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How often do I need to get new shocks and struts - I’ve been told mine are weak

Car is 10 yrs old with 165,000 mi.

It’s time.

You need new struts.

And shocks.

Both front and rear.

Spend the money and drive another 165k miles. If you’re lucky.

Yep, it’s time, mine has 140k, and needs them. For sure by 165k.

If you’re planning to sell it soon, don’t bother.

There is no “how often” that can be stated in simple terms.

I once went through a pair of struts in all of 40K miles - this was doing a lot of driving on very poorly maintained roads. (Picture driving down a limited access highway at 65mph and suddenly hitting about 50 yards of roadway where the pavement was completely gone - “pot holes” doesn’t describe it).

I recently replaced a pair of struts at 200K miles - mostly doing a lot of driving on very well maintained interstates. The struts themselves were still actually just fine. They needed needed new bearing plates so I just did all of it.

As others have noted, 10yrs/165K is actually plenty. If you don’t trust whomever looked at them then go get a second opinion. The problem with knowing whether you need them or not is that they generally degrade in performance very slowly so you never notice - until you get new struts.

When my '88 Accord reached 120K the struts would have been acceptable to the casual driver, but they weren’t like new.
But I was just looking for an excuse to put on a set of (non-adjustable) Tokicos.
They were great, but one of the fronts started leaking at 60K, the pair replaced under warranty.
Then one of the rears leaked at 90K, again replaced under warranty.
Sold the car since then.

That would be very common by that age and mileage.

Ask or look for evidence such as more than one bounce when the front is pushed down with your knee. You can compare to a new vehicle with this simple test. As for the rear, if the rear of your vehicle does not hop sideways when going around a bumpy curve, the rears may be ok.

I presently have a car with over 200,000 mile with the original shocks and struts. On the other hand, a VW that my wife used to own had worn out rear shocks in about 100,000 miles. I traded a 12 year old small GM car two years ago with 160,000 miles with the original shocks and struts. The car drove like new but was getting rusty.

Time and mileage are not reliable indicators of worn shocks and struts in my experience.

There is no simple answer to this.

Indicators of a need for new struts are

  1. erratic tire wear (typically chopping that spans across the tread)
  2. noises when going over bumps, typically clunking or rattling
  3. evident of strut fluid leaking
  4. continued bouncing of the front or rear end when going over bumps
  5. instability on the highway and/or in windy weather

At 10 years and 165,000 miles it’s a guarantee that your struts aren’t like new anymore. It’s also highly likely that you really do need new struts. But it’s tough to say for sure.

I’d say get them. Your car will drive better, and it truely is a normal wear item.

I drive a 2005 Scion tC, which basically has Camry based drivetrain and chassis. I have 151,000 miles on it. While the suspension passed the “push & bounce” test with “flying colors”, I was uncomfortable with the wear I was getting on the rear tires. So I replaced the rear shocks. I truely can feel the difference on the highway. My front struts are still excellent and the tire wear is perfect. I might change them anyway, but I haven’t decided yet. Honestly, if I had to pay for the labor I would definitely not change them.