When Should I Replace My Shocks or Struts?

December 26, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

For the smoothest and most comfortable ride, quality shocks and struts are an important component. Shocks and struts tend to last for some time, but they can wear out, leading to the need for a qualified technician inspection. Let’s dive in a little deeper about changing your shocks and struts.

What Is the Difference Between Shocks and Struts?

Some people who aren’t very familiar with vehicles will use the terms shocks and struts interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. In addition, one cannot be swapped for the other.

Shocks are individual parts of the suspension that aid the absorption of the impact of the road by the coil springs. They also help to keep your vehicle on the road when hitting a bump rather than bouncing into the air.

Struts combine the coil spring and shock absorber into one component. They help to absorb bumps and jolts while also offering structural support for the vehicle. These have replaced the upper ball joint and control arm that older suspensions used.

Shocks or Struts: What’s on My Vehicle?

Most modern vehicles come equipped with two struts on the front axle and then two shocks on the rear axle. It is very rare to have just shocks on your vehicle, though it is possible to have struts on both axles. The same component will be on your vehicle from left to right, though.

Your vehicle will have both a left and a right shock/strut, and they should always be replaced at the same time. More often than not, if one side has worn down, then the other side has as well. The same is generally true for front and rear parts.

How Do You Know It’s Time to Replace Your Shocks or Struts?

As a general rule, shocks and struts will wear out somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 miles, at which time replacement is necessary. To ensure you catch the problem early and don’t cause more harm to your vehicle, here are a few signs to watch for so you know you need to replace your shocks/struts.

  • Bumpy Ride. One of the first signs you will notice is your vehicle bouncing out of control when you hit a bump. It is also one of the easiest signs replacement of shocks or struts is needed.
  • Leaking Fluid. If fluid is leaking, it is a sign that something is amiss somewhere. When the shock absorbers lack the necessary hydraulic fluid, they cannot properly absorb impacts from the road.
  • Uneven Tread. If you notice that your tires are cupping (wavy tread wear), this is a sign that your shocks or struts are deteriorating. Cupping of your tires will not only lead to the need for quicker tire replacement, but it will also impact the ability to stop quickly.

Shock or Strut Replacement

If you believe your shocks or struts are going bad on your vehicle, it is time to get a qualified technician inspection. A technician at Gabriel’s Automotive & Towing can examine your vehicle and determine whether your struts or shocks need to be replaced. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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