How to Replace the Shocks and Struts in Your Vehicle

What You'll Need
Vehicle lift or car jack
Socket wrench

Most vehicle owners do not really know the difference between shocks and struts although they have pretty much the same function in the vehicle. They protect the car from bumps, jolts and other road related trauma that one may encounter while driving. Replacing worn out or damaged shocks and struts in the vehicle are very important. This is because it gives one a smooth and comfortable ride and helps keep one safe.

However, there is a difference in the replacement of the two components. Shocks are quite easy to replace and can be done even by amateur car enthusiasts. Struts, on the other hand, will require a bit of technical know-how, and are a bit more difficult to replace properly. However, with the right tools and proper understanding of a manual, there is no reason why one will not be able to change the struts of the car properly.

Step 1- Raise and Secure the Car

Shocks and struts can be found on the underbody of the car, and thus you will need to safely and securely raise it to be able to change them. Using a car lift or car jack, lift the car sufficiently to be able to reach the underbody easily.

Step 2 – Remove the Old Set of Shocks and Struts

The shocks and struts are usually found underneath the hood. Open the hood, find the cylinder-type parts and carefully loosen the bolts holding them in place. These are the shocks. Be sure to hold these cylinders carefully as you remove the bolts because they can and do fall apart once loosened. If it is the struts you want to replace, locate the steering knuckle as it is located near there. Remove the three large bolts holding the struts in place. If these are very tight, hammer them out a bit to loosen them. Once the nuts are loose, you will find a larger nut on top of the strut, also known as the strut bearing. Once the larger nut is removed, the strut will come loose. Remove it from the car.

Step 3- Installing the New Shocks and Struts

Install the new shocks and struts in its place and tighten all the bolts and nuts. Once the new shocks and struts are installed, be sure to check out all the parts of the car to ensure that it has assimilated well into the vehicle system.

Step 4 – Close the Hood

Once you are sure that you have installed the new parts properly, close the hood and you are ready to go!

Installing new shocks and struts is a matter of following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to read the instruction manual that comes with the new shock or strut set. Not following these instructions can result in damaging the car part, the car or inflicting physical harm to oneself.