I have a 2002 Honda Civic with 75,000 miles on it. I was told I needed new front shocks. That they were leaking. I was also told that it was not dangerous to not change them but that the ride would get a little bumpy over time. They are expensive to replace. What should I do?
Were you told this by people in a large corporate chain? If so you should go to a local, independent shop of good reputation and ask them to give your car’s major components a once over. If you do this and they say nothing about the suspension, then you probably don’t need to worry about it for now. In other words, first you could get a second opinion about the condition of the front suspension.
If your struts (they will be struts in the front rather than shocks - similar, but different) are in bad condition don’t mess with it - get it fixed. This car is likely worth the money, and the car won’t handle as well or be as safe if you have poor front suspension.
Yes, find a good mechanic, have them check it out. 75k isn’t unreasonable to need shocks/struts, you don’t notice them go, it’s a gradual thing.
They said they both need replacement and that they were leaking. Frankly it is likely both were leaking at the same time. They told you it was not dangerous. Well it can be. It can cause handing problems and assuming they need replacement they can damage tyres. So them missed a good chance to scare you into buying now.
In any case, I suggest finding a good independent shop (not a chain) to take a look and if they verify that they need to be changed, have it done As Soon As Possible.
Are they expensive? Yes. They generally cost $300-400 per pair (with labor).
If they are leaking, it is dangerous not to replace them. You should get a second opinion to make sure you need them and to make sure the person installing the new ones knows enough to know that worn out struts are a hazard. By the way, I am pretty sure your car uses struts, not shocks.
If your struts are leaking, this isn’t hard to see. If you know anyone who does his or her own maintenance, ask them to jack up the car or drive it up on ramps so you can go underneath to look at the struts. They look something like this.
Thanks to all of you who responded. You all pretty much gave the same advice - to go to an independent shop. I will do this. Greatly appreciate your help.