Shocks and Struts
Shock absorbers or “shocks” and struts are part of a vehicles suspension system. It is so the vehicle will absorb the bumps and ride smoother. Newer cars have both struts in the front and shocks in the rear.
The struts are located in the front of the vehicle. The shocks are in the rear. Some struts and shocks will have coil springs over them and others none.
Struts, when they go bad, will ride hard and bang against the body in the front of the vehicle. Replace them immediately!
Shocks, when they go bad, will bounce like a rubber ball. I don’t recommend getting on the highway when it’s doing that, as the faster you go, the worse it gets. If you go through a bumpy area or through construction, you could literally bounce the vehicle out of control or be unable to stop. If it starts to bounce even a little bit, replace them immediately! Risks like that aren’t worth the cost!
There are many different shocks available on the market. The type that came originally with the vehicle and the type that is considered “aftermarket”. Sometimes you want to change the shocks to something that will help the car to ride smoother or a Jeep to have a stiffer ride.
Different brands of shocks are AC Delco (GM), Monroe, SENSON, Gabriel, Rancho, Bilstein, and more. Some brands have coils or springs over the shock or strut.
If you want to change the strut or shock yourself, you can ask your local auto parts store if they rent out strut or shock removal tools. You can also go online to get the tools and to YouTube to find a video on changing those parts on a specific vehicle.
If you don’t know how to change these parts, find someone who is knowledgeable in that area and can do it for you or help you. You may know of a neighbor or a reliable mechanic that can help you with it.
There are adjustable Air Shocks and Gas-Charged shocks. There are also load leveling and heavy duty shocks. Shocks are one of those “disposable” parts… you buy them, replace them and toss them out.
We in the U.S. used to refill air shocks, but even if you have them, and it has a fitting so you can refill them, it is not recommended, because they always end up leaking anyways. It’s better to get the gas shocks instead.
If you find that your car seems to be riding too hard or the car is bouncing like a rubber (which is NOT safe), you should replace them.
Always replace them in pairs!
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