One of the few good things about having a Building Supply place next door (Aside from the fact they’ve been great neighbors forever!) is the omnipresent film of fine dust that ultimately coats just about everything…
The way it makes identifying steering and suspension problems easier to spot, especially a couple of hours after it rains. The fine particles coat the driveway with a powder that adheres to just about anything, especially tires that are “hot” and “sticky” from the normal resistance and friction of supporting your vehicle.
If a tire is worn unevenly, it’s almost impossible NOT to see the wear pattern or identify the potential cause. The parts of the tread that are in contact with the ground are covered with that chalky film we were talking about a moment ago and are light in color; while the parts that are dark indicate where the rubber is worn away from violent contact with the surface of the road and no longer contacts the asphalt or concrete.
In this case, it’s front and rear McPherson Struts that are no longer capable of absorbing the normal shock of contact with irregularities in the pavement: irregularities like potholes, bumps, debris, driveways, curbs and more.
You drive over a hole in the road and the shock absorber or strut ‘drops’ to meet the bottom of that depression. Then, almost immediately, it hits the edge and the extreme force compresses the suspension as the tire claws its way out of the hole in the road. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The energy that is generated as a result of that compression is released with a force at least equal to the force that created it, and the tire and wheel rocket toward the ground.
If the struts or shock absorbers are no longer able to dampen that force: the forces that result in compression or the force released afterwards, the tire slams into the ground erasing bits and pieces of the tread in the process. Couple this with weak or worn struts, shocks, springs and bushings, high or low tire pressure, weak or worn steering linkage components that can and will adversely impact steering geometry (alignment) and the one thing you can be sure of is a premature visit to the local tire store.
These forces are unavoidable in the context of normal driving, especially with highways and surface streets in their present condition. What is avoidable is the damage and premature tire wear that will certainly occur if these conditions are undiscovered or are left unattended.
That’s where we come in. We’re here to keep your family safe and your vehicle on the road. It’s our job to help identify wheel, tire, steering and suspension problems before they metastasize into something costly; or, worse yet, dangerous. Just as it’s our responsibility to help you prioritize the necessary service, maintenance or repairs necessary to help ensure the longest service life at the lowest possible cost.
Remember, we’re Schneider’s Automotive Repair: Automotive Service That Won’t Make You Nervous!
Tags: alignment, Bushings, component wear, consumer, impact, inspection, McPherson Strut, Mitch Schneider, Mitch Schneider's World, mitchschneidersworld, scalloped, Shock Absorber, Springs, steering, struts, suspension, tire wear
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