Bad Shocks and Struts Symptoms: Replacement Cost

Drivers yearn for a smooth journey as they ride in their cars, which can become possible thanks to the shocks and struts. They work effectively with the vehicle’s suspension and help absorb impacts from external factors. Bad shocks and struts symptoms signify the need for a quick “action.”

With the constant work that these parts do, they soon start wearing out, much more with the effects of poorly maintained roads (potholes and bumps). Driving cars with bad strut symptoms and worn-out struts would result in a bad ride.

Nevertheless, some drivers rarely know that they are driving with a worn strut and shocks until they start seeing some bad strut symptoms. The signs are pretty easy to spot, as struts and shocks keep the car suspension attached in the correct position. 

Thus, the absence of a properly functioning strut or shock would tell on the car, even if not immediately. So, you may soon start feeling some vibration and decreased traction with the worn strut and shock.

Bad Shocks and Struts

Struts and Shocks: How do They Work?

You might be wondering what shocks and struts do for the vehicle. These elements are pretty essential and perform similar tasks. Unlike what some folks think, the shock absorbers do not support the car’s weight. Rather, they control the suspension and spring movement.

The good news is that shocks offer some level of resistance, ensuring the vehicle adjusts to the condition of the road. Struts on the other hand are found on the front and rear wheels of many cars.

They are also a crucial part of the suspension. You can find it replacing the upper ball joint and control arm of suspensions in conventional vehicles.

In essence, both elements come in handy in stabilizing the car’s movement. So, these components enhance the control you have on the brake. It also offers excellent control with turns and acceleration along terrains that seem uneven.

Although the strut combines with the shock to achieve good results, the shock works independently. You would find the coil spring mounted outside the strut. The shocks have a similar structure, but the springs get separated from them.

Bad Shocks and Strut Symptoms

It seems pretty crucial for car owners to look out for these components every time they conduct their checkups. With that, they can ensure that the shocks and strut remain and good shape, and if they get worn, they can change them on time.

Nevertheless, here are some signs you’d notice while driving with nasty shocks and struts.

Bad Shocks and Struts Symptoms

Car Turning to a Direction

Do you find your car tipping in a direction during acceleration and braking? It would help if you check the struts and shocks and ensure they are still in good shape. In some cases, a slight turn while driving may seem like you are taking a significant turn.

Thus, it makes the journey unsafe and has a significant impact on the steering. With the loss of functionality that you start seeing, you should take the car for repairs. You may also need to check the extent of the damage on these parts by learning how to test shocks by hand.

Bouncy Car

As annoying as this seems, you should know that it may occur due to a worn strut and shock. So, if you feel that the vehicle starts bouncing across bumpy roads and potholes, it could be the struts and shocks. The wheels move up and down excessively since the struts and shocks are worn.

It would interest you to know that the coil springs in these components keep the energy transfer resulting from potholes dries dampened. Thus, your comfort while driving gets disrupted, and a suitable replacement would help.

Fluid Leakage on the Front Area of the Struts/Shocks

What happens if shocks are bad? You may notice an excessive leakage of hydraulic fluid on the surface of the struts and shocks. Such a sign could reveal that the seal that keeps this fluid locked in is damaged. Kindly note that fluid is essential for the proper functioning of these car components.

Noisy Sound

Bad shock absorber symptoms noise sounds like a knocking sound emanating from the rear wheels. Such sound is a vital sign that you should not overlook. Since the bushings and shocks start losing their ability to support the strut due to wear, the struts come out.

Now touching the metal, you would keep hearing the knocking sound as you drive. You may also hear such sounds with tire scalloping and cupping. Again, the uneven tire wear that occurs with such a problem gives off a “bouncy” bad strut noise.

Squats from the Rear End/ Front End Dives

As mentioned above, the car remains stable during acceleration thanks to the struts and shocks. So, you may notice the rear end squatting or the front end “dives” when they are in bad shape. In essence, these parts of the car do not seem strong enough to bear the burden.

Once you get the struts and shocks replaced, you will enjoy better control and extra stopping distance. Thus, you would feel more confident in emergency driving situations and remain safe on the road.

Steering Wheel Vibration

One of the symptoms of bad shock absorbers is the vibration emanating from the steering wheel while. It may seem pretty normal to notice such vibrations as you drive across rough terrain or bumpy road.

Nevertheless, when you start feeling such vibration along a smooth paved road, there is a problem. Such issues may lie with the struts and shocks or even the steering stabilizer wearing out.

Shocks and Strut Replacement Cost

Replacing the worn shocks and struts would serve as the best solution to make the car perform optimally. When you start noticing signs of damaged struts and shocks, ensure you take the car to the auto care expert.

How long do shocks last?

The lifespan of shocks and struts varies and often depends on some crucial factors. You may find these components lasting longer if the cars drive smoothly across paved roads and carry lesser burdens.

Still, towing vehicles that bear heavier loads and cars that ride through unpaved roads have their struts and shocks wearing out fast. So, when would a replacement be suitable? Standard conditions would require that you change these components after every 75,000 miles to 90,000 miles. 

But heavily-used cars would need the shock absorber replacement after 40,000 miles to 50,000 miles. Struts seem more expensive, but they are essential for maintaining the car’s proper control. So, you may search for the cheapest place to get shocks installed and learn more about strut replacement labor costs.

While you are at this, you may check the front shock absorber replacement cost if you need to get only those at the front replaced.

Quality Brands and Part Price

Parts Name Car Make Car Model Parts Price range(Approx.) Labor Cost range(Approx.)  Total Cost range
Front Pair Shock Absorber Replacement Ford Ford Focus $245 $235 $480
Front Pair Shock Absorber Replacement BMW 1 Series Hatchback $662 $580 $1,242
Strut or Shock Assembly Replacement (front pair) Mercedes C Class $459 $392 $851
Rear Pair Shock Absorber Replacement Toyota Yaris $404 $349 $753
Front Pair Shock Absorber Replacement Land Rover Freelander $470 $399 $869
Rear Pair Shock Absorber Replacement Volkswagen Golf $183 159$ $183
Strut Assembly and Suspension Shock Replacement Honda CR-V $555 $240 $795
 Strut Assembly and Suspension Shock Replacement Chevrolet Silverado $1,127 $278 $1,405
 Strut Assembly and Suspension Shock Replacement Dodge RAM 1500 $97 $438 $535
 Strut Assembly and Suspension Shock Replacement Honda Civic $444 $282 $726
 Strut Assembly and Suspension Shock Replacement Chevrolet Camaro $582 $215 $797

Most Popular Service Stations Estimating Cost

Pep Boys

You can make an appointment today at Pep Boys to replace those worn struts and shocks to ensure the car’s wheels properly touch the road. You can also ask about the shocks and struts replacement cost at Pep Boys for your car model.

Nevertheless, at this service station, you can get the shocks and struts replaced at a cost that ranges between $137 to $1165. This cost covers both the price of the part and the labor cost. You can rest assured since only experts would handle this car servicing. Thus, your car can start performing great again.


Goodyear strut replacement cost ranges from $450 to $900 for a pair. At the same time, an individual strut replacement should be anywhere around $150 to $300. note that the cost varies based on the quality and vehicle brand.

Thus, you would need to contact this service station for a total evaluation of these components. Then, let the experts get them changed and watch your car perform optimally and appear safe again.

Auto Zone 

As you search for the “strut replacement near me,” you may consider AutoZone. The experts in this company can get the worn components replaced in no time with quality struts and shocks. You may get the strut assembly part for as low as $150 and get them fixed at an affordable cost.

If you decide to replace these components yourself, you can order the desired part and fix it. It will help if you contact them today to learn more about these services and know the right struts and shocks that match your car.


You can contact Firestone complete auto care if you have issues with your car’s struts and shocks. Interestingly, you may enjoy any of the bonus offers that they offer and get a discount on the price.

However, the estimated cost for this service would reach $450, and you should remember that the price varies. So, your car model may require a lesser than that amount to get the shocks and struts replaced.


You can get the part to replace the worn-out strut of your vehicle for as low as $93 from Monroe. Their parts come made of high quality, and as such, they can last for a long while. Nevertheless, they come with a car-specific design.

So, the worn-out component may get replaced with the Monroe 139104 quick strut, Monroe 58654 shock abs, or the Monroe reflex. Such action would depend on the car brand, and as such, you should leave the job to the experts at this service station.


At KYB, you would find excellent shock absorbers that come designed with great quality. These components are available at an affordable cost, and you can contact the company when the need arises.

Whether the KYBsr4490 strut plus or the KYB strut plus shocks & spring, you can rest assured that they would serve their purpose for long. Nevertheless, you may check for a better option between Monroe vs. KYB since they hold excellent products.

Mr. Tire

At Mr. Tire, you can get the shocks and struts of your vehicle replaced by excellent auto care experts. The estimated price range for both the parts and labor is between $143 and $8999, depending on the car’s model.

The new parts that they would fix for the car come with excellent quality, and you can rest assured that they would last for over a year. With proper maintenance, there would be no need to replace them again within a short while. So you can drive safely and more confidently on the road.


Q: What does a bad strut sound like?

The clunking, banging and rattling sounds most drivers complain about seem to emerge from a bad strut or shock. In essence, you won’t only witness irregularities in handling the steering but that annoying sound too. The strut may give off some knocking sounds as it bottoms out, touching the metal.

You may also hear an active noise due to the uneven tire wear that the damaged components cause. More noise may even appear with every drive across poorly maintained roads with potholes and other external factors.

Q: Is it dangerous to drive with bad struts?

The effects of a bad strut and shock start gradually, but it seems pretty dangerous to drive a car. With these parts getting damaged, the braking ability of the vehicle diminishes. Also, the suspension system gets affected, and there would be little or nothing left to withstand the effects of potholes and bumps.

Some folks keep wondering about the harm associated with driving vehicles that have faulty struts and shocks. Well, they can also affect the tires, causing them to wear and tear. In essence, you would start changing the car’s tires more frequently.

Q: Should I replace all 4 shocks at the same time?

It would be great if all four shocks get replaced simultaneously; your wheels would thank you for that. Kindly note that it is not an excellent idea to get a single shock replaced, even though only one seems damaged, as the others will follow suit soon.

So, it is better to get them replaced in pairs or change all four if possible since they worked under the same conditions all this while. With that, you can get more control as you drive and handle the steering wheel.

Q: How do you check front struts? 

The inspection of your car’s struts should begin with road testing, as this tells you the extent of the damage. With that, you can note some signs associated with bad struts. If you start noticing excessive acceleration squat or brake dive, there may be a need for a replacement.

Then, check the mileage of the car, as more drives would mean the strut is worn. Take a close look at the tire for uneven wear, including cuppings. All these would tell you if the struts are going bad, and you can further inspect them.

Q: Can I get an alignment with bad struts?

It is more sensible to get an alignment done after replacing the worn struts rather than before the replacement. Kindly note that a bad strut mount would not allow an alignment. So, it would be best to seek means for getting the bad struts changed.

Once done, the car experts should conduct an alignment to keep the wheels balanced again and prepare the car for the ride down the road. A car alignment doesn’t seem very expensive, as you can get a complete alignment done for $200.

Final Words

As you drive your car, no symptoms must be left unattended, as it could cause some severe issues. The same applies to the struts and shocks of the vehicle, and it is crucial to get them replaced when they start to wear. By now, you should know that the shocks and struts are essential components of the car that aids safe driving. 

Thus, it would help if you looked out for bad shocks and struts symptoms during every car checkup. Such action would ensure that they remain in good shape or get replaced once they get worn. You can contact any service station near you, like Mevotech or Moog, to evaluate and replace the worn components.

Read More:


Hi There, I am R. Hasan Tito, a mechanic, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow mechanics' community and car users. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I have been working as a mechanic for over fifteen years. I worked for a long time at Global Rebound Automotive companies (Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others ) as a Mechanic and Mechanics Supervisor.

Recent Posts