The basics of shocks & struts

The basics of shocks & struts

Everyone wants a vehicle that drives smoothly and safely. Let’s explore the basics of your suspension system.

Let’s explore the basics of your suspension system.

Shocks test

Do I need new shocks and struts?Do I need new shocks and struts?

If you’re experiencing one or more of these issues, it might be time to let us take a look.

  1. If your vehicle has an excessively bouncy feel, have your suspension inspected. 

  2. Signs of extreme tire wear could be a sign that parts need replacing. 

  3. A vehicle experiencing a dipping motion while turning, creating a feeling of floating through corners, should be looked at.  

  4. Worn shocks and struts can make it take longer for your vehicle to come to a complete stop.

What is a shock?

Shocks are the hydraulic components that help minimize movement of the springs in your suspension by absorbing any jolts you might feel. By softening impacts, shocks deliver better vehicle control and a smoother driving experience.


What is a strut?

Put simply, the strut is the structural component that serves as the connection point between the wheel and the vehicle body. It consists primarily of a coil spring and a shock absorber to support the vehicle’s weight while absorbing surface impacts.

Shocks vs struts. What’s the difference?

A shock is simply one part of the strut, and the strut is what connects the wheel to the vehicle body. Both work to create a better ride, but shocks work to smooth out the movement of the coil spring while struts help support the weight of the entire vehicle.

The view of a shock and brake pad underneath the vehicle.
A Belle Tire tech in a red shirt and wearing safety glasses is inspecting struts with a flashlight. He’s speaking with a Belle Tire customer.

Maintenance for shocks and struts

No matter how smooth or bumpy your local roads are, shocks and struts will wear out. Check your owner’s manual for more specifics, but it’s usually recommended that you have them inspected or replaced after about 50,000 miles.

How much does it cost to replace shocks & struts?

Depending on your vehicle and the specific parts it requires, the cost of these replacements can vary. Typically, an individual shock and strut replacement could cost anywhere from $400 to $1200, including labor.


Repair and replace before it’s too lateRepair and replace before it’s too late

Ignoring signs of a worn out suspension can have dangerous consequences like

  1. Decreased safety since bump dampening is compromised, causing your tires not to be in constant contact with the road. 

  2. Tires can wear out more quickly because they will experience harsher contact with the road surface.

  3. Your vehicle could become excessively bouncy, making handling worse and control more difficult.  

  4. Gas mileage can be impacted due to less efficient suspension performance.

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