Shock and Strut Replacement in Gilbert, AZ
Keep Your Ride Smooth
The job of shock absorbers and struts is to prevent your car from bouncing at every impact. It’s easy to spot a car that is desperate for new shocks or struts, and as funny as the vehicle may look bouncing up and down, driving a vehicle that handles this way is actually quite dangerous.
Shocks and struts are usually mentioned in the same sentence because, as noted above, they help keep the car from bouncing. How they perform that function is where the differences begin.
By taking off one of your vehicle’s tires, you’ll be able to see which component your car uses. A strut is surrounded by a giant coiled spring. You can actually see this spring while the tire is still on if your vehicle has a gap between the top of your tire and the frame of the vehicle. This spring winds around the strut to support the weight of the vehicle and helps to stabilize the height of the vehicle during movement.
The other type of damping system does not have any springs connected – it is simply a shock absorber. It has nothing to do with the weight of the vehicle and its only function is to keep the car from bouncing. Cars with shocks will still have springs but those springs will be mounted separately.
A vehicle will only utilize one of these systems.
When we prepare to repair your vehicle’s suspension system, customers will ask, “How long will these suspension dampers (or struts) last on my vehicle?” Though services like having your brake pads replaced will come with a fairly standard expected lifespan, shock absorbers are much different.
Their lifespan greatly depends on how a vehicle has been driven in conjunction with the quality of the parts themselves. It’s nearly impossible to assign a mileage or number of years to what you should expect from your shocks or struts because every driver is different – along with the roads they drive on.
In Arizona, we’re used to newer, smoother roads. When you take a trip to California, you realize very quickly that quiet and well-kept roads like we have in the East Valley, are not the norm. California roads present a much harder terrain and thus more strain on your vehicle’s suspension.
Exclusive from the roads themselves is how one chooses to drive.
Unlike an oil change, using mileage and age is a very difficult gauge of your shock system’s health. The best way to determine the condition of your shocks or struts is to have your vehicle inspected by a technician. An auto professional can take note of how the car performs on the road (a test drive) and will perform an inspection of the actual parts to determine their current state.
Aside from having your vehicle inspected by a professional, you can perform an at-home test which could be helpful if you suspect that you have an issue. Walk around your car stopping at each corner. Press down on the corner of the vehicle and release. As the vehicle comes back up it should reach the center of gravity and stop moving. If the vehicle continues to bounce up and down, you may have a shock or strut issue that you’d want to have inspected by a professional technician.
Auto repair shops like Highline perform this type of service regularly. That being the case, we can typically replace a worn strut or shock in approximately 45-60 minutes for each corner of the car.
One conversation topic that comes up regularly when replacing shocks is that they should be replaced in pairs. It is not uncommon for a mechanic to say, “The rear right strut is bad so we’re recommending that you replace the rear struts.” Why would you need to replace both? When a new part is installed it will perform better than the remaining older parts and will lead to unevenness in your drive. There are occasions on newer vehicles where replacing only one is acceptable, and our team of technicians will talk through that scenario with you, should it be an option.
The only way an auto repair shop can give you an accurate quote is by seeing the vehicle. For instance, you may only be experiencing ‘bouncing’ in one area on the vehicle, yet, the length of time driven on a bad strut or shock can actually cause damage to the remaining ‘good’ parts – most notably, bending.
The make, model and year of your vehicle is also a big factor. A general rule of thumb is that luxury or high-performance vehicles will typically require more expensive parts and more labor than economic vehicles. However, that’s not always the case so bringing your vehicle to an auto repair shop like Highline Car Care will provide you with the most accurate estimate possible.
When you suspect a difference in the way your vehicle handles – and you will notice a difference – it is important to diagnose what’s happening quickly to discover if there has been damage or if driving will cause more damage. Even though it is common to spot vehicles on the road bouncing like a bull-rider, it isn’t advisable to continue driving as normal when you experience a difference in the way your car handles.
We routinely take phone calls and answer chat messages from clients asking us to provide an estimate before we see the vehicle. Cost always plays a big part in choosing an auto repair shop and because of this, we have made an intentional choice to not provide quotes over the phone. This decision has allowed our team to grow a greater level of trust in the relationship we form with our customers.
Scheduling an appointment to have your struts or shocks inspected is as easy as calling our shop directly at (480) 336-2889 or using our chat feature located in the lower right-hand corner of our website. You’ll speak directly with our in-office team and they’ll work to find a time that is the best fit for you.