Niagara Gazette

Columns

October 10, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: How often should shocks and struts be changed?

Niagara Gazette — RON FROM DELAWARE: I own a 2008 Toyota Solara. How often should the struts be changed? And are struts a lifetime part?

TOM: Strut life varies with the type of vehicle, how the vehicle is driven, and the environment in which the vehicle is driven. Have the struts inspected by a qualified shop to determine if they need replacement. Struts do not last the lifetime of the car. As a matter of fact, they are considered a wearable item (an item that wears with age).

Ron asks a couple of good questions. Let’s take a look at other questions I get related to shocks and struts.

What do shocks and struts do? Shocks and struts are designed to dampen spring oscillation and keep the tire on the road surface in order to prevent choppy (cupped) wear on the tires.

How to inspect struts and shocks: The proper way to inspect a shock or strut is to lift the vehicle in the air and directly inspect the shock or strut body. Evidence of oil leakage on the body of the shock or strut indicates the need for replacement. Another way to check them is to perform a bounce test. Place your knee on the bumper and start bouncing the vehicle. Once you get it going, step away and watch how the body reacts. It should bounce half a time and settle to a stop. If it keeps bouncing, the shocks or struts are bad a need replacing.

Are struts a lifetime item? No, shock and struts are wearable items and go bad with use. Some replacement shocks or struts come with a lifetime guarantee, but I’ve never seen one continue to deliver proper service the life of a vehicle.

What is the recommended replacement interval for shocks and struts? They should be replaced every 50-70K miles OR when the shocks & struts fail a visual inspection, a bounce test, or tires show choppy wear patterns.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Spring tune up and summer prep for your car The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: New York still delays decision on hydrofracking Many people across the state remain puzzled why the decision to allow hydrofracking has been delayed for so long.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page