What Are the Basics of Replacing Shocks and Struts?


Quick Answer

The basics of replacing shocks and struts include safety, wheel removal and proper torquing of the suspension parts. Additionally, users should replace shocks and struts in pairs.

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Full Answer

Safety involves setting the car transmission on "park" mode, setting the parking brake and chocking the wheel located on the car's opposite corner to render the car immovable. Once the car is secure, the owner lifts it with a jack stand, rather than a bumper jack as the latter may not be efficient in preventing the car from falling during the loosing off of the suspension nuts and bolts.

The removal of the wheels allows an individual to access the shocks and struts and replace them. For efficiency, an individual should remove one wheel, replace the shock or strut with a new one, and replace the wheel before working on another wheel. Proper torquing of the suspension parts increases safety and requires the use of a torque wrench. To determine the torque specs, the car owner should refer to the vehicle’s service manual.

Replacing the shocks and struts in pairs irrespective of whether the other is in good working condition helps ensure the car is level. If the user replaces only one shock or strut, the car exerts pressure on the older one, which causes damage over time.

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