Tips & Advice
Can struts be replaced by shocks?
No, struts cannot be replaced by shocks. Though these parts both work to enhance a vehicle's ride quality, they are not interchangeable. Each wheel will have either a shock or strut, but never both. A vehicle might have struts on the front axle and shocks on the rear, so it's possible for a single vehicle to have both.
Do all cars have shocks and struts?
No, not all cars have shocks and struts. Some vehicles are equipped solely with struts, while others have just shocks. Shocks support the car's suspension, while struts are an integral part of a vehicle's suspension assembly. Both these parts work to improve the way a vehicle travels over bumps and rough road surfaces.
What are the signs that a car's shocks and struts need to be changed?
There are certain visual signs that indicate a car's shocks and struts need to be changed. If there are leaks from the struts and shocks, or if they look dented or damaged, repair is necessary. Diminished handling--if the car has a bumpy ride quality or stiff steering response--can also mean it's time to change the shocks and struts.
How long do shocks and struts usually last on a car?
Shocks and struts can last anywhere from 50,000-100,000 miles or more. If you have rough driving habits, this will significantly shorten the life of these parts. If the shocks or struts begin to leak or if they are broken or damaged, replace them immediately. Ideally, struts should be replaced in pairs.
When should shocks and struts be changed?
Shocks and struts should be changed if your car displays instability when braking or poor steering response, which could indicate a problem that calls for shock and strut replacement. Excessive vehicle bounce, uneven tire wear, and leaks from the shock or strut body are also signs that your shocks and struts might need to be replaced.
How much does it cost to replace shocks and struts?
The total cost of replacing shocks and struts can range from $500-$600 or more, including parts and labor. The parts can cost $200-$250, and labor can cost $300-$400. Before replacing struts and shocks, perform a full inspection of the vehicle's steering and suspension to see if the damaged struts and shocks have caused any other problems in the vehicle.
What are shocks and struts?
Shocks and struts are parts that influence a car's ride quality. Shocks prevent the car from bouncing on uneven road surfaces. They can also reduce the rate of roll, brake dive, and acceleration squat. Struts are dampers that are a key part of the car's suspension system. Like shocks, they work to improve ride quality, but they also provide structural support for the vehicle's suspension.
Do used car part dealers accept returns?
Some dealers accept returns if the component is returned with the original invoice. Some dealers might charge a re-stocking fee for returns. Others may not accept returns at all. It's common for dealers to not accept returns on electrical parts. Customers should ask about return policies before purchasing.
Are used car parts tested?
A salvage yard might test used car parts before selling them, but customers should ask whether tests have been performed on the part or not. All parts, especially electrical components, should be tested prior to purchase. Most salvage yards and auto repair shops should have a 12-volt battery to test electrical parts.
Is it worth buying used car parts?
Sometimes it is worth buying used car parts. If the part is in good condition, a car owner could save money by buying the used part. However, if the part is something that's unsafe to purchase used, like brake parts or air bags, or if the part is too deteriorated to be safe, it's worth the cost to buy new.