What's the difference between shocks and struts?

Difference Between Shocks and Struts
While both can help with your vehicle's ride and handling, these parts work in different ways. Shocks are individual components of the suspension system while struts are a major structural component of the chassis and suspension system.
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How do I know if I need shocks or struts?

Look underneath your vehicle.

If your vehicle has shocks, you will likely find them mounted vertically behind the tires. In many cases, shocks will look like a spring or pump. Struts, on the other hand, are usually mounted horizontally and will appear as an extension of the wheel.
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Should I replace shocks with struts?

Struts don't need to be replaced unless your vehicle is bouncing like it's on a pogo stick or bottoms out in potholes and over railroad tracks — or unless a mechanic finds that they're leaking fluid or have been damaged. In some climates, they can also rust.
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Should I replace all 4 shocks at the same time?

Shocks and struts should always be replaced in pairs or, better yet, all four, for even, predictable handling and control. After all, all four have been on the vehicle for the same number of miles and worked under the same conditions.
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How much does it cost for struts to be replaced?

To replace a pair of struts, the total cost on average is between $400 and $1000, including wheel alignment. An individual strut assembly costs approximately $150 to $350, while the labor cost is $100 to $300 for a pair.
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Difference between Shocks and Struts

Does a car have both shocks and struts?

They're not. Every wheel on your vehicle has either a shock or a strut – never both, never neither. However, you may have struts on your front wheels and shocks on your rear wheels.
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What are the symptoms of a bad strut?

The Warning Signs Of Worn Shocks And Struts
  • Instability at highway speeds. ...
  • Vehicle “tips” to one side in turns. ...
  • The front end dives more than expected during hard braking. ...
  • Rear-end squat during acceleration. ...
  • Tires bouncing excessively. ...
  • Unusual tire wear. ...
  • Leaking fluid on the exterior of shocks or struts.
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How do I know when my shocks are bad?

Other signs of car shocks and struts in bad condition are unusual noises over bumps, excessive body lean or sway in turns, or that the front end of the vehicle dives sharply in hard braking. Bad shocks also can affect steering control and cause uneven tire wear.
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What noise does a bad strut make?

Some worn-out struts (but not all) will make noises that can alert you to their declining state. Bad strut sounds are usually described as a hollow clunking or banging type of sound. You'll typically hear the noise when the vehicle is traveling over irregularities in the road.
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What do worn out shocks sound like?

Unusual noises – When shocks and struts are worn out you may hear a clunking or knocking sound. This sound is caused by metal-to-metal contact when the shock or strut bottoms out when hitting a bump. In addition, these noises could be a result in worn shock or strut mounting components.
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Are struts in the front or back?

Struts are typically installed in conjunction with the front wheels, but depending on a vehicle's setup and driveline, they can also be mounted at the rear wheels. Just as there are different types of cars, there are different types of struts.
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Can you drive with bad struts?

Struts on the front-end of your vehicle are also crucial for steering and alignment. Driving with a broken strut will be extremely uncomfortable for you and your passengers, and is unsafe in an emergency. It can also damage other components in your car.
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How much do shocks and struts cost?

A typical shock and strut replacement can set you back anywhere between $450 and $1,100 on parts and labor combined. An individual shock and strut assembly costs around $150 to $900, while estimated labor costs for replacing a shock and strut assembly can range anywhere from $150 to $300 per assembly.
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How many miles do struts last?

Generally, shocks and struts wear out every 50,000-100,000 miles. If you're a more aggressive driver and/or frequently drive on rough roads, they will wear out faster. Shocks and struts don't go out all at once; they deteriorate slowly over time.
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What happens when struts go bad?

Worn-out shocks and struts will hamper your car's ability to grip the road to the point where they cause understeering or oversteering. If you are forced to understeer or oversteer your car, you can cause an accident.
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How long do struts take to replace?

Typically, it takes around one to two hours to change struts, according to most professional mechanics. Even if you decide to replace them on your own, the estimated time is the same as long as you have previous mechanical skills and follow the process correctly.
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What will bad struts do to a car?

Increased wear on other suspension parts – Worn shocks and struts can have a negative effect on related steering, braking, and suspension components. As the shocks or struts wear, they allow more suspension movement, meaning that other steering, braking and suspension components can suffer the same effects.
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How much does it cost to replace all 4 struts?

It usually costs between $150 to $450 per strut, depending on your make and model. Usually, both struts need to be replaced at the same time. Your cost for replacing a pair of struts will be between $300 and $900. Strut replacement can take several hours.
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How much does it cost to replace all 4 shocks?

Shock Replacement Cost

An individual shock absorber will cost around $50 to $140 so parts alone will set you back between $100 and $280. A couple hours of labor to do the job is an additional $150 to $300. If needing to replace all 4 shocks (or struts), simply multiple the above total costs by two to get an estimate.
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Can I replace shocks myself?

If you need to replace your car's shock absorbers but don't want to pay an expensive mechanic's fee, you can do so on your own with a little effort. Shocks are essential to a car's performance, giving it a smooth and even ride. Over time, however, the vehicle's suspensions become worn out.
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Can you replace 1 strut at a time?

Always replace struts in pairs, never one at a time. Replace your struts if you notice any of these issues: They're leaking. A very light film of oil near the top of the strut is OK, but fluid leaking down the side of the strut means it's shot.
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When replacing struts What else should be replaced?

If you are replacing a strut on a vehicle, you need to inspect the sway bar links and look up if there are cam bolts that can make camber adjustable. The sway bar links will make sure the suspension is silent after the strut is replaced and they probably need replacement due to wear.
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How do you know if your car needs shocks?

What Are the Signs that My Vehicle Needs New Shocks or Struts?
  • Bumpy ride. The most obvious sign of a problem with your shocks or struts is that your car is giving you a much more uncomfortable ride than normal. ...
  • Steering problems. ...
  • Braking problems. ...
  • Fluid leaks. ...
  • Unusual tire tread wear. ...
  • Mileage.
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What noise does a broken coil spring make?

If your car has a broken coil spring you'll probably hear clunking, knocking noises when you drive over rough or uneven ground. A broken coil causes mis-alignment, meaning your car's suspension angles of travel are altered, causing components to scrape or knock against each other.
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Should I replace coil springs with struts?

Do coil springs need to be changed when replacing the struts? The answer is no: if the spring is in a good shape, it can be re-used with the new strut.
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