If you’re noticing that driving over bumps and driveways is beginning to rattle your spine, you may have some worn out shocks and struts. Not all vehicles have both, however, because the strut is actually a total suspension assembly including a shock. Some autos have just a simple spring system.

The springs in a suspension system, or adjacent to a strut, dampen the impact of a bump or pothole. The strut prevents the springs from bouncing back and forth after a bump. Thus, the two work together to create a smoother ride. Shocks and struts also make for better control of the vehicle.

Some signs that your suspension system is in need of repair include 1) difficulty managing turns with bouncing or swaying, 2) hitting hard on bumps, 3) an appearance that the rear end is lowered, 4) the rear end drops with pressing the gas and 5) the front end drops with pressing the brake.

Keeping your shocks and struts in good repair not only makes for a smoother ride, but can also help protect damage from occurring to the steering linkage, the CV joints, the ball joints, and even the tires, due to suspension problems.

Anytime you go into your Utah auto repair center for repair or simple maintenance, it doesn’t take much for a quick check of the shocks and struts. So, next time you get an oil change, ask the mechanic to have a look. Maintaining your suspension system is always preferable to later more expensive repairs.