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Old 02-22-2010, 12:57 AM
 
390 posts, read 800,268 times
Reputation: 261
Default How Long Do Shocks/Struts Last?

I've gotten well over 100K on mine, and the evidence on whether they need to be replace are mixed. Here it goes:

1. bounce test: none of the mechanics notice anything unusual with the bounce test

2. in normal driving, the suspension takes the bump and rebounds right back into position, and does not bounce bounce bounce bounce, like bad suspension is supposed to do.

3. the suspension is noisy, as there are intermittent squeaks over rough roads and a rebound 'urgh' over speed bumps at low speed.

4. a rear tire is cupped, however, these tires have never been maintained, i.e., rotated, balanced, or aligned, ever.

5. some drivers claim struts last the life of the vehicle.

6. manufacturers claim 50K to 60K for struts is all that can be expected.

7. Someone posted on this board that I should get all suspension bits replaced as part of a kit.


Right now, the ride seems fine, although slightly noisy.

This is confusing.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:14 AM
 
404 posts, read 705,640 times
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this question also interest me, and i see differences in opinion all around. some say "as long as you are comfortable." but their has got to be more to it then that

my old 20 year old Volvo still has the originals, no doubt. 140,000m and the ride is jittery and it bounds a bit. but it isn't awful. the rears leak, i know that. but all in all its in good shape

and i've rarely seen advice like this: "If you're going to buy a car with over 60,000m on it, make sure it has NEW shocks first!"

on the contrary....some people buy used cars with that many miles and more and say "it feels like a new car. it rides so well"

so yeah, what gives?
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:27 AM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 4,853,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy1 View Post
I've gotten well over 100K on mine, and the evidence on whether they need to be replace are mixed. Here it goes:
...
1. The bounce test isn't always accurate, but the fact that it passed it means it's not 100% dead yet.

2. Correct.

3. Could be the bushings.

4. Rear shocks (or struts).

5. Define life ... if they're getting rid of their cars at 60k miles, then it fitted that definition. OTOH, 150k miles is like just the break-in period for some cars. Nonetheless, nothing is truly forever, but some, like Bilstein HD's, are indeed much more durable.

6. Some really suck that badly (cough*monroe*cough*gabriel*cough*). Good one will last for much longer than that.

7. For labor purposes, it's not a bad idea to replace everything, as the time to replace the additional bits is minimal when everything else has been dismantled already.
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:55 AM
 
390 posts, read 800,268 times
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Hmmm, so you are ruling out non maintenance as a cause of uneven wearing: lack of rotation, balance and alignment. The head mechanic at the local shop agrees with you, although it would cost me probably $700 or more to take care of new front and rear struts.

I just wanted to get a second (or third) opinion before I start dishing out the serious cash...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Narfcake View Post
1. The bounce test isn't always accurate, but the fact that it passed it means it's not 100% dead yet.

2. Correct.

3. Could be the bushings.

4. Rear shocks (or struts).

5. Define life ... if they're getting rid of their cars at 60k miles, then it fitted that definition. OTOH, 150k miles is like just the break-in period for some cars. Nonetheless, nothing is truly forever, but some, like Bilstein HD's, are indeed much more durable.

6. Some really suck that badly (cough*monroe*cough*gabriel*cough*). Good one will last for much longer than that.

7. For labor purposes, it's not a bad idea to replace everything, as the time to replace the additional bits is minimal when everything else has been dismantled already.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:03 PM
 
1,546 posts, read 2,422,164 times
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140,000+ miles on a 00 jeep cherokee. Even the shock absorbers are originals *yikes*. The height of the vehicle has clearly sagged an inch or two (or maybe I got taller) but overall the ride is adequate and the suspension seems to be doing its job nominally. So in my case yes, suspension lasts the life of the vehicle (100K+).
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:14 PM
 
6,339 posts, read 6,477,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy1 View Post
Hmmm, so you are ruling out non maintenance as a cause of uneven wearing: lack of rotation, balance and alignment. The head mechanic at the local shop agrees with you, although it would cost me probably $700 or more to take care of new front and rear struts.

I just wanted to get a second (or third) opinion before I start dishing out the serious cash...
Or 15th or 20th opinion. How long have you been trying to figure this problem out?

You know, no one on here can diagnose your car's problem. You'll get ten different opinions from ten different posters. If you don't feel comfortable with a particular shop's diagnosis then find another shop or two to look at your car.

Sounds like you're just waiting for someone to tell you what you want to hear.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:20 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,294 posts, read 13,300,912 times
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Hey Guy -

Bottom line is that you almost certainly need to replace all 4 shocks/struts (I didn't see anywhere that you mentioned the make & model of the car). You can get by driving it the way it is, but if you want to keep the car - and certainly before you entertain putting new tires on it - I'd suggest replacing stuff.

The squeaking could be coming from sway-bar bushings, or any number of other things. The thunking? Who knows. Weird rattles can come from worn strut bearings.

The $700 figure is not out of line for all 4 struts/shocks. The cost is far less, of course, if you can do the work yourself. Just make sure you know beforehand what is going to be replaced. Don't let them snooker you into replacing everything on the underside of the car.

Also keep in mind that you'll need a new alignment if you do this - and that's probably going to run right around $100.


Good luck!
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:26 PM
 
390 posts, read 800,268 times
Reputation: 261
OK, but are you getting issues with suspension noise, or uneven wear on the tires? If not, it sounds like you are staying with the original equipment!


Quote:
Originally Posted by hindsight2020 View Post
140,000+ miles on a 00 jeep cherokee. Even the shock absorbers are originals *yikes*. The height of the vehicle has clearly sagged an inch or two (or maybe I got taller) but overall the ride is adequate and the suspension seems to be doing its job nominally. So in my case yes, suspension lasts the life of the vehicle (100K+).
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:28 PM
 
390 posts, read 800,268 times
Reputation: 261
'00 Altima.

It's probably going to be over $1000: $700 for a suspension kit, $400 for installation, $100 for alignment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
Hey Guy -

Bottom line is that you almost certainly need to replace all 4 shocks/struts (I didn't see anywhere that you mentioned the make & model of the car). You can get by driving it the way it is, but if you want to keep the car - and certainly before you entertain putting new tires on it - I'd suggest replacing stuff.

The squeaking could be coming from sway-bar bushings, or any number of other things. The thunking? Who knows. Weird rattles can come from worn strut bearings.

The $700 figure is not out of line for all 4 struts/shocks. The cost is far less, of course, if you can do the work yourself. Just make sure you know beforehand what is going to be replaced. Don't let them snooker you into replacing everything on the underside of the car.

Also keep in mind that you'll need a new alignment if you do this - and that's probably going to run right around $100.


Good luck!
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:22 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,294 posts, read 13,300,912 times
Reputation: 3642
Quote:
Originally Posted by guy1 View Post
'00 Altima.

It's probably going to be over $1000: $700 for a suspension kit, $400 for installation, $100 for alignment.
Holy crap, that's a lot of money. However, it's not out of line. Just the struts & strut mounts would cost me over $500 at OReilly's - and that's not list price.

$400 for installation may be a little steep, but that's what it costs.

$100 for alignment. Yep.


A lot of money. So what are you planning to do with this car? Dump it, or drive it till it dies?
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