Feeling every shake and bounce is, of course, the plainest signal and means you might be having trouble with shock absorbers or struts. Another symptom is your car pulling to one side of the road, though this could also be caused by your tires or brakes. Other signs include one corner of your car looking lower than the rest of the vehicle or hearing “clunking” as you drive over even small bumps. There are many more including leaking shock absorbers, difficulty when steering, or swaying while turning or stopping.

What Is Your Car’s Suspension?

Your suspension system is a spring-like structure. It is attached by the sides of the wheels and enables the frame to hold the weight of the body. It maximizes the friction between the tires and the road surface. This provides steering stability, good handling, and comfort.

Most cars are more than one ton of metal and they hurtle down the road at high speed. Even if the road surface looks smooth, without its suspension system, you and your car would be shaken to pieces. The suspension system allows the body and frame to move independent and undisturbed. It allows the wheels to take the bumps and lumps, not you. Your springs do the bulk of the work absorbing the thud and smash of driving down the street—your shock absorbers dampen all that springing so you are not riding a bucking bronco!

When your life gets bumpy, at least the driving around part, give Certified Automotive Specialists a call at 253-854-6762 or schedule your appointment online today!

Time Out: Suspension Problems in Glendora

Your vehicle’s suspension system has two vital jobs: to prevent the passengers from getting tossed around inside the vehicle every time it hits a bump in the road and to keep the tires firmly planted on the road around every corner and over every bump.

To see your suspension system, you’ll have to look under your vehicle. Anything that connects the wheels to the vehicle’s frame is part of the suspension system. They’re heavy-duty parts that work hard while you’re driving and take a lot of wear and tear. Because of this, you should have your reliable Certified Auto Specialists tech look at them once a year as part of your preventive maintenance routine. A good time for a diagnostic examination is every time you get your alignment checked.

If your suspension is in trouble, you often feel it in how your vehicle drives. If the vehicle pulls to one side or wanders, if the steering is erratic, if your ride isn’t as smooth as it should be, or if your vehicle handles poorly, you should get a diagnostic examination of your suspension system. Uneven tire wear can also indicate worn parts in your suspension system. If your shocks are leaking oil then they definitely need to be replaced. All in all, if you don’t feel in control when you’re driving, go get your suspension inspected.

Shocks and struts wear out. Wheel bearings may need to be repacked every few years. Some parts of your suspension may need to be lubricated whenever you change your oil. Preventive maintenance is the key to keeping your vehicle under control. Good car care can prevent accidents for Los Angeles auto owners.

If you are in an accident, even a minor one, it can damage your suspension system or knock your wheels out of alignment. Even hitting a curb, pothole or large rock can damage your suspension. A wheel balancing or alignment won’t correct a suspension problem, and after any suspension work, you’ll may need to get an alignment.

At Certified Auto Specialists, we advise Glendora motorists never to procrastinate critical repairs to their suspension system. A damaged suspension system can lead to loss of control of a vehicle in an emergency situation and serious accidents.

Potholes are unsightly nuisances around Glendora, but they’re also a major cause of suspension damage for Glendora car owners. To avoid this, Glendora motorists should always keep their tires properly inflated. This gives the tires maximum resiliency. When you’re driving around the Los Angeles area, avoid potholes if possible. If you can’t avoid one, then slow down before driving over it. Slower speeds limit pothole damage. But if you’re a little late detecting a pothole, don’t brake on top of it. This will throw the vehicle’s weight forward and increase the damage.

The suspension system may not be pretty to look at, but it provides Glendora car owners with a safe, comfortable ride — as long as they maintain it properly. You don’t have to show it off, but you should be proud of it.

Problems with Suspension Solved at Certified Auto Specialists in Glendora

A vehicle’s suspension system is tough. It can last for years and tens of thousands of miles for Glendora car owners. But it can be damaged quickly by hitting a pothole, curb or rock, and it can wear more quickly if you frequently drive off-road or on bumpy roads. A workhorse vehicle — one that hauls heavy loads — is also going to be hard on its suspension system.

Because the useful life of your suspension system contains these elements of unpredictability, it is important for Glendora drivers to have them inspected periodically. Worn, broken and missing parts can be identified during a diagnostic examination. An ineffective suspension system will cut down the driver’s control over a vehicle, so when it is damaged it frequently leads to the worst kind of vehicular damage — dangerous and expensive accidents.

The suspension system is composed of springs and shock absorbers (or shocks). Springs suspend the weight of the vehicle above its axles. They allow the vehicle to “bounce” over bumps, which reduces the force of the impact on the vehicle. Shocks impair the rebound of the “bounce,” smoothing out the ride of the vehicle. They also force the tires to retain constant contact with the road. Shocks are responsible for “handling performance,” or the ease with which the driver controls the vehicle.

The springs in the suspension system are heavy-duty and rarely break or wear out. Shock absorbers are tough, too, but they will wear out.

Your sedan might be equipped with struts. Struts are a combination spring and shock absorber. Struts, like shocks, have a limited life span.

Inspecting shocks or struts for damage and wear should be part of your preventive maintenance routine. Since a good suspension system is ultimately an important safety feature of your vehicle, it’s always better to be proactive about its care. In this case, good car care can prevent accidents.

There are some signs that will warn you that your suspension system may be in need of important attention. One of the signs might be a cupped wear pattern on your tires. This is caused by the shocks bouncing unevenly. Other essential signs of bad shocks manifest themselves in the handling performance of your vehicle. You may notice a drifting sensation when cornering, often referred to as a “floaty” feeling. If the front of your vehicle dips significantly when you brake or if it rocks back and forth after stopping, it’s time for new shocks. Your reliable Certified Auto Specialists service advisor will check your shocks visually. If they’re leaking, they need to be replaced.

Any of these symptoms warrants a diagnostic examination of the suspension system. You should also get your suspension system inspected if you are involved in an accident involving one of your wheels. Glendora auto owners should never put off suspension repairs. If you actually experience suspension system failure, it can cause a serious accident. If one of your shocks needs to be replaced, then replace all four of them. This allows for even handling of the vehicle. Replacing just one of the shocks is rarely good auto advice.

When you replace your shocks or struts, use parts that are equivalent to or better than the original shocks on the sedan. The original equipment was established for the weight and expected use of the vehicle, and Glendora drivers should never downgrade.

Upgrading, however, is another matter for Glendora auto owners. If your suspension system gets a workout or you just want to improve your sedan’s handling performance, then you should think about upgrading to a better shock. If you haul heavy loads around Glendora or tow a trailer, then you should definitely reflect on getting heavy-duty shocks.

Most Glendora drivers are not likely to show off their suspension system to anyone admiring their sedan, but it’s critical just the same. In the end, it’s something all of us Glendora drivers can be passionate about.

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