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2005 Buick Allure

General Motors

I drive a four-door 2007 Buick Allure V-6. Current mileage is just over 100,000 kilometres. Vehicle is in good condition with new summer tires. Our streets are infamous for their potholes and uneven paved surfaces. My car seems lately to "hit hard"' when I encounter these road conditions, but behaves well on good roads (i.e., highway driving). A local tire repair shop (I had a tire rotation and an oil change) told me that I should consider new shocks and struts – approximate cost, including parts, labour and taxes, plus a wheel alignment, about $2,300, Wow, quite a shock' for a retired senior on a fixed income. – Gerald in Cranbrook, B.C.

That price does not seem too far out of whack for a complete new set and attendant labour and, at that mileage, depending on the conditions the car was driven under, it may be due for a change.

Shop around at both GM dealers and recognized aftermarket shops and you may save a few hundred dollars.

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To tell if the shocks are shot, push down on each corner of the car repeatedly until you get a good rocking motion going; after one hard push down, let go and watch the car. If it continues to bob up and down more than one rotation, the shocks are likely gone on that corner. If it stops instantly, the shocks may be okay and you are just more sensitive to the bumps, they have become worse or the new and different tires are less forgiving.

Send your automotive maintenance and repair questions to globedrive@globeandmail.com

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