When is the Best Time to Replace Struts and Shock Absorbers?

What are shock absorbers (shocks) and struts?
Shocks and struts are essential parts of a vehicle suspension which absorb shocks from potholes, bumps, speed crashers and keep your vehicle riding comfortably. Most modern vehicles have struts in the front suspension and shocks or struts in the back.

Difference between strut and shock absorber
The difference between strut and shock is that a strut is built into one unit with the coil spring. Any four-wheeled vehicle has four struts or shock absorbers – one on each tire bay. Shocks are not built in.

Struts & shocks are maintenance-free
Your struts & shocks will allow you to drive 50,000 miles hassle free. Despite the fact that there is no maintenance care there can be times when they go bad because you have hit an unusual pothole or you have driven in a difficult rocky land (despite knowing that your car is not a tuck). This will result in leaks of your struts and shocks. In such a case, they must be replaced before they stop working completely because of an insufficient oil level.

Six symptoms of bad struts or shocks:

1. Bouncy car
The car bounces when you drive over bumps. It swings like a boat – going up and down. After hitting a bump, you can hear and feel the tires bouncing.

2. Leaning during cornering
When taking a sharp turn, your car leans to the outside of the turn and it feels unstable.

3. Diving ahead when you brake
If your front struts are damaged, the front end has a tendency to dive ahead when you brake hard.

4. Squat during acceleration
The front ends or rear ends (wherever the struts are not good) squat when you press harder on the accelerator pedal.

5. Unusual tire wear
The tire wears unevenly because it is not gripping the road well.

6. Leaking fluid and dirty alloy wheels
There is leaking oil on the exterior of the struts or shocks. The seals may have broken and internal fluids are escaping. This leaves a cloud of dirty black dust on your wheels.

Which shock absorbers to buy?
If you want to enjoy a comfortable and safe ride you can choose among these 10 reputable brands:

1. Koni Coil-Over Shocks
2. KYB AGX Adjustable Shocks
3.Bilstein B8 Sport Series
4. Monroe OESpectrum
5. Bilstein B6 HD Shocks
6. Monroe Max-Air
7. Gabriel MaxControl
8. Gabriel Ultra Shocks
9. KYB MonoMax
10. Monroe Gas Magnum

You can check this interesting post on the 10 brands mentioned above – Review of 10 Best Shock Absorbers Hope this post helps you decide what is to be done with your car’s suspension. Don’t forget to share your experience in the comment section below.


[…] is a sheer pleasure when the ride is comfortable. This blog post follows my recent post on When is the Best Time to Replace Struts and Shock Absorbers? Driving on the smoothest highway would feel as any gravel road without your shock absorbers. Do […]

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