Shocks and Struts: Why My Car Nose Dives When Braking

Shocks and Struts: Why My Car Nose Dives When Braking

Your vehicle’s suspension system is vital to more than just a smooth ride. Worn suspension components can drastically affect your braking efficiency, your ability to maintain control of the vehicle, and the vehicle’s overall stability. When worn parts go without maintenance such as shocks and struts; auto suspension failures are almost certain to occur. 

These vital systems are degraded over a long period of time; many thousands of miles. It may not be easily noticed over this long-time span but the ride is becoming rougher, whether it seems like it or not. For this reason, you should always keep a certain level of attentiveness toward the functionality of your vehicle’s suspension. 

“How Will I Know It’s Time for Suspension Maintenance?”

 My Car is Making Noises

Under normal conditions, while driving at speed, you shouldn’t hear any irregular metal noises. These noises can vary greatly, but may include:

  • Rattling 
  • Knocking 
  • Grinding 
  • Clinking

They may also include non-metallic noises such as:

  • Screeching 
  • Humming 
  • Vibrating
  • Booming 

My Car isn’t Driving Right

Sound is a pretty good general indicator that it’s time for maintenance, but there are ways to be certain of whether or not it’s your suspension. Some of the more “felt” symptoms also vary in nature but can be described as:

  • Swaying (especially at highway speeds)
  • Diving (when coming to a complete stop)
  • Squatting (when accelerating from a stop)
  • Drifting
  • Floating
  • Leaning (when turning)
  • “Painful” Crunching (from hitting even small potholes)
  • Loose Steering

My Tires or Brakes Need More Attention Than Usual

Other vital parts of your vehicle will wear down much faster when suspension components such as shock absorbers and struts are compromised. This will lead to constant required upkeep on these other components. It may be time for suspension maintenance if any of these are a regular problem for your vehicle:

  • Tire tread quickly wears down
  • Tires constantly need air
  • Brake pads & rotors or drums need to be changed frequently

Otherwise, you can always take a peek underneath to look for obvious signs of suspension damage. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for then it’s advised to leave it to the technicians. However, if you notice any fluids coming from the proximal (inside/backside) side of the tires, that is a bad sign and should be checked by a technician immediately.

“Where Should I Go for Shocks and Struts?”


Never let the “backyard mechanic” do any work that may jeopardize your or your family’s safety! If you want the work done correctly, safely, and professionally then you need an ASE-certified shop with experienced technicians like the ones we have at Wentworth Automotive! 

Family owned and operated in San Diego, since 1998; at Wentworth Automotive, we pride ourselves on our commitment to excellence and providing a great customer service experience! We are your dealership alternative for everything gasoline, diesel, and hybrid, whether you’re needing maintenance or full repair. This is on top of our industry-leading 100,000-mile warranty!

Click the link HERE to make an appointment with us today!