Your car's struts are an integral feature of the suspension system. Shock absorbers, along with all other automotive parts, degrade over time. Then, you need to change them. Wondering how long does it take to replace your struts? No more worries.
We've prepared a step-by-step guide that outlines everything under the hood of your car. It will help you get rid of what you don't need and keep what you do. If you still have questions about strut replacement, this guide is certainly for you.
Strut replacement can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours to a full day. The time it takes to replace struts depends on many factors, including the condition of your car and the number of shocks you need to change.
The primary stage evaluates whether your vehicle has strut mounts or coil springs. If you have mounted, you'll be able to remove them without removing the springs. However, if you have coil springs, they will probably need replacing as well. That means that the process of replacing will take more time and effort than if you had mounts only. Our recommendation is to buy good brand struts during replacement.
If one strut is damaged, the other one may be too. So, it's crucial that if you're going through this process for one side of your vehicle, you check out the other side as well.
Remember: Exchange time depends on how much work needs doing under your vehicle!
A few symptoms indicate that your struts are on their way out.
1. Having a Scratchy Ride
If you notice a bumpy ride while driving, it's time to substitute the shock absorber in your car. There will be more jerks and swaying as the ride progresses. Driving over a pothole or bump and feeling like you're unable to control your vehicle is even more excruciating.
2. A sudden loss of suspension height
If your car suddenly loses a lot of height when you hit a bump, one or more of your struts are likely defective. It could either be the strut itself or the screw that holds the shock in place. If this is the case, replacing with the better shocks will correct the problem and restore suspension height to normal.
3. Dropping or thumping sounds when driving
When you hear a "dropping" or "thumping" sound when driving, it could mean that one or more of your struts are defective. The noise will usually get louder the further you go down the road. It is a sign that your strut fails, and needs to exchange it soon.
4. Poor directional control while driving
If you find it challenging to keep your car on the proper course, particularly when turning or going around curves, it may be a sign that one or more of your struts are defective. When this happens, the strut will not provide the necessary support to keep your car in line and control during driving.
5. Difficulty turning corners while driving
One or more of your struts may not be providing enough support to keep your car in line if you're having trouble turning corners while driving. If that's the case, replacing them will fix the problem and restore directional control.
6. Fluid Leaks
When your car's struts are leaking fluid, you'll notice many whiteish or yellow substances on the ground. It's a sign that this needs replacement because it's evolved a fault. If you don't change it right away, the damage will continue to rise until it explodes.
If your car is running low on mileage, it may be a sign that one or more of your struts are defective and need to replace. When this happens, the strut will not provide the necessary support to keep your car in line and control during driving. One more thing your car's manual will tell you when it's time to get your struts replaced. It usually happens at 50,000 miles.
Here is a guide on how to change struts in your car:
- Make sure the lug nuts on the front of the vehicle are loose but not detached.
- Lift one side of the vehicle and place a jack stand underneath it to keep it in place and steady.
- Remove both the wheel and the lug nuts.
- Please double-check the location of the stud, as well as any brake lines that may be attached to it. If one exists, the brake l line and you should remove its fasteners carefully to avoid causing damage.
- Remove the bolts that connect the strut to the wheel and steering components from the bottom of the shock aborber. If the bolts have become rusted, you may need to remove them using a penetrating oil spray, a socket and breaker bar, and a box wrench.
- You can find the stud's top attachment point to the car by entering the hood. It looks like three bolts organized in a circle around a middle bolt on many vehicles. Because the strut is under such high pressure, loosening the center bolt will cause it to fly loose and cause damage to anything in its path. Remove the three bolts that surround the center bolt.
- At this point, it's a good idea to have a partner hold the strut to prevent it from falling and damaging other components such as flexible brake lines and boots.
- Remove the old strut assembly from the wheel well with caution to avoid damaging the CV axle or drive axle.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing the new shocks.
- Using the same steps, change the struts on the other side of the car.
- Take a low-speed test drive in the vehicle, after confirming your repair.
Follow below tips for changing struts:
- Be safe when doing repairs, and wear gloves and eye protection.
- Remove all the obstacles in your way so you can work safely.
- Before removing or replacing any parts, make sure the vehicle is adequately supported, which may necessitate using a jack.
- Take plenty of notes about what needs to replace and where on the car it was located. This information will help with reassembly later on.
- Always do repairs on hard surfaces.
- Use a safe working area with out-of-the-way tools pieces of scrap wood for cushioning any moving parts around them. If a feature needs to be cut or removed via wrench only, use a cutting mat and box cutter as protection.
- Work in small sections to manage pieces as they are going on and off the car. When taking it apart for removal, your workspace should have adequate access via jack-stands, etc., to safely remove or retain parts as necessary when reinstalling them.
- Check the alignment of all pivots and moving components before undertaking any major repairs in a car with lots of power steering effort felt through elevated suspension/wheels. Use soft materials such as cushioned mats under wheels/suspension for protection.
- Be careful when positioning the rear suspension for any repair, check alignment, and loosen all bolts/screws before temporarily locking a wheel into place.
What is the time frame for replacing both front struts?
Assuming you have the car raised and supported on a jack, it should take two hours to replace both fronts struts.
Can you change all four struts at the same period?
No, you should not replace all four struts at once. It is better to exchange them in sections as needed rather than replacing them all at once.
What's the median wage cost of replacing struts?
The cost of replacing a pair of struts is typically between $450 and $900. Specific strut assemblies range from $150 to $300, so portions alone will charge from $300 to $600. Labor costs alone range between $150 and $300 per pair.
Can you drive with bad struts?
It is possible to drive with bad struts, but it may be more difficult. If you hear excessive road noise and your vehicle is bouncy while driving, it may be better to upgrade the front shocks.
Is it hard to replace struts?
Replacing struts is not necessarily hard, but it is essential to take care of. It is very easy to ruin the car if you are not watchful while working on it. If you're unsure about doing this, speak with a mechanic.
Do struts leak?
Strut assemblies can sometimes leak fluid, but this is rare. If you have a lot of leakage, updating the entire assembly is necessary.
Replacing struts can be a daunting task, but by above our comprehensive guide, you'll have everything you need to get the job done quickly and efficiently. So, I hope now you have cleared how long it takes to replace struts? And how to change shocks on a car.