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November 14, 2017 @ 12:00am

Car-X Des Moines shocks, struts, and springs

When it comes down to how your car handles, the suspension system is the most important thing. Many people are aware that they have a suspension system on their car, but most people couldn’t tell you what it does or how it works. We at Car-X would like to take this time to break down three of the most important parts of a suspension system: the shocks, struts, and springs. Although suspension units are quite complex, these three units of it are the most important parts in understanding how they work and when you should have them serviced.


When you look right above the wheel of a vehicle, you can visibly see the shocks. Shocks are the pole-looking device that allows you to drive down roads and feel as if you are gliding, even when the surface beneath your vehicle is quite bumpy. As the road, gravel, hills, and even gravity battles your car with opposing forces, shocks keep your car handling smoothly. Due to the constant stress they are put under, shocks can wear out in as little 25,000-30,000 miles. We at Car-X recommend having your shocks checked at least once a year. If your car is riding uncomfortably, your shocks could be the reason why.


Struts are the most complex part of a suspension system. Where shocks have the singular job of keeping your car level from bouncing, struts are responsible for connecting the shocks and springs into a single unit on the chassis. However, not all cars have struts on them. Most front-wheel drive cars have what is known as the McPherson strut suspension system, which is only attached on the front set of wheels to the steering system. Struts are generally more common on lower-priced economy cars due to the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of having them installed over shocks. Struts will last longer than shocks, but should still be checked once every year.


Springs are commonly known ‘coil springs’ as well due to the their spiral shape that can be visibly seen right above the wheel of a car. However, there are a handful of different styles of springs such as leaf springs and coil over springs. Springs, especially when their is no strut system, are what the weight of the chassis sits upon.  Springs work with the shocks and struts to minimize the amount of bounce your car endures. With time, springs will begin to sag and your car can become dangerous to drive. We recommend having your springs checked once a year with the rest of your suspension system.

Car-X Des Moines - Your Central Iowa Automotive Shop

If you need suspension work, brake service, tire services, battery service, or any other car service, schedule an appointment with Car-X! We have locations in Altoona, Ames, Ankeny, Clive, Des Moines, Johnston, and West Des Moines. Did you know we have coupons available as well? We love to give back to the amazing community that has supported us over the years. Thank you for doing business with us and we look forward to many more years of serving central Iowa!

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