We have a Chevrolet Venture, 2002, with computerized load adjusting shocks. The dealer thinks their service to replace them is worth more than I think it is worth. Can someone else safely replace them with regular shocks/struts and disconnect automatic adjusting.

Read you guys in the Sacramento Bee and enjoy the info and the humor.

My Best,

Fred Fenton

Lincoln, Ca

First off you can probably get Computerized Aftermarket shocks…and FAR CHEAPER then the dealer…Probably far better shocks/struts also. And you can also replace the shocks to NON computerized versions. Check around. Just stay away from the national chains. Find a good local mechanic to do the work.

Try this. I’ve dealt with these people and they’re A-One.

Air shocks are much easier and cheaper to deal with than a normal airbag suspension.

In some vehicles with automatic load leveling, the springs are also different, so switching can end up being more expensive than just replacing the OE shocks.

Try for better pricing on the shocks. Any independent mechanic can replace them.

But first things first: Why is replacement being proposed?

Why are you going to the dealer? Chances are you can get what you need keeping the features you now have for a lot less.

Dealers are no better (or worse) than independent mechanics for almost anything you might need done on your car.  They will almost always charge more per hour and often more for parts and supplies.  They also tend to look at repairs a little different than the independent. 

A dealer may well recommend work that strictly may not be needed, but could be connected to the problem or maybe replace a part when a little repair would fix it ALMOST as good a new.  

There is no need to bring your car to the dealer for any service other than service that is going to be paid for by a recall or original warrantee.  During the warranty period be sure to document all maintenance work.

I suggest that most people would be better off finding a good independent (Not working for a chain) mechanic.