Don’t be alarmed, but in the time that you travel to and from work today, your struts – which contain several moving parts prone to wear and tear – will compress and expand about 57,000 times.
That’s right, your struts and shocks, without which your ride would feel like a hay wagon bounding down a dirt road, work just as hard as any system in your vehicle. And like several of those other systems, shocks and struts are made of components, including pistons, valves, gaskets and fluid, that wear down with time.
The bottom line, you ask? Well, typically 50,000 miles before it’s time to replace both your shocks and your struts. However, depending on how well you maintain your vehicle, that number can dip to, say, 40,000, or even rise to 75,000.
While you’re busy getting oil changes every 3,000 – 5,000 miles, maintaining the brake and tires regularly, and checking other systems at smaller intervals, it’s easy to let these “oh-it’s-only-every-50,000-miles” items languish on the back burner.
Quick piece of advice: Put them on the Front Burner! Ideally, you should have your shocks and struts checked every 12,000 miles.
First off, you’ll want to know basically what your shocks and struts do. Shocks help limit the up and down motion of the car, and decrease tire vibration. Struts, on the other hand, support your vehicle’s weight; struts make up a large portion of the undercarriage. While these are the main functions of the two components, keep in mind that shocks and struts also play a role in braking, steering and handling. Therefore, symptoms such as a vibrating steering wheel or uneven tire wear can actually indicate a problem with your shocks and/or struts.
In addition to wear and tear from performing their normal functions, shocks and struts are exposed to water, road salt and other chemicals that can cause rust, further quickening the timetable for repair or replacement.
Finally, as shocks and struts work together – and often tend to wear together – it can be ideal, when a new shock or strut is needed, to replace the part/s on both sides at the same time.
At Golden Triangle Auto Care, we check your shocks and struts every time your vehicle is in and we perform our free 30 point inspection.