"Shocks and struts might not be readily visible to the consumer, but they play a major role in defining the vehicle's steering, stopping and stability characteristics," said Richard Alameddine, vice president of marketing for Tenneco Automotive. "Replacement at 50,000 miles is a sensible maintenance cycle that helps owners improve ride and handling performance and ensure adequate steering, handling and braking response in emergency situations."
Shocks and struts play key roles in maintaining consistent, firm tire-to-road contact by absorbing impacts and reducing vehicle pitch and roll. Without fully functional shocks and struts, a vehicle's tires can more easily lose traction, leading to reduced steering and braking control.
Third-party research has demonstrated the safety role of modern shocks and struts. In one series of tests, vehicles equipped with one 50-percent degraded shock absorber and three fully functional units required 4.3 percent more time and 5.7 percent greater distance to brake from 60 to zero miles per hour over uneven pavement. One popular SUV model required nearly 10 percent additional braking time in the same test conditions.
"Shocks and struts wear out gradually, so a driver might not notice significantly degraded ride and handling performance," Alameddine said. "The key is to replace these worn parts so your vehicle rides more like it did when it was new."
For more information on inspecting and replacing shocks and struts, visit www.monroe.com or contact your local automotive service provider.