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My Car Is Bouncing - Do I Need Shocks or Struts?

Have you noticed that your car has been bouncing excessively while driving? While it might be fun the first few times it happens, it starts to get frustrating. This can be an unsettling experience and may indicate a problem with your vehicle's suspension system. Two common components that contribute to the smoothness of your ride are shocks and struts. But which one is causing the bouncing sensation? Let's explore the differences between shocks and struts and how to identify the issue.

Shocks and struts are both part of the suspension system and serve a similar purpose of absorbing shocks and vibrations. However, they have distinct roles and designs:


Shocks, also known as shock absorbers, are individual components typically found in vehicles with a separate suspension setup. Their primary function is to control the up-and-down movement of the vehicle's suspension. Shocks dampen the spring oscillation, preventing excessive bouncing or jolting.

Signs of worn-out shocks include:

  • Excessive bouncing after hitting bumps or uneven road surfaces.
  • Longer stopping distance or poor vehicle stability during braking.
  • Nose-diving or squatting when accelerating or decelerating.
  • Uneven tire wear or cupping.
  • A noticeable oil leak on the shocks' exterior.


Struts are a structural part of the suspension system - they incorporate a shock absorber within a coil spring assembly and play a more integral role in the overall suspension design. Struts provide support, contribute to vehicle stability, and help maintain tire contact with the road.

Signs of worn-out struts include:

  • Excessive bouncing or swaying, especially during turns.
  • Front-end diving or rear-end squatting during braking or acceleration.
  • Uneven tire wear or cupping.
  • Clunking or knocking noises when driving over bumps or rough surfaces.
  • Fluid leakage around the strut assembly.

Diagnosing the Issue

To determine whether you need shocks or struts, it's best to consult a professional mechanic. They will conduct a thorough inspection of your suspension system and assess the condition of the components. By examining the signs of wear, fluid leaks, or structural damage, they can pinpoint the specific problem and recommend the appropriate solution.

Suspension System Inspections And Repairs At Mancinelli's Auto Repair Center!

If your suspension system is acting weird or bouncing you around too much, make sure you visit our shop so we can take a look!

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