When to replace shocks

ford
focus

#1

I have a '97 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport w/ 104K miles and figure to drive the car for another 2 years. The dealer thinks I can get another 80K miles on it. How can I tell if my shocks are wornout? The car handles well enough on cornering, high speeds, and tracks well. Do shocks ever need to replaced?


#2

Go with your dealer’s opinion and replace when he recommends. Shocks and struts need to be replaced eventually, but we have gotten 100K+ miles out of our Subarus, and still hve a good ride.

The old bounce test still works to determine if you need shock/strut replacement.


#3

Struts and shocks last a lot longer then in the past. My 95 Stratus w/150K still has the original shocks.


#4

If there is no vibration or shake, no bounce, and the car steers reasonbly precise, you do not need to replace them. We have a Nissan Sentra with 115,000 miles and I keep checking if any of the above apply; so far OK. Check also for uneven wear on your tires; you might need an alignment and if excessive looseness is present, new ball joints.


#5

my 93 ford f250 has 260k and still the same shocks


#6

When my '97 Outback had around 90k on the odometer, I asked the service manager about when he recommended replacement of the struts. He said that they rarely, if ever, had to replace struts (I don’t believe that you have shock absorbers) on Subarus. That car is still riding and cornering very nicely at around 160k with the original struts.


#7

The old bounce test still works to determine if you need shock/strut replacement.

Not really. If it fails the bounce test they are totally dead. You don’t want them to go that far. That said they do tend to last a long time these days. If you are feeling any issues or if they are leaking then you certainly need to replace them. This is one thing that you need a good and most important, trusted mechanic.


#8

If you are trying for 80,000 more miles, you would change them now and go for 80,000 on the struts and 40,000 on ordinary shocks. I guess some cars have struts in front and shocks in rear.


#9

If it fails the bounce test they are totally dead. You don’t want them to go that far.

What’s the downside of driving on totally dead shocks? A bumpy ride?


#10

Do shocks ever need to replaced?

I’ve never owned a vehicle that I was able to keep the OEM shocks on. They ALL need replacing eventually. Usually around 100k miles.

For replacement look around for sales. DO NOT go to the dealer. You can probably buy as good or better shocks from someone else at half the cost.


#11

The real downside is that a car handles poorly and brakes poorly if the struts or shocks are shot. Excessive bouncing of the wheels takes place, and this means that the tires are not making proper contact with the road. If your tires have less than optimum contact with the road, your control of the vehicle is drastically reduced. Driving on “dead” shocks or struts is actually dangerous.


#12

If your not encountering problems with ride or irregular tire ware and only keeping the car for two more years I would wait it out.

Struts do last much longer the yesteryear. This is a good thing as strut replacement is a bit costly.

If your driving is rough streets or backroads they will wear out much faster. If you drive mostly highway miles or smooth roads struts last much longer.