Frequently Asked Questions
Shocks and struts are components of a vehicle's suspension system that dampen and control body movement. The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, rear shocks and front struts are different parts. They are not interchangeable and one does not replace the other.
Also known as an absorber, a shock absorber is a non-structural component. It is designed to control body movement by absorbing motion. In short, it is a hydraulic piston with a liquid or gas inside that inhibits movement. Unlike automotive struts, shock absorbers do not support the body weight of the vehicle. Shock absorbers are simpler in design and are used for body control. Shock absorbers are often used in heavier vehicles because they don't have to support the weight of the vehicle. This is the case with large, non-load-bearing vehicles, so SUVs and trucks often use shock absorbers. Shock absorbers do not need to be mounted in the rear. The layout is not affected by the engine, transmission, or steering.
Automotive struts are structural components of the suspension system that cushion and support the wheels and body. Like shocks, struts are hydraulic pistons that move up and down to create the hydraulic pressure needed for movement. However, struts must also control alignment and connect multiple parts of the suspension. In short, struts can be thought of as shock absorbers that provide damping, but they also have the additional function of supporting the body.
While struts are a major structural component of the chassis and suspension system, shocks are individual components of the suspension system.
Struts are the structural components of most modern independent suspension systems and act as the link between the wheels and the body. They are mounted on the chassis at the front end of most front-wheel drive vehicles. However, struts are not limited to front-wheel drive configurations; the primary purpose of struts is to support the weight of the vehicle while absorbing road shock and providing a smooth ride.
As with any automotive component, the useful life of a strut can vary depending on a number of factors, including the quality of the strut, the driving conditions, and how well it is maintained. On average, struts typically last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles (80,000 to 160,000 kilometers). However, some struts may last longer than others, while others may wear out more quickly. It largely depends on how much you use it and how well you maintain it.
There are some common signs that it's time to replace your shocks and struts.
Excessive Bounce: If your vehicle bounces excessively after hitting bumps or dips in the road, it's a sign that the shocks and struts are no longer effectively holding the suspension in check.
Poor Handling: If your vehicle feels unstable or has excessive body roll when cornering or maneuvering suddenly.
Uneven tire wear: More wear on one side of the tire or in a specific area may be caused by worn shocks and struts.
Increased stopping distances: worn shocks and struts can cause longer stopping distances.
Fluid leaks: visible fluid leaks on the outside of the shock absorber or strut
Mileage and age: Many experts recommend considering replacement between 50,000 and 100,000 miles. In addition, if your vehicle is more than five to 10 years old, it needs to be inspected.
The total cost of replacement work can be divided into labor costs and parts costs.
Labor costs for replacing shock absorber and strut assemblies are estimated at $150 to $300 per assembly. If you specialize in doing your own part replacements, you can save a significant amount of money.
Purchasing replacement shock and strut will take up a significant portion of your overall cost. Individual shock and strut assemblies cost between $150 and $900. Often we replace shocks and front struts in pairs, so the cost can easily multiply. To save money, consider purchasing aftermarket replacement parts online.