I live in Houston, TX, the fourth largest city in America.
The low cost of living, job opportunities, and cultural amenities make it appealing to the thousands of people who move here each week.
Houston is growing fast and with that growth comes growing pains.
Officials point out there are more and more people living in Houston and more cars, but funding for road repairs has remained flat.
Because of this lack of funding, Houston has a severe pothole problem.
Potholes are not only annoying, but they can also cause serious damage to your car.
According to a report by TRIP, a nonprofit transportation research group in Washington, Houstonians pay an additional $450 annually for wear and tear on vehicles from driving on rough roads.
But Houston isn’t the only city plagued by potholes.
Across the nation, cities are grappling with crumbling infrastructure, and the unfortunate fallout is borne by drivers navigating treacherous roads on their daily commutes.
The problem is exacerbated if your car has worn shocks and struts.
Like most safety-critical chassis components, shocks and struts wear out so gradually over the course of normal operation that the negative effects – reduced steering precision, stopping performance, and/or vehicle stability – might not be easily recognized in normal driving conditions.
But when you have to contend with potholes on a daily basis, the problem becomes evident.
Here is a quick assessment to determine if your shocks and struts need to be replaced:
- Does driving over small or large potholes, speed bumps, or road hazards seem unusually harsh?
- Does your vehicle bounce or float excessively?
- Is your vehicle difficult or stressful to control at highway speeds, during windy conditions, or when loaded?
- Does your vehicle dive, squat, roll or sway rapidly during steering or handling maneuvers?
- Does your vehicle lack directional stability on rough roads?
- Does the suspension top or bottom out abruptly?
- Do you hear any excessive or unusual noises from the suspension?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then you should have your shocks and struts inspected immediately.
Protect your safety and enhance your driving experience by ensuring the proper performance of your vehicle’s shocks and struts and other key under-car components with a Safety Triangle inspection.
The Safety Triangle inspection consists of examining critical interconnected components of your car that affect steering, stopping, and stability, you should ask to have one performed on your car anytime you bring it in for tire, brake, or alignment service.
Next time you visit your local service provider be sure to ask your professional technician to perform a Safety Triangle inspection for you.
By keeping your shocks and struts in top shape, you will improve your vehicle’s performance and save yourself money in the long run especially if you live in an area with poorly maintained roads.
Frederick J. Goodall is the Editor-in-Chief of Mocha Man Style, media spokesperson, event host, photographer, and a top social media influencer in Houston, TX. He likes to write about fashion, cars, travel, and health.