Shocks and Struts

Through gravel, dirt, and mud, Southerners love taking their vehicles on new adventures. The potholes down a dirt road, the rocks that make the vehicle bump, and the uneven road bring smiles to our faces. However, the second we hit the asphalt road, we expect a smooth ride. Our vehicles should not rattle, shake, and ramble down an asphalt road. The ride should feel easy and comfortable; the shocks and struts located behind the wheels of vehicles make trips down the road smooth and pleasurable.

The Suspension System

Shocks and struts are two important components of a vehicle’s suspension system. Bumps, cracks, and potholes make the road far from smooth, and a vehicle’s suspension system supports the vehicle while absorbing the impact from the road irregularities. While the wheels of the vehicle feel every lump and bump in the road, the passengers do not. The suspension system ultimately acts as a buffer between the wheels and the frame so that the rough roads do not shake the vehicle’s frame.

Click the Suspension tab to learn more about the components involved in the Suspention System.



The shock absorber on a vehicle works to absorb the impact from the wheels so that when you travel down a bumpy road, the shocks keep the vehicle from bouncing up and down. A vehicle without shocks rides looser and bouncier. Sometimes, the vehicle leans more and makes unusual noises over bumps. Because shocks wear out slowly over time, the driver may not notice the gradual decline in performance. However, shocks make a significant difference in the way that the vehicle rides. We advise to replace shocks every 50,000 miles to obtain optimal ride performance.


Shocks and struts do not coexist, and vehicles will have either a shock or a strut located behind each wheel.  However, a vehicle can have a system with struts in the front and shocks in the rear of the vehicle. Struts hold the body of a vehicle off of the ground. Both shocks and struts absorb impact to minimize the bounce of a vehicle in response to road irregularities. However, unlike shocks, struts serve as a structural component of a vehicle’s suspension and steering systems. Therefore, they only need replacing every 75,000 miles instead of  every 50,000 miles like shocks.

When to Replace Shocks and Struts

Depending on the vehicle and terrain, the shocks or struts may need replacement sooner. If the vehicle often travels over rough and rocky roads, the shocks or struts may need replacement at shorter intervals than if the vehicle only travels down smooth, paved roads. Constantly carrying heavy loads also affects shock and strut replacement intervals. Vehicles that carry heavy loads and support more weight need shock and strut replacements at higher frequencies than low weight carrying vehicles. 

One way to test if the vehicle needs new shocks or struts is to push down on the corners of the vehicle. If the vehicle seems to bounce after letting go, then the vehicle most likely needs a shock or strut replacement. Good shocks and struts do not allow your vehicle to bounce. A certified automotive technician can also check your shocks and struts to make sure that the shocks or struts are in good condition. Keep in mind that shocks and struts must be replaced in pairs. The front set of shocks or struts and the back set of shocks or struts must be replaced together.  

Hopewell Tire is your Athens GA Auto Mechanic - contact us if you suspect your shocks and struts need to be replaced.

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Hopewell Tire & Auto Repair

3500 Jefferson Road | Athens, GA 30607

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