Shocks & Struts
Suspension Components: Shock Absorbers and Struts
How do I know if my vehicle really needs new shock absorbers?
You need new shocks (and/or struts) if your original shocks (or struts)
are worn out, damaged or leaking. Leaking is easy enough to see (just look
for oil or wetness on the outside of the shock or strut) as is damage
(broken mount, badly dented housing, etc.). But wear is often more of a
subjective thing to judge. There are also instances where the original
equipment shocks may not be worn, damaged or leaking, but may not be
adequate for the job they're being asked to do. In such cases, upgrading
the suspension with stronger, stiffer or some type of special shock (or
strut) may be recommended to improve handling, for trailer towing, hauling
overloads or other special uses.
Shocks and struts do not require replacing at specific mileage intervals
like filters or spark plugs, but they do wear out and eventually have to
be replaced. How long a set of original equipment shocks will last is
anybody's guess. Some original equipment shocks may be getting weak after
only 30,000 or 40,000 miles. Struts usually last upwards of 50,000 or
But when exactly a shock or strut needs to be replaced is hard to say.
Because the damping characteristics of shocks and struts deteriorate
gradually over time, the decline in ride control often passes unnoticed.
So by the time you think you need new shocks or struts, it's usually way
past the point when they should have been replaced.
One way to evaluate your need for new shocks or struts is to consider how
your vehicle has been handling and riding lately. Does it bounce
excessively when driving on rough roads or after hitting a bump? Does the
nose dip when braking? Does the body roll or sway excessively when
cornering or driving in crosswinds? Does the suspension bottom out when
backing out of the driveway or when hauling extra passengers or weight?
A "bounce test" is still a valid means of checking the dampening ability of shocks and struts. If the suspension continues
to gyrate more than one or two times after rocking and releasing the bumper or body, your shocks or struts are showing their
age and need to be replaced.
Service Specialists 141 W 130th Street
Ph. (330) 220-4441
|| 8am - 7pm
|| 8am - 7pm
|| 8am - 5pm
|| 8am - 7pm
|| 8am - 5pm
Closed Saturday & Sunday
Why Replace Them?
Weak shocks and struts won't necessarily create a driving hazards if
you continue to drive on them, but there are studies that show worn
shocks increase the distance it takes to stop a vehicle on a rough
surface. Increased body sway due to weak shocks or struts can also
increase the risk of skidding on wet or slick surfaces.
shocks and struts also increase suspension wear (though marginally)
but can have an effect on tire wear.
The reason why most people decide to have worn shocks or struts
replaced, however, is to improve overall ride quality. If you're
sick of bouncing and rocking on rough roads, a new set of shocks or
struts will firm up your suspension and restore proper ride control.
If you're interested in performance handling, you can upgrade to
premium "gas" charged shocks or struts. These are charged with high
pressure nitrogen gas to help minimize foaming in the hydraulic
fluid inside the shock. This lessens "fade" on rough roads and helps
the vehicle maintain better ride control when cornering.
There are also "heavy-duty" replacement shocks and struts that have
larger diameter pistons than stock. These too, provide increases
resistance for greater control -- but may be a little too harsh for
everyday driving. So some shocks have special valving or adjustable
valving that allows the amount of resistance to vary.
Another option to consider if you tow a trailer or haul extra cargo
are overload or air-assist shocks. Overload shocks have a coil
spring around them to increase the load carrying capacity of the
suspension (these also tend to ride stiffer than standard
replacement shocks). Air-assist shocks have an adjustable air
bladder that acts like a spring to carry extra weight. With this
type of shock, air can be added on an "as needed" basis when hauling
Shocks and struts are generally replaced in pairs -- though this
isn't absolutely necessary if only one shock or strut is leaking or
has suffered damage at a low mileage.
Most struts require a fair amount of suspension disassembly as What's more, the wheels must usually be realigned after
replacing a strut. For this reason, you're probably better off letting a professional replace your struts.
A strut is basically a shock absorber mounted inside a coil spring. Struts perform two jobs: They
provide a dampening function like shock absorbers, and they provide structural support for the vehicle
suspension. That means struts deliver a bit more than shock absorbers, which don't support vehicle
weight -- they only control the speed at which weight is transferred in a car, not the weight itself.
Because shocks and struts have so much to do with the handling of a car, they can be considered
critical safety features. Worn shocks and struts can allow excessive vehicle-weight transfer from side
to side and front to back. This reduces the tire's ability to grip the road, as well as handling and
These Other Auto Repair Service Pages:
Brakes Service & Repair
Oil Change. Lube & Filter
Air Conditioning System
Steering & Suspension
New Tires (all brands)
Transmission & Clutch
Honda Auto Repair Service
Fuel Injection Systems
Factory Schedule Maintenance
Vehicle Maintenance & Services
Starting & Alternator Systems
Acura Auto Repair Service
Shocks & Struts
Belts & Hoses
Car Won't Start?
Auto Service Specialist
is a family owned and operated auto repair facility located in the northwest corner of Hinckley Ohio
near the Intersection of W. 130th and Boston Road. Bordering Strongsville, North Royalton and
Brunswick OH. Auto Service Specialists has been providing the highest quality automotive maintenance
and repair to Medina and Cuyahoga counties from this location since 1996. While we do specialize in
Honda and Acura service, we also service all makes and models, foreign and domestic for cars and light