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Where We Take Better Care
Of Your Car

Serving the Longmont, Colorado Area

March 2016 Newsletter

march header

Between cold mornings and warm and sunny afternoons, it’s hard to tell what season it is, here in Colorado. March 1st marks the meteorological beginning of Spring, and March 20th, the spring equinox, signifies the astronomical and widely recognized first day of Spring. As wonderful as this sounds, we all know winter isn’t releasing its icy grip just yet – surprise snow storms are always a possibility up until June, but here’s hoping to a nice seasonal transition this year. At least we have two holidays this month to help us forget about winter for a while: St. Patrick’s Day and St. Urho’s Day!

St. Patrick's Day

March 17th is believed to have been St. Patrick’s day of death, thus making it his Feast Day. The patron saint of Ireland is celebrated widely by people of all nations, but in Ireland, it is a 5-day affair, full of parades, concerts, outdoor theatrical performances, and of course, fireworks. St. Patrick is known for his iconic use of the shamrock for evangelism towards the pagan Irish and legendary banishment of serpents from the Green Isle.

St. Urho's Day

St. Urho is the mythical “patron saint of Finland” conjured up by a Menagha, Minnesota native. The legend states St. Urho saved vineyard crops from a plague of grasshoppers by chanting in Finnish, telling them to go away, much like St. Patrick banished snakes from the island of Ireland. Many believe the invention of St. Urho was simply to give Finns similar recognition to the Irish, and to extend the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day another 24 hours. The people of Menagha, MN celebrate St. Urho by parading to the statue, wearing purple and green, and chanting “Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen” (grasshopper, grasshopper, go away!).

spring is coming graphic
You’re thinking about road-tripping out to Minnesota for the St. Urho festivities, one thing that can make your journey a little too bouncy is worn shocks or struts, leaving your vehicle riding on the springs. Worn shocks or struts can cause a number of issues, increased wear on tires and other suspension components, increased stopping distances, less control when cornering or dealing with cross winds on the highway, not to mention an increase in complaints from passengers due to the bouncy ride. Before we get too far along here, what is the difference between a shock and a strut?
strut vs shock

A strut is an integral part of the suspension, providing a place for the spring to mount, acting as a pivot point for the steering angle, and performs like a shock in keeping the associated tire firmly planted on the ground to maintain maximum traction. Struts often have an upper bearing plate as a mount to allow it to rotate when mounted on the front of a vehicle. Struts mounted on the rear of a vehicle do not rotate, and simply have an upper mount.

Shocks are very similar in design to a strut in the fact they help keep the tire mated to the pavement, but do not pivot or rotate. Unlike struts, shocks do not contribute to ride height or structure. You can drive a vehicle without shocks – it would be awful – but still driveable. You cannot drive a vehicle without struts, as they are a required component of the suspension – without them, you have no way to turn the wheels, let alone keep the vehicle off the ground.


About the Author

Brandon is a Colorado transplant from Pennsylvania and has been in the automotive industry since 2005. He graduated from Harrisburg Area Community College through the GM Automotive Excellence Service Program (ASEP) and specialized in the Duramax Diesel engine. Brandon is not only a service advisor for the company, but also manages the website, Facebook page, and writes the monthly newsletter.

DeMers Automotive
1533 N Main St.
Longmont, CO 80501

Phone: 303-776-3666
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.