Shocks & Struts -- All You Need to Know

SHOCKing!! Your mechanic says your vehicle needs new shocks or struts. You’ve heard it before. What the heck are these things, anyway? And do you really need them?

What are they?

Vehicles come equipped with shocks, struts or both. Shocks, or a shock absorber, do just that: they absorb unevenness or bumps in the road, allowing the vehicle to travel steadily along. Struts serve a similar purpose and are designed differently. Both are mounted to your vehicle’s suspension system and are an integral part of steering, handling & control, comfort and safety. Learn more about the differences here.

Example of shocksExample of struts

Shocks                                                                            Struts

What’s their purpose?

Typically when people think of shocks and struts, they think of the bounce they give a vehicle, or ride comfort. But shocks & struts are also very important for safety. When struts and shocks wear, it allows vehicle tires to bounce, making them less able to grip the road. Thus affecting steering, handling and braking. "Shocks and struts are not just for ride comfort: their primary function, tire control, is a much more important role.”

When should they be replaced?

Due to normal wear and tear, shocks and struts periodically need to be replaced (more frequently if you drive a lot on bumpy dirt roads). Manufacturers will recommend service and replacements based on average mileage intervals. Scheduled maintenance for your shocks and struts can be found in your owner’s manual. Pro tip: check out your vehicle owner’s manual and see if you are up-to-date on your vehicle maintenance! When you take your car in for service, your mechanic should inspect the condition of your vehicle’s shocks and/or struts and give you a recommendation based on your vehicle’s condition. Shocks and struts are frequently recommended because, well, they’re frequently needed!

Do you really need them?

It’s a good idea to replace them, because beyond safety, good shocks and struts will also help protect related parts & components, will provide a comfy ride and can potentially offer a better resell value. Pro tip: maintain your vehicle service records and show these to potential buyers when you go to sell your car! Such as selling a home, every mechanical upgrade you do on your car makes it more valuable to buyers—make sure to point out the upgrades you’ve done!

How much do shocks and struts cost? Use this repair estimator to get a fair price range for getting shocks and struts service in your area.

Unlike many other mechanics or quick-lube shops, Community Auto's professionals put thought and care into recommendations. Our Service Advisors take into consideration your goals, budget and desires with your vehicle. Beyond a mere visual inspection, our mechanics also utilize a “bounce test” to better determine the severity of recommended repairs. So you never have to question if you REALLY need them. Personalized, friendly and professional SERVICE is our focus and our promise to you.

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