When should I replace my shocks and or struts When a vehicle is brought into an auto repair shop for routine vehicle maintenance, the auto technician may suggest that the vehicle shocks or struts need to be replaced. Learn the function of a car or trucks shocks and struts. Find out why the shocks and struts need to be replaced and how someone can tell if they?re bad. The Purpose or Function of a Cars Shocks and Struts Shocks and struts serve the same purpose. They?re main function is to keep the vehicle from bouncing. A vehicle has front and rear springs to cushion the vehicle over rough road conditions. If there were no shocks or struts the vehicle would continue to bounce excessively. The shocks and struts prevent the car from bouncing by damping the springs. What?s the Difference Between Shocks and Struts? Shocks are usually used to dampen leaf springs, where as a strut is used to dampen coil springs. Shocks are usually a single cylinder in the open where as a strut is normally surrounded by the coil spring and are more massive and complicated. That?s why struts normally cost a lot more to replace than a shock. On a car the front suspension usually has struts and the rear usually has shocks. Some trucks have shocks on the front and rear. Other than those distinctions, shocks and struts serve exactly the same purpose. Why Should the Cars Shocks or Struts be replaced? Keeping in mind that the purpose of shocks and struts is to keep the vehicle from bouncing, the following is some of the reasons why they should be replaced. * An excessively bouncing car can be an uncomfortable driving experience. * The vehicle can be harder to control leading to an unsafe condition. * Excessive strain can be put on other vehicle components causing premature failure. * Bad shocks or struts will cause the tires to bounce and create spotty or choppy wear on the vehicles tires. How to Tell if a Cars Shocks or Struts are Bad 1. Shocks and struts can be oil or air filled. If they are leaking oil or air they need to be replaced. Consumer beware, some dishonest auto repair shops will squirt oil on the shocks, show the customer the leaky shocks and tell them they need to be replaced. 2. Another method is the bounce test. Put all your weight on the front or rear of the vehicle and push down on the vehicle. Let go of the vehicle and stand back to see of it bounces. If the vehicle comes back up without bouncing, the shocks are probably in good shape. If the vehicle bounces a few times, chances are the shocks or struts need to be replaced. Shocks and struts are wear items, not maintenance items. There?s no set mileage or time limit when they should be replaced. If the tires seem to have a choppy wear pattern or the vehicle bounces excessively over bumps, the shocks need to be checked. Look at the struts or shocks and see if they?re leaking. Perform the bounce test and see if the vehicle bounces. Replacing the vehicle shocks and struts when they?re bad will create a safer and more comfortable driving experience, not to mention saving money in the long run.
The vehicle is supported by coil springs. On the front the coil is part of the strut assembly. If you jack up the side of the vehicle that is low (jack under the subframe or by the pinch weld) you sould be able to see if the spring is broken or not.
If it is there is a solution called a "quick Strut" this will be a complete strut assembly that is completely assembled. All you will need to do is remove the old one, install the new one, and have the vehicle aligned.
It is recommended to do these in pairs (both fronts or both rears or all four at the same time, the rears are usually shocks or air shocks). the other alternative is to replace the spring. the strut will need to be installed into a spring compressor in order to replace the coil. It will still need to be removed from the vehicle and brought to a machine shop or service facility to have the spring replaced. It is a good idea to replace both springs and struts at this time. You will find with a little price shopping that it is not that much more to go with quick struts.
HONDA Pilot struts do not require replace at specific mileage intervals or maintenance. Your vehicle’s struts should be checked annually. Struts wear out slowly and you may not notice gradual losses in ride comfort, handling and control. Excessive bouncing, rocking back and forth, drifting or nose- diving while braking, swaying, or cupping wear on the tires are some signs that your vehicle may have worn Struts. If you are purchasing new Struts for your HONDA Pilot consider premium Struts. Upgrading your struts usually improves overall ride quality, control and handling. Warn struts can increase the wear of tires, ball joints, steering linkage, springs and C.V. joints. Some original struts may be getting weak after 40,000 or 50,000 miles.
Failure symptoms: Vehicle continues to bounce after hitting bumps in roadway. Front suspension dives severely during hard braking. Swaying or rolling when at higher speeds. Signs of oil leaking from the shock rod seal. Clunking and banging noises coming from the strut may be signs of internal shock failure or strut mounts.
I have 161,000 on my 00 Runner. Have had the shocks/struts changed TWICE.... (thats cause I have FUN with mine over the years) Personally, I would go with what the dealership says, then just replicate that at a good shop for cheaper price.
The front has struts and the rear has shocks. I used Volvo OEMs. The rears are VERY easy to do yourself. The upper mounts are located behind the rear doors in the trunk area. It takes 15 minutes each to replace the rears.
The fronts are not difficult to remove if you have an air wrench + 6 sided socket, and a special star socket (14mm I think). You can find detailed instructions online. Once the front struts are out of the vehicle, you'll need to compress the springs before taking them apart. I did one myself using loaner spring compressors from Advanced Auto. I brought the second one into my local muffler shop because they have an industrial spring compressor. Make sure that you have a ride available to the nearest Volvo Parts dealer because once you get the struts apart, you'll probably need to replace the rubber bearing assembly in the strut that rotates when the wheel turns. There is also a rubber sleve that surrounds the strut to keep dirt out. The metal mount for his corrodes. The struts are a very important part of your steering, so if you do the fronts use care. Also, be aware that you'll probably be purchasing alot more parts than just the piston for the fronts. Suggest that you price it all out before proceeding.