Volvo 145: Shock and Strut Maintenance
It doesn't have to feel like you're on a roller coaster ride. Your Volvo 145 can ride so smoothly if only you take good care of your vehicle's shocks/struts and other vital parts of the suspension system. With good shocks and struts, the vehicle won't bounce excessively. They can dampen vibrations and forces on the road effectively. You can survive through the tight turns and the rough patches on the road as the shocks/struts stabilize the vehicle body movement and provides good suspension. This gives you better control and more predictable steering even for an old vehicle. To prevent your shocks/struts and vital parts of suspension from giving you trouble on the road, check out some of these maintenance tips:
The shocks/struts keep the vehicle balanced and stable as they keep the ride as smooth as possible. If these suspension parts are starting to wear out, there are more than a few signs to watch out for. The vehicle tends to nosedive when braking, for instance. You may also notice that the vehicle is bouncing excessively after hitting a bump or driving through a pothole. The ride seems stiff and can feel quite unstable, especially when running at high speeds. Steering isn't as responsive as before and the vehicle may lean, roll, or sway a bit more than usual when turning. When you experience any of these symptoms, you might as well have these suspension components inspected. Upon inspection, you may find out that there's a fluid leak or that they're bodies are dented or damaged. Along with this, you may spot broken or corroded bushings or mounts. Bad shocks/struts may also cause uneven tire wear. At this point, you have to replace them before they put more stress on other suspension components or cause premature tire damage. The shocks/struts should be checked and serviced regularly. Consult the vehicle manual for the recommended service life and replacement. It will be best to replace them by set so that performance will be even in all four wheels. And while at it, you might as well take a look at other suspension components.
Springs work along with the shocks/struts in dampening road impact. They also provide support to the vehicle weight and ensure tire-ground contact. These springs have an effect on vehicle handling, ride smoothness, and ground clearance. They should be checked at regular intervals together with other suspension parts, such as the shocks/struts, bushings, and sway bar links. This will give you a heads-up on the real condition of the springs, whether they're corroded, cracked, or weak.
Bushings minimize friction between metal parts. They also serve as some sort of a cushion and can isolate vibrations. Over time, they may break due to prolonged compression or deterioration as an effect of extreme weather and exposure to chemicals like oil. Road conditions, driver habits, and driving situations are factors affecting the condition and life of the bushings. The bushings should be checked at regular intervals along with the shocks/struts, springs, and the rest of the suspension to be able to replace them even before they get completely damaged. The vehicle most likely has bad bushings if excessive vibration and road noise can be noticed from the cabin, there seems to be creaks or banging from the fenders, loose steering is felt, and rattling occurs because of the impact on the road.