Shocks & Struts


9 SIGNS OF WORN SHOCKS: How do you know if you need new shocks or struts? If your original shocks or struts are worn out, damaged or leaking, it’s time to get them replaced. Typically every 30,000 – 60,000 miles you should have them inspected. Worn shocks = Less vehicle control. Bring your car by Menlo Park Chevron for an inspection of your shocks and struts if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms. 


Panic Stopping: What if the tires can’t grip well? As shocks/struts wear and the tire to road contact becomes less effective, the vehicle can’t stop as well

Nose Dive: When you apply the brakes, the tires begin stopping but the vehicle body inertia tries to keep going forward. The result thrusts the front end downward and the back end upward. This imbalance puts stress on the front brakes and reduces the rear brake’s efficiency. The effect then makes controlling and steering the vehicle more difficult.

Body Roll: During cornering the vehicle body weight tries to lift & roll toward the outside of the turn. Controlling the weight shift or slowing the vehicle speed are the only ways to reduce the effect.


Ride Harshness: Small bumps and tire movements are transmitted throughout the vehicle. The ride can feel rough, harsh and noisy. This abrupt action affects both driver comfort and tire performance. The result is traction loss and usually along with that, less vehicle satisfaction.


Acceleration Squat: During initial acceleration, like when leaving a stop, the front end rises and the back end lowers. Front end rise is controlled by the rebound damping in the shock. On a front wheel drive vehicle this results in traction loss and reduces steering control.


Traction Loss: This can occur during braking, accelerating or cornering. When the tires can’t grip the road, for any reason at all, the result is loss of control: When the tires are bouncing or the vehicle body inertia is lifting or pushing the tires; when the tire tread is worn; when the tires are improperly inflated; or when the shocks and struts aren’t controlling tire and body movements.

Bottom Out: Reacting to a bump is normal. But when the tire is allowed to over-react and move upward too aggressively, the travel must be stopped by a cushion or bumper stop. This is an indication that either the vehicle is being operated beyond its normal ability, such as being over-loaded or being driven too harshly. Or it could mean that the shocks are worn and can no longer resist wheel movement adequately.


Swerve: Excessive left to right or sideways movements from; wind gusts, road conditions and steering movements. The shock or strut on one side is controlling a compression (or downward) movement while the opposite side is controlling a rebound (upward) movement. Steering corrections are required and can become difficult as the condition worsens.

Tire Cupping: When the tire is allowed to move up & down excessively, a rhythmic movement develops and an evenly-spaced wear pattern begins. Unlike tire balance conditions, the wear pattern frequency is greater from shorter tire movements that are not being dampened by worn shocks or struts. As the condition worsens, tire noise occurs along with traction loss and of course… tire damage.

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