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You should always have your vehicles suspension inspected at every service to keep your vehicles safe. Don't put off replacing suspension parts when they are showing signs of wear or failure, especially your shocks and struts. Shocks and struts can be replaced by the home mechanic with a few specialty tools. If you are only replacing the shock portion of your strut assembly, you will need a more expensive spring compressor to disassemble the unit. My advice is let a certified auto repair shop and mechanic take care of that for you. Simple shock absorbers can be replaced by almost anyone with some automotive skills as they are usually held in with only 3 small bolts.

Shocks and struts help keep your tires on the pavement in order to correctly steer, brake and provide traction in less than perfect conditions. Shocks and struts help reduce suspension bounce, swaying, and improve handling. Shock absorbers and struts also help limit the overall travel of your vehicles suspension. When you notice your car bounces more than once over a bump, your shocks or struts are probably ready to be replaced. Don't wait and put yourself, passenger and pedestrians in danger.

Here are some questions you'll need to answer when shopping for new shocks & struts.

Is your vehicle equipped with shock absorbers, struts or both? Depending on what type of suspension the manufacturer used in the design of the vehicle, you may have struts in the front and shocks in the rear, shocks all the way around or struts front and back.

FIgure out what type of driving you'll be doing, and how heavy duty the shocks or struts need to be. Do you drive off road a lot? Do you only drive on the highway and want the smoothest ride possible? Do you do a little of both? These are things to think about when having your old struts and shocks replaced. Most people want the vehicles suspension put back as close to factory specifications as possible. That is a pretty good rule of thumb.

Warranty length and conditions are another thing to look at when shopping for suspension parts. Some shocks and struts come with a couple year warranty, all the way up to a lifetime warranty.

Wherever you end up purchasing your shocks or struts, keep in mind that less expensive shocks and struts generally perform that way to. It's a good idea to spend a little more on quality now, and get the ride and longevity you want later. Don't cut corners when it comes to vehicle safety.