When a vehicle is braking, the forward momentum of the car is largely absorbed by the vehicle's struts and shocks. If the struts or shocks fail, or are inadequate for the weight of the vehicle, the vehicle may nose dive while braking, causing increased braking time and a potential loss of steering ability.
How this system works:
As the main components in a vehicle’s suspension system, the struts help maintain ride height and comfort over a variety of terrain. Connected directly to the chassis of the vehicle, the strut assembly includes several different parts all related to the car’s ride. Struts do wear out over time and need to be replaced, but aggressive driving or driving off-road will wear struts out more quickly than driving defensively on well-maintained roads.
A vehicle’s shocks are there to keep the car from bouncing around while driving. Over time, shocks (essentially big springs) start to lose some of their ability to control the handling of the vehicle. When the shocks start to fail, a vehicle may be more susceptible to bouncing and may lurch forward when braking.
If you notice that your vehicle is nose diving when braking, you should have your shocks and struts examined by a mechanic.
Common reasons for this to happen:
Worn out Shocks: As shock absorbers age, the springs are unable to stay as rigid. This loss of rigidity causes a decrease in handling and may cause the vehicle to bounce when driving over uneven terrain. Failing shocks can also cause the vehicle to nose dive when braking.
Failing Struts: Struts will also wear out over time and ride height will be impacted by the failing components. If a vehicle begins to ride low, especially in the front of the vehicle, it may be more susceptible to nose diving while braking.
What to expect:
A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to determine any issues regarding the shocks or struts. The mechanic will then provide a detailed inspection report outlining the parts that may have failed and the cost of any repairs that need to be made.
How it's done:
A mechanic will first inspect your vehicle to determine what repairs need to be done. Because shock and strut components are easily accessible, a mechanic should be able to quickly identify the problem and begin necessary repairs. The mechanic will begin by raising the vehicle and removing the wheel to expose the shock. If a shock absorber needs to be replaced, the mechanic will remove the old shock and replace it with a new one. The mechanic will recommend that you replace both sides of the vehicle with new shocks to ensure consistent handling.
If the mechanic determines that a component of the strut assembly needs to be replaced, he or she will begin by removing the wheel and exposing the strut. The mechanic will the remove the bolts attaching the bottom of the strut to the steering knuckle and the bolts connecting the top of the strut to the engine bay. He or she will also remove the sway bar and brake line support if needed. The mechanic will then remove the old strut. Just like shocks, the mechanic will most likely recommend that you change both sides at the same time. When installing the new struts, the mechanic will compress the strut spring and install the new strut. Once installed, any components that may have been removed can be reconnected and the wheel replaced. When finished, the mechanic will visually inspect the vehicle to make sure there aren’t any inconsistencies with ride height.
How important is this service?
Replacing worn shocks and struts is not only an important issue comfort-wise, but it can also be a safety issue. Vehicles that do not ride properly, or suffer from worn parts, may not handle well and may nose dive while braking. These issues can cause the car to not brake as quickly and can cause a momentary loss of steering ability.