Tires, Brakes, Shocks & Struts
No, you don’t have to go to a separate auto repair shop to keep “your wheels” in tip-top shape! Here at My Mechanic, we offer a full range of services designed to keep your car running smoothly and safely, including:
Shocks and struts
… and much more!
“The guys at My Mechanic are totally cool. When I had a flat they fixed it. Then they showed me the second tire that was about to go, too. They educated me on how I could watch for trouble in the future…pretty important, since this is my first car ever!”-R. Webster, Cary, NC
Ideally, you should get your tires, brakes, shocks, and struts checked for signs of trouble every 6 months, and set aside what you’d need to make necessary repairs at that time. However, if these regular maintenance checks slip your mind, you still don’t have to find yourself caught off guard and stranded on the side of the road. You just need to learn the signs that these important systems require your attention.
Signs Your Tires Are in Trouble
Watch these indicators for signs your tires are in trouble.
Your treads should be at least 1/16th of an inch deep. Most people check them by inserting a penny into the tread. The tread should swallow the President’s head. You can also look for small diagonal lines called “wear bars,” which you won’t ever see on a brand new tire.Uneven tread wear is an issue too. You want a good, deep tread on every part of the tire. If one section is worn and the rest are fine you still have a dangerous problem to deal with.
Obviously, cracks, cuts, and punctures are all big issues. And you should never see a bulge or a blister on your tire. Trust us—that is not normal. Any of these signs could represent a weakness in the tire, and if you’re seeing it, your tire could blow at any minute.
You never want to hear shaking and rattling when you get on the road. The best-case scenario is your wheels need to be realigned or rebalanced. Worst case? Your rims could be bent or damaged. Either problem represents a safety hazard, and this means it’s a good idea to make repairs a priority.
Signs Your Brakes Need to Be Serviced
Your brakes are arguably the most important safety feature on your vehicle. Retain your stopping power by keeping an eye on these trouble signals.
Squealing or Grinding Noises
This is usually a sign that your brake pads have worn down. Fix this fast to avoid expensive rotor repairs.
Slow Response Time
Does your car slide forward in an alarming fashion for several out-of-control seconds before finally lurching to a stop? You’re low on brake fluid, or your brake fluid is leaking. This is “situation critical” as your brakes will soon stop responding altogether.
Your car should never pull to one side when you brake. This is a sign the brake lines need attention.
Vibrating Brake Pedal
This would mean warped rotors or alignment problems. Again, this symptom is no laughing matter, and you should schedule service right away.
Signs Your Shocks and Struts Need Repairs
Shocks and struts offer your vehicle control and stability. There are four signs to watch out for.
Your car should not bounce up and down the road. The occasional bounce is normal if you’ve hit a pothole or a speed bump, but a tooth-rattling cruise down the highway is not.
You may experience this either at the front of the vehicle or at the back. You’ll see it happen either when you brake, accelerate, or turn. It can be particularly alarming at the front of the car, since it will look like your front bumper is trying to kiss the road.
Cup Shaped Scarring on Tires
Your tires will have to be replaced if this starts happening, but the tires won’t be the problem. The cupping scars are created when the car bounces up and down the road.
As we’ve mentioned before, leaks are never a good sign. Your shocks and struts run on hydraulic fluid. This won’t always pool under the car though—your struts and shocks may simply develop an oily residue. When the fluid is gone altogether the pistons could lock up.