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So when should you replace the shocks and struts on your car? How can you check the condition of them now yourself? Will worn out shocks wear out your tires?
I hope this video helped to answer some of your concerns about when to replace your shocks and struts on your vehicle.
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I have an 4x4 Toyota Landcruiser 90s Series, I had installed maybe some 5 years ago the OLD MAN EMU suspension kit, which is supossed to be a heavy duty system. I do not go off-road though but road pavement where I live is like living being in the moon, is often full of craters, bumbs, and speed bumps that are very tall ... all of these definitely is heavier load on a car than a typical US well paved roads. These suspension doesn't have even 30k miles on them... my problem is that all of a sudden, not really gradually, I started to feel harder pot holes when I pass through them, and bumps feel a little bit more bouncy. I really stress out because as I said the pavement of my city is awful, and even can hear the impact in the car everytime I go through a pot hole... like it hurts.
I took the car to a place that has a machine that test the suspension by puttying into sort of a bouncy platform, and the result according to the mechanic is that the eveything looked fine... But STILL i feel the car different as before...
Is there other way i can certify really that the suspension is worn out ???
I 'm glad i ran across this video . I'm have the same issue. the car repair man telling me i need shocks . This is what he based it on . Worn tires on the inside, and grime or dirt on the rear shocks . He never road tested it just a look around .No oily substance at all from the shocks just a thin dirty film.. The car lot repair man where bought the car checked it out before a bought with me under the car on the rack with him . He pulled and yanked on just about every part and assured me that the car was sound . I don't know a lot about cars but it seemed very clean and well taking care of. My concern before i bought the car was that it felt like it needed an alignment and the steering wheel was off center . The car lot agreed to go half on the alignment with me. I bought the car took it for an oil change and that is when the repair shop told me about the rear shocks and of course wanted to sell me 4 new tires . Here is my take on it. It is a 2010 santa fe gls awd with 128000 miles ,from other owners . When i drive the car at slow speeds its great. when i drive at high speeds it's great. braking is great. steering is a bit off due to the worn tires . cornering is great. no bouncing or shaking just a steady smooth ride . So what is your or anyone's else opinion ? Thanks for the feedback.
Completely wrong. failing shock absorbers or struts will cause cupping in the tires, however your testing is correct. some mechanics will sell you parts tp make themselves money, but most of them just want your 2ton metal death trap to be as safe as possible.
Shock/strut or damper as some call them, are there to DAMPEN out oscillations that occur when a spring gets suddenly compressed/stretched. That is it.
As for wheels bouncing and wearing out wheels due to bad shocks.... I have seen about 10-20 cars in several months that have one or several wheels vibrating so violently, while car was moving, that even I could see that from my car while driving next to those cars. And that is only what I noticed.
Also, if you hadn't failed your physics tests/classes, you would have known that weight have nothing to do with a physical system oscillating. That is simply not how it works. And that is not extremely "rare" as you put it.
You and people like you (so called "mechanics" is the reason why I, a person with engineering degrees (yep, two) - DIY my own car).
Too many uneducated people talking from their arses about stuff they have little knowledge of.
if your tires are wearing in a wavy patterns, replace your shocks and struts.The industry recommendation is every 50k miles, personally I think that is way too soon. If your shocks and struts are worn, not only do you get excessive body roll and poor handling, but your motor mounts are taking a beating and front brakes are wearing out much more than it should
In the case you talk about at the beginning, it depends on the wear on the existing tires. If the old tires are worn evenly--then yes, you're right the shop was probably hustling the customer. However, if the tires were cupped then the shop was right to suggest new shocks/struts.
Severely worn shocks/struts will cause the tires to cup--ruining the tire. At $100-200/tire that's a lot of wasted money.
This is good information in regards to shock or strut failure however it might be a good side note that these manufacturers recommend replacing shocks and struts at 50,000 miles as part of a regular maintenance program to avoid having a failure at all. Also it might be less aggravating to replace parts at the end of their service life rather than letting multiple items pile up and have a bunch of repairs to contend with all at once and not know the root cause of another problem.. Or not.
This is all well and good for pickup trucks, but for modern sports cars and sport sedans, this is terrible advice. The front struts are an active component in your steering system and when worn absolutely WILL affect tire wear and will also affect your car's ability to handle properly.
Ever seen a car or minivan driving down the highway and its tires are bouncing off the pavement when it hits bumps? This is not what you want happening with the wheels that determine your car's direct of travel.
hi thanks for your video but my case is weird , have a Vauxhall astra which has just done only 47, 0000 on the clock , there is a clunking noise from the left passengers side , I have changed the drop links , changed bushes , and checked for any loose ends but all is fine , but not changed the shock or strut cos there is no leak, my question is can a strut be bad without any leak, cos the clunking noise is still there . assistance appreciated thanks
Thank you for the info. A Firestone mechanic tried to sell me rear struts on my 2007 Prius based on the left rear tire having flat spots that I can feel (something like a patch at the center of the tire a little smaller than my palm). But when I do the tests you recommend, I don't get any of the excessive bouncing or swaying. Could something else be causing the flat spots, and should the mechanic be doing other tests? Thanks.
the SHOCK ABSORBER damps the rebound of the spring. if the shock is worn the vehicle will bounce a little but eventually A LOT. the spring absorbs the bump from the road and the shock stops that bump repeating.
I get people telling who have bounced on my car and said I didn't need new shocks or struts. I disagree with that somewhat because the front or back of a car is much heavier than anyone I know, my car weighs around 3400 pounds. It is a 2006 Jetta 2.5. I needed rear springs anyhow, they were broken. The worst thing about that is I had no idea until I took it to get inspected. I never had a Jetta before and I thought that was normal the way the car rides because it didn't feel like anything was wrong with it. The scary thing is that could have caused a horrible accident and I wouldn't have had a clue what was going to happen so with that said, check your suspension now and then. Lucky for me a VW dealer nearby had 2 springs in stock so I got my mom's car to ride over and get them so as not to drive too much before taking it to a nearby shop. Just take it easy on a car with a bad suspension and try to avoid snaky windy roads if you can.
I dont quite agree you are only looking at 1 aspect of strut wear. For example my econobox was designed with MacPherson struts in front torsion beam rear. My car is an extreme case because its been tracked and driven hard. It is also a chassis designed for a lighter car. the shocks/struts wore out after 35k due to loss of oil from the struts. This reduced the rebound but also the ride height. Being lower reduces the distance of travel so not only did weight have more effect on handling and rebound response, but got to the point of hitting bump stops on big holes. When the strut hits it or you run out of travel such as in hard braking you will lose all traction. It may not be skipping off the ground but enough rebound was lost that at highway speeds it wouldnt get back to cruse height before hitting another bump and altered the steering geometry on even small-medium bumps. It doesnt apply to every car but its a 2800Lb car with only 2-2.5" depending on if its brand new car. Trucks like the one in the video are much harder to diagnose as they wear slower.
I have Vw passat b6, and i changed my rear shock absorbers, but also the struts are worn out, 3 months passed from then, can you tell me if there will be some negative efects on the new shock absorbers?
i have a Mazda 6, i get a strange feeling when i sway the car at 30 mph or so, the front strut are just 5 months old. i took the car many times to mechanic but no body found out what s wrong. they said the front is fine nothing is loose, could be then the rear shocks ???. great video, thanks
The original Toyota Matrix struts were probably not right. The rear shocks damper both up and down and new shocks on the rear only damper the downward movement. There is only one website that explains what happens as they use the words "loose" and "pull". Although it's mostly about racing but this extreme shows what is happening. I think they meant for the "high performance" tires to wear out even faster because of this. Although it appears that the original KYB shocks it came with are still good, off of the car, but the new Monroe shocks completely feel different and there was no change in the alignment. As far as I'm concerned all the hype about "high performance" is hype, everyone of those websites bragging how great it is but it's a rip off.
07 CR-V - 61 000 mostly highway. After the last oil change the mechanic told me that the left front strut is leaking and has to be replaced. I don't feel any change in driving the car even though he said that he could feel some difference. In fact, I saw him looking beneath the car right after he made a circle on the parking lot. Should I replace the struts? Thank you.
+TrustMyMechanic.com Thanks, my tire rotation is due. So I'll wait what the tire mechanic would tell me about the tires condition. In the meantime, I think I'll be diving until I really feel the change on the road.
+Volodymyr Chumachenko If you have oil filled struts, which you might, and they are leaking...yes, you should replace them. If money is tight...you can wait, it won't really hurt anything except make for a bouncy ride when they finally wear out completely. Not too uncommon to see some light oil SEEPAGE, which really doesn't effect much.
how to know if your car needs struts replaced or if it's the CV joints? 2004 Hyunadi Sonata... has 85,000 mi and had it since 24,000. steering feeling like the left front wheel could buckle going around a right hand turn, and now in the past few weeks there is a noise while making right hand turn. had it in several different alignment shops to get an idea.. shops say the same thing, they don't know and or it could be both ...any thoughts? im thinking might be both?? thank you :)
I have a used car for 08 kia rondo. I tested it, and i think Shocks and Struts probably haven't problem. but why i drive on the road and pass bumps and pits, i feel so uncomfortable. i can feel the road so much. Can I change a high quality shocks and struts,and let my car be drove like BMW or Benz feeling?
I bought a 2002 Camry with 135000 miles on it. When I bought it, it was running good. Moreover, when I bought it I test rode it on flat surface and didn't notice anything unusual. Now, I am running it in my city it is making sound on bumps or uneven surfaces. It is worth mentioning here that the city where I'm living is hilly. The sound is mostly heard on front right corner, especially if I pull brakes on a stop sign at end of street. I took it to some mechanic and they told we need to replace struts on it. I don't feel any instability and also didn't notice any swaying of car, though the mechanic said he can feel swaying on a turn. My only concern is that noise and I'm wondering that can it give me a serious problem on road in the near future?
I would bet you have worn out strut MOUNTS, which is located under the hood where the strut bolts to the vehicle. Those mounts have bearings and a rubber retainer to dampen any noise. The rubber deteriorates and the strut comes in contact with the metal part of the vehicle, giving you a thumping bumping noise over bumps and at stops.
So, I would replace the struts AND the upper mounts as well. The struts COULD be fine, but they will have to remove them to replace the mounts, so you might was well replace them at this time. Really wont hurt anything if you leave it alone, it will just get worse sounding...and COULD cause some tire wear issues. But 13 years....I would replace them.
Thanks for the tips. If it's any comfort to your viewers, I drive a 2006 Scion xA with over 250k miles on the original struts and shocks. My suspension works properly but I do get more road noise which is lokely due to the bushings. Basically, just replace them when they are actually in need of being replaced. Mileage MAY be a factor, but the quality of the product probably has more to do with WHEN you will need to replace suspension parts.
Very good video. Thank you.
Man at AAP would love to sell me 4 Monroe struts for my 2003 Sentra XE with 82k miles, which after rebates he says I can get almost for free for, but I'd have to pay about $200 to get them installed. Fact is, my car doesn't shows signs of needing them. The tires wear evenly. He says I'd save 5 MPG, but I think he's full of it up to his eyeballs. I'd say my shocks can got another 50k miles, at least.
Thank you again for saving me some money and time.
Welcome. On the MPG comment, proper tire inflation, clean air filter and fuel filter, spark plugs and plug wires in good condition and using the proper weight engine oil are the main factors....not shocks.
sometimes the car won't be bouncy but the shocks will be blown. the best test is to look at them, if they are rusty then they are old, and they are blown I promise you. A lot of times they're only blown at the very top of the stroke where the most movement occurs. having them blown will cause rapid wear to all of your ball joints and pretty much everything except your tires. great video
Recently hit a nasty pot hole. Car started making a clank sound when I hit bumps. Tire rods ok, sway bar links are ok, ball joints ok. Yesterday, the noise got louder, worse and now it makes a sweaking/creaing sound with the clank. Could this be the strut? I took it to a Firestone and they could not find anything, BUT they said they would replace only the front 2 for 1,000 and they were not going to guarantee this would fix it!!! Sorry, not spending that kind of money without some jagoff knowing what they are talking about! I have an 06 Honda CRV, about 89K, original struts. Taking it somewhere else that specializes in suspension so I can get a straight up answer, and hopefully a better price. Just wondering your two cents. Thanks
Excellent info-thanks for sharing that! We have a 98 Deville that is scraping badly on speed bumps etc. but passes the four corner bounce test-as well as the driving ones you show above. Could it be something besides shocks/struts/springs? Maybe the compressor or leveling sensor?
I would be suspect of a bad upper strut mount bearing. Open the hood, look for the two tall strut towers on each side of the fender area. Put your hand on top of them AS someone turns the wheel, do you feel the pop noise on your hands? There is a rubber encased bearing at the top end of the strut, when they fail the strut will move and bang against the fender basically, causing the popping noise. You can just replace the strut mounts, but honestly I would spend the extra money and replace the struts as well since they have to be removed from the vehicle to replace the mounts.
I just had this happen to me, but was smart enough to say no. Took my daughter's 2005 Mazda 3 to the local Goodyear for an oil change and to check a noise I was hearing from below. Came back with a recommendation of new shocks and struts (and new front left axle, which may have a torn boot). No way! This video confirmed my decision.
Question; with a torn boot on an axle, is it necessary to replace the axle, or can I just replace the boot. Rebuilt axles are about $80, and I can replace it in about 2 hours of my time.
Thanks! Great video!
I would need to see it to be of assistance. I would visit a local auto body or frame shop and have it inspected if your local mechanic can not help out. You might also want to call your insurance company, I am assuming you hit something in the road?
My car is currently veering all over the place even in mild wind conditions when on a motorway at around 50mph/70mph, very uncomfortable to drive and scary in stronger winds as it feels like I'm going to loose control, I've had new tyres and wheels balanced but still have the issue, the cars stability feels very poor, could the shocks play a part in this situation?
Any help would be much appreciated.
Really nice video, this would help many people like me. I was told my 74k 09 Camry has leaking struts and that needs to be replaced by new ones But I did not see any humpy bumpy or bounces, I really wondered why I could not even see any difference in driveability. Honest people like you is God's messengers, I would say. Thank You so much sir.
Would like to see more videos from you to help people.
Thanks! But, some struts ARE oil filled, and they will leak over time and cause the strut to "fail" which will give you the bouncy ride etc. so maybe they are seeing some oil leaking but not enough to cause any issues....yet. Time will tell.
As a single woman who has a true love of automobiles,and I have a pretty good understanding of how an automobile engine works, I did not have a good understanding of struts and shocks, thinking they were 2 separate "animals". I was recently told that my Toyota with 135K miles may soon need new struts. I was also told worn struts would wear out my tires more quickly.
Your video was extremely helpful to me, and I now know how to test my car for the need of strut replacement. It passed just fine. So for now, I may have some time to save up the $$$ I will need in the future for the replacement whenever it is finally needed.
Thanks so much for your great presentation. And, your 10-yr old daughter did a great job video taping her dad as he "crazily" drove down the street. :>}
Hello, so I have a 2000 Malibu and it's overheating, coolant is leaking from the hose (only)... it will not stay in longer than an hour. I was also told that the cooling fan was not coming on. This is my first car and ive only had the car for about a month and 2weeks. Some other things I was told to do was get a coolant flush and radiator flush. Besides that I have no other major problem. Also I want to know how could check the radiator to make sure thats not the problem or the headgaskets arent blown.? Thank you in advance.
If you can see coolant leaking from that hose you mentioned, then it must be replaced, then fill the radiator with water and see what happens when you drive it over an hour. If no more leaks, and radiator is still full then you can decide if you want to flush the radiator. In most cases "flushing" just means draining out the old coolant and refilling with new, some shops actually have a "flushing machine" but most dont. New coolant is probably needed here, as long as there is not an overheating issue and/or the radiator is not stopped up and restricting coolant flow. The fan might start working once the radiator is full of coolant, so try it first after the leaking hose is replaced.
hello buddy i have a 1997 ford falcon and it seems it have oli in the middle off the engine wear the head gasket sits like wear the head and the bottom off the engine sits when i touch it it just fills like grees but it looks like oil i don't have to ever add ant coolant and i don't have any oil leeks i don't know if its the head gasket ther is no smoke all nothing it still runs great lots off power and all that but ther is oil wear the engine sits to gever plz help do you think the head gasket is blown all somthing im only 17
Hey there. I am not real sure what you are seeing. It could be a slow oil leak, like maybe from the valve cover gaskets on top of the engine that has just accumulated in that area over time and probably has some dirt/dust stuck to it so it is thicker/stickier feeling?
Buy a can of CRC Brakleen from your auto parts store and clean off that area and see if it comes back. Keep an eye on the engine oil level
I'm ok with that if you are looking for more aggressive stopping power, although for the average driver just your normal pads and rotors from your local auto parts store are all you really need, and cheaper.
helpful video. I have a 2006 corolla about 110,000 miles. every time i go over a bump, like speed bump it makes noise somewhere from the shock. sounded like spring. you know what is the cause and should i get it fix?