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Potholes Can Be A Menace To Shocks And Struts

El Centro, California (NAPSI) - The most enduring memory of the winter of 2014 just might be the millions of potholes that continue to dish out punishment to drivers and passengers across the U.S. and Canada.

But abominable road conditions can cause more than just a bone-rattling ride; they can also damage important steering and suspension components, including shock absorbers and struts.

“Many drivers understand that their vehicles have taken a severe beating over the past several months, but they might not be able to detect some damage without having a professional technician inspect their steering and suspension system,” said Bill Dennie, director of ride control channel management for the Monroe® brand of shock absorbers and struts. “Because this damage can occur over a period of months rather than days, the driver might not notice how much worse his or her vehicle handles today as compared to last fall.”

Although potholes are a year-round issue in many regions, they are most prevalent during and immediately following winter due to repeated freeze-thaw cycles. By almost any measure, however, 2014 has been unusually painful and expensive for road repair crews and consumers.

Shocks and struts play important roles in safe driving by helping to deliver satisfactory steering, stopping and stability. Their damping action helps maintain movement of the vehicle’s suspension within safe limits. This, in turn, helps the brakes do their job by maintaining tire traction and distributing the vehicle’s weight across all four wheels. Shocks and struts also limit the transfer of vehicle weight from front to back when braking, and from side to side around turns. And properly functioning shocks and struts help protect tires from abnormal wear.

“Automotive repair shops have reported dramatic increases in tire and wheel damage as a result of potholes and other hazards related to winter weather. Your shocks, struts and other chassis components have faced the same abuse and in some cases might have experienced physical damage or accelerated wear,” Dennie said. “It’s a good idea to ask a service provider to inspect your steering and suspension system before making any road trips.”

To learn more about how shocks and struts contribute to driving safety, visit www.monroe.com or contact your automotive service provider.