Shocks and struts replacement cost

Welcome to! Not sure what the difference is between shocks and struts? Learn more about these essential elements of your vehicle at our website, as well as check out their repair and replacement costs, see some useful auto maintenance advice and more.

Everything you need to know about shocks and struts

The basic principle of your vehicle’s shock can be found in your physics 101. As the saying goes, “What comes up must go down” but imagine if you are inside a vehicle with no struts and shock absorbers. It would make your trip bumpy and exhausting thus making you uncomfortable while driving or sitting. When these signs appear during your test drive, then you are having a problem with your suspension system.

Struts and shock absorbers play an important role to your vehicle’s mileage and performance whether it may be on and off-road driving. Without strut and shock absorbers, your vehicle has a higher chance of acquiring damage not only to the brake system but also to the other side of the floor board and the lower portions of your bumpers by releasing the stored energy from the spring allowing the suspension movement to exceed therefore risking it to hit the pavement or a rock.

So, what is a strut and shock absorber?

A strut is a structural component found in the base of the car attached to the wheel’s body frame and is interconnected to the shock absorber itself. The main function of the strut is to support the weight of the car at the same time act as a shock absorber while the vehicle is moving so that the car can adapt to the type of road it passes.  Not only does it make the vehicle to have a smooth and bounce-free ride but also separate and align the other suspension system to avoid hitting each other. Your car have one strut suspension installed in each wheel and if excessive bouncing and oil leakage appears, this may damage the bearings, coils and spring thus needed all four strut suspension replaced.

Composition of a strut:

  • Coil-spring
  • Shock absorbers
  • Strut bearing
  • Steering knuckle
  • Spring set
  • Coil spring insulator

In the other hand, shock absorbers and springs expand and contract when the vehicle passes roads with holes and rocks while absorbing the impact taken. The dampers or a shock absorber controls the motion to prevent the springs from excessively shaking the frame. Shock absorbers also help in maintaining an easy handling and comfortable driving on your vehicle. Since auto consumers and drivers request improvements on their shock absorbers, Auto Company then develop shock absorbers from simple to complex dampening, adjustable and adaptable components. There are basically two types of shock absorbers, the hydraulic and the spring base.

Components of a hydraulic shock absorber:

  • Upper mount
  • Shaft
  • Hydraulic oil
  • Oil piston valve
  • Gas charge piston
  • Gas charge
  • Lower mount

Components of a spring base shock absorber:

  • Upper mount
  • Piston rod
  • Piston check valve
  • Piston tube
  • Spring
  • Lower mount

The compression and extension cycle of the shock absorber controls the vehicles sprung and un-sprung weight while providing a higher resistance when the vehicle is moving faster, enabling the shocks to adapt and adjust to any type of road conditions therefore making it easier to manoeuvre.

The Difference Between Struts and Shocks

Unknown to most people, there is actually a huge difference between shocks and struts. People, motorist or not, usually mistook the two as the same thing, but actually they are not.  However, their differences ended on its purpose and that is to give drivers and passengers a smooth, comfortable and safe ride. With this, it would be best if people, motorist or not, would educate themselves with the difference between the two for better understanding of cars.

Initially, strut comprises the integrals of the car suspension on the other hand shock simply takes in the bumps on the road. With this fact alone, it can be determined that there is indeed a big difference between the two. Other than that, they also differ on where they are situated. Struts are found in the front part of the four wheel drive while shocks are found on the rear part. Shocks also come in many parts while struts are also being composed of one piece. And because of this, struts are more costly than shocks and installing it could take a lot of time, effort and money as well. Installing these car parts can be tough that is why it takes an auto mechanic just to have them installed right.

Yet despite the difference between shocks and struts, they work hand in hand to make the ride smooth and totally convenient for both the passenger and the driver. And once malfunctions are experienced in these two, it would be best to have it fixed right away to prevent any possible accident in the future. Drivers have to keep in mind that struts and shocks are very essential parts their four wheel drive and if either of these two are malfunctioning, it could out the people inside the car at a total risk.

Shocks and Struts Replacement

You must have heard from your mechanic that “your shocks and/or struts need replacing”. You wondered what those things are and thought to yourself “do they really need replacing or is this guy just trying to rip me off?” Now, before you decide to forgo replacing those parts, let us see what they actually do for your car. Not all cars have shocks or struts by the way. The shocks and/or struts keep your vehicle comfortable when driving on a rough terrain. They reduce oscillation and give you a smooth ride. They are very important components of your car and you should know when they need replacing. A number of symptoms can prompt you to change them. First, your vehicle dives to the front when braking. Second, your vehicle rolls to the back when accelerating. Third, the vehicle bounces wildly when driving on a bumpy road. And lastly, the vehicle shakes or sways when doing turns. You have to be sensitive to any changes your vehicle makes. Faulty shocks and/or struts can cause havoc on other parts of your vehicle. The tires may get worn out in uneven edges. The best way to counter problems like this is to practice preventive maintenance. You should take your car to the mechanic often just to have it checked. Do not wait for something to go wrong before you send your vehicle in for repairs. There are a few key tell items that you can observe before the shocks and/or struts are going to break down. You should check if there are leaks on the housing, if there are dents or scratches on the struts/shock, if the rubber housing is worn out and if there is abnormal wear on the tires. Be proactive in taking care of your vehicle. It is better to be safe than sorry.

What are shock absorbers for trucks

Trucks and SUV as you know it has a higher load capacity and high-centered gravity weight level compared to other vehicles therefore the use of strut and shock absorbers are way stronger compared to a mini sedan or a mid-sized family car. Their shock absorber should be able to take in 4-5 times the weight of the vehicle. However, the effect on truck differs to the type of shock absorbers being used. These shock absorbers enhance the stability of the vehicle during on and off-road driving.

Your guideline 101 in knowing your shock absorbers for trucks:

•    You should know the quality of the product and the type of truck that you have.

•    Make sure that you purchase a heavy duty shock but prices range from $100-$1,500.

•    Shock gas-changer. Some trucks need special fluids in changing their shock absorbers.

•    Covering for the coil is needed so that it can protect the coil from being damaged by the upward and downward motion of the springs.

•    Although older cars use spring type shocks, some newer models needs high-pressurized air for hydraulic shock absorbers.

Different types of shock absorbers for trucks:

•    Gas shock absorber

•    Air shock absorber

•    Damper shock absorber

•    Mono tube shock absorber

•    Twin tube shock absorber

•    Spring shock absorber

All these types of shock absorbers functions accordingly depending on the weight of the vehicle, the added load and the energy that the vehicle is producing and the capacity for the shock absorbers to hold the bridges of the vehicle. Thus, it still does its job by making the vehicle run smoothly in all types of terrain but also varied to the amount of speed the vehicle have during on or off-road driving.

If your trucks needs shock replacement, it is better to seek help to a professional truck mechanic to assure further safety of you, your truck and the loads it carries.

When to Replace Shock Absorbers and Struts

The first thing you have to know is to find out whether your car has a strut or a shock absorber. Indeed, not all vehicles carried both strut and shock absorbers. Older car model carries either a strut or a shock absorber but hence time has its own way making things possible, more and more auto manufacturer develop a way in making the two components work together. However, if your car both has a strut and a shock absorber, then taking notes while driving your car on regular basis might help.

Signs for shock and strut replacement:

  • The vehicle’s front end dives when brake is applied
  • The vehicle’s rear end squat when brake is applied
  • When turning, the vehicle sways.
  • Thorough bouncing is felt when driving the vehicle

But, aside from feeling the vehicle’s performance you should also check if your strut or shocks are worn out, leaking or damaged. These damages can affect your suspension parts like springs, ball joints, steering knuckles and steering leakage. Thus, also making sure that your tires is free from damage. By doing a visual check-up for the vehicle, you should look for something that is not very familiar to you. But if in doubt, it is always better to take the car to the auto repair shop.

Things that you may see visually:

  • When the piston rods are pitted
  • Crushed rubber bumpers
  • If the housing is leaking
  • Uncommon damage on your tires
  • Dented and semi-rusted strut and shocks

It is always best not to leave any broken struts and shock on your vehicle to reduce further damage and expenses. Having new shocks and struts replaced on your vehicle gives you a more comfortable, safer, better mileage, easy to maneuver and lesser bounce during your trip.

How to replace struts in your vehicle

Whenever you feel that your car loses its alignment and bounces a lot then you should take your car to the nearest car parts replacement mechanic. Although it may cost you an undesirable but still manageable price extending from $400-$700 in labor and spare parts, it also saves you much time that will only take for a professional to make 1 hour or less per wheel. But if you are planning to do the job on your own, first timers usually take a couple of hours or sometimes the whole day to finish the job, you should ensure your own safety first and prepare all the tools and parts needed to accommodate lesser time during the replacement process.

Steps on how to replace your strut:

  1. Raise the vehicle using a jack and start getting off the tires.
  2. After seeing your strut, remove the sway bar end-link making sure that the wires don’t cut off. If antilock brake system is present, remove it at well.
  3. Remove the outer tie rod that is attached to the strut’s body.
  4. Loosen all bolts that are found beneath the strut body to remove the caliper and the rotor while making sure that the lower suspension is supported to keep the CV driveshaft from moving the CV joints.
  5. Slowly remove the bolts and nuts of the strut mount and make sure not to remove the center shaft nut. Then remove the entire shaft body.
  6. Remove the spring by applying spring compressor.
  7. Remove the strut mount by putting a wrench on both ends of the strut shaft.
  8. Remove all the components that needed replacements, but make sure you remember where exactly the parts should return.
  9. Transfer all parts the needed replacement and torque or lock the bolts and screws accordingly.

Carefully take off the spring compressor and return the strut to its place but also make sure to check the other braking system to avoid further damage.