How Long Do Struts Last? The Shocking Truth Of A Smooth Ride
So how long do struts last? This is a very popular questions and unfortunately doesn’t have a clear answer. However, there are some things you should know.
Struts last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles on average. Driving in harsher weather, potholes, heavy weight loads, and improper or aggressive driving habits can all impact how long your struts last.
Lets look at some options to help you keep your ride smooth and driving normal as well as your options for when you need a replacement.
- Shocks and Struts should be replaced in pairs
- Shocks and Struts fail between 50,000 and 100,000 miles
- Struts on the front of your car, shocks usually on the rear
- You can test for faulty shocks or struts
- Failing to replace them properly can lead to permanent damage
- Your vehicle’s ride quality is greatly impacted by shocks and struts
Understanding the Basics of Shock Absorbers
Shock absorbers are essential parts of a vehicle’s suspension system. Their main role is to absorb and dampen the impact that occurs when the tires encounter bumps and uneven surfaces on the road. By doing so, they help maintain tire contact with the road, ensuring better control, stability, and overall handling of the vehicle.
What are shock absorbers or struts and their role in a car?
Shock absorbers, or commonly referred to as shocks or struts, are hydraulic devices that are located between the car’s wheels and the body/frame. Their primary purpose is to control the up-and-down movement of the suspension and prevent excessive bouncing of the car.
By absorbing the energy generated from road irregularities, shock absorbers keep the vehicle stable, minimize vibrations, and provide a comfortable ride for the driver and passengers.
How do shocks or struts differ from regular car springs?
While shocks or struts and car springs both contribute to a smooth ride, they serve different purposes in a vehicle’s suspension system. Springs, typically coil springs, support the weight of the car and help maintain the height and stability of the vehicle.
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On the other hand, shocks or struts work in conjunction with the springs and control the movement of the suspension. They absorb the impact from bumps and dips in the road, ensuring the tires remain in contact with the road surface.
Signs that you might need to replace your shock absorbers
Over time, shock absorbers can wear out and lose their effectiveness. It’s important to be aware of the signs that indicate you may need to replace your shocks or struts.
Replacement Struts And Shocks
One sign is a rough and bumpy ride, as worn-out shocks will no longer be able to efficiently absorb the impact from road imperfections. Additionally, if you notice excessive bouncing, unstable handling, fluid leaks, or uneven tire wear, these could be indications that your shock absorbers are in need of a change.
One of the best ways to test your struts and shocks is to take a look at the sides of them. If you see fluid slowly leaking out of the sides of them, something is wrong with your shocks and struts and they will need to be replaced. Also, make sure you check the coil springs on the strut as well, these can crack and break which means it’s time for new shocks and struts.
How Long Do Struts Last – It Depends.
The lifespan of struts or shock absorbers can vary depending on several factors. One of the key determinants is driving habits. Aggressive driving, such as speeding over bumps or taking hard turns, can put additional strain on the struts and lead to premature wear and tear. Conversely, maintaining a smooth and controlled driving style can help extend the lifespan of the struts.
Road conditions also play a significant role in the durability of shocks or struts. Driving on rough and uneven surfaces can subject the suspension system to constant stress, causing the struts to deteriorate more quickly. It is important to be mindful of road conditions and avoid roads that are in poor condition whenever possible.
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In addition to driving habits and road conditions, other factors can impact the longevity of the shock absorbers. These include the quality of the struts, regular maintenance and inspections, and the overall condition of the suspension system. Proper care and maintenance can help identify potential issues early and prevent further damage to the struts.
So how long do struts last on average? You can typically expect to get between 50,000 to 100,000 miles out of your struts or shocks before they go bad.
How road conditions can affect the lifespan of shocks or struts
The condition of the road surface can have a direct impact on the lifespan of shocks or struts. Driving on rough and uneven roads can subject the suspension system to constant stress, leading to faster deterioration of the struts.
Potholes, speed bumps, and other road irregularities can cause the struts to absorb excessive amounts of impact, wearing them down over time. It is advisable to drive cautiously on poor road surfaces and avoid known areas with severe bumps or potholes to prolong the life of the struts.
Potholes are probably the worst thing for our struts on the road. Do your best to play it safe and try to avoid these potholes as much as possible.
Other factors that can affect the longevity of shock absorbers
Aside from driving habits and road conditions, several other factors can influence the longevity of shock absorbers. Using high-quality struts from reputable manufacturers can significantly enhance their durability. Regular maintenance and inspections by a qualified mechanic can help identify any potential issues with the suspension system before they cause further damage.
Additionally, factors such as proper wheel alignment, correct tire inflation, and avoiding excessive loads can all contribute to extending the lifespan of the shocks or struts.
Taking Care of Your Car’s Suspension System
How regular maintenance can help prolong the life of shock absorbers
Regular maintenance is crucial for prolonging the life of your car’s shock absorbers. By checking and inspecting your shock absorbers or struts regularly, you can identify any signs of wear or damage early on.
This allows you to take necessary action before the problem worsens and affects the performance of your suspension system.
It is also important to check your owner’s manual for specific guidelines on when to replace your shocks or struts, as the lifespan can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
Common car care practices that are beneficial for the suspension system
To ensure the optimum performance of your suspension system, there are a few common car care practices that you should follow.
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Additionally, maintaining the correct tire inflation and avoiding excessive loads can help prevent premature wear and tear on your suspension system.
Lastly, avoid aggressive driving habits such as speeding over bumps or taking hard turns, as these can cause excessive stress on your shocks and lead to early deterioration.
When to seek professional help for shock absorber replacement
If you notice any signs of worn-out shock absorbers, such as a rough and bumpy ride, unstable handling, fluid leaks, or uneven tire wear, it is recommended to replace your struts or shocks. I typically recommend the easier of the two and purchase the quick-struts.
These are pre-assembled and already have the coil installed so it’s as simple as remove the old one and put the new one in. Many companies like Monroe and Moog are known for making quality replacement struts and shocks as well as coil springs.
A qualified mechanic will be able to inspect your suspension system and determine whether your shocks or struts need to be replaced. However some basic at home checks can save you a ton of time and money if you followed this guide.
It is important not to ignore any potential issues with your shock absorbers, as failing to replace them when necessary can compromise the safety and performance of your vehicle.
Proper care and maintenance are essential for the longevity and performance of your car’s suspension system. By following recommended car care practices and seeking professional help when needed, you can ensure that your shock absorbers or struts are in good condition and provide a smooth and comfortable ride.
Remember to regularly inspect and check your suspension system, and never hesitate to replace your shocks or struts if they show signs of wear or damage. Taking care of your car’s suspension system will not only prolong the life of your shock absorbers but also contribute to a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.