Informational Guide

How Long Do Shocks & Struts Last?

How long do shocks and struts last and when should they be replaced? Find out in this detailed guide!

For a vehicle to offer a smooth, comfortable ride, it must be equipped with the best shocks and struts. How long do shocks last and when should they be replaced? In this guide, we answer “how long do shocks last” and also examine how to tell if you need new shocks. 

  • Shocks  
    The shock absorber is a pump-like contraption that helps the tires remain in contact with the road even when driving over imperfections. The rebound of the shock is controlled, offering a better on-road experience. Shocks are generally the lower-priced option between the two.  
  • Struts  
    Struts do everything that the shock does, but it’s also part of the vehicle’s structure. It is part of the suspension and steering systems, offering more function than the shock. For this reason, the strut is usually more expensive than a comparable shock absorber.  
  • What Are The Differences?  
    While shocks and struts perform many of the same functions, the shock is not part of the vehicle structure and has nothing to do with the steering. All vehicles contain either a shock or strut at each wheel, but not both. Even though they are different, both of these suspension components will need to be replaced regularly. Neither of them has an unending lifespan.  
Truck Driving In Mud

Factors That Affect Longevity Of Car Shocks & Struts 

  • Off-Roading  
    Even with the best off-road shocks, driving over rough terrain can take a toll on the suspension system. Plus, driving on rough, dirt roads or hitting potholes can also affect the integrity of the shocks and struts.  
  • Overloading  
    If you overload the suspension system, you force the components to handle more than they are rated for. You can easily overload the vehicle with a full cabin of passengers and cargo. Follow all recommendations laid out by the manufacturer.  
  • Stop-And-Go Driving  
    If you are a daily commuter, you might deal with a lot of traffic in the city, especially if your travel occurs during rush hour. However, this traffic can lead to more wear on the suspension. If there’s another route you can take, it might pay off in the long run.  
  • Weather Conditions  
    If the area you live in deals with a lot of snow and rain, the shocks might wear out faster due to corrosion alone. Keeping the suspension clean will help you keep corrosion at bay.  
  • Vehicle Modifications  
    If you have added a lift kit, lowering kit, or installed other modifications, there could be additional wear to the suspension system. To counteract this, you want specialized parts, such as the best shocks for lifted trucks 

How Long Do Car Shocks Last? (Average Life Expectancy) 

How long do shocks and struts last? While we’ve looked at some of the factors that can change the average life expectancy, there’s a standard you will find when looking at how long do shock absorbers last. Here are some numbers to keep in mind.  

1. How Long Do Car Shocks/Struts Last? 

Generally, most shocks are going to last 50,000 to 100,000 miles, with proper care. If you take precautions, it’s possible that the shocks or struts could last even longer. However, you should start inspecting the system regularly at 50,000 miles.  

2. How Long Do Truck Shocks/Struts Last? 

How long do shocks last on a truck, and how does it compare with a car? If you are using your truck for towing or hauling, you might go through shocks faster. Start checking the shocks at 50,000 miles or sooner if you notice symptoms of wear.  

3. How Long Do Factory Shocks/Struts Last? 

In general, the factory shocks aren’t going to last quite as long as aftermarket options. Even when looking at how long do Bilstein 4600 shocks last – it’s clear to see that these options can go longer than many stock shocks.  

4. How Long Do Motorcycle Shocks Last? 

Even with the best shocks for Harley Davidson motorcycles, you might need a replacement every 30,000 miles. Check the suspension system often and watch for signs of wear.  

Motorbike Shock

Signs Of Worn Shocks & Struts (When To Replace Them) 

Do you know when to replace shocks on your vehicle? While it’s important to inspect the suspension system once you hit the appropriate mileage, it’s also wise to learn symptoms that indicate when to replace shocks and struts. 

Here are a few that will help you learn how to tell if the shocks are bad. If you notice these symptoms, you should have the shocks checked. Don’t drive on bad shocks or you could risk causing an accident.  

  • Instability At Highway Speeds  
    Your vehicle should always remain stable when heading down the highway. When the shocks start to go bad, the vehicle might feel like it is harder to control.  
  • Vehicle ‘Tips’ To One Side In Turns  
    If the vehicle begins tipping while you are turning, there’s a sign that something might not be right with the suspension. It could also start to feel wobbly.  
  • Front End Dives Too Much During Hard Braking  
    When you apply the brakes, the vehicle shouldn’t take a hard front-end dive unless the suspension is worn. This handling issue points to bad shocks or defective struts that should be replaced.   
  • Rear-End Squats During Acceleration  
    On the other hand, if the rear-end of your vehicle is squatting when you push down the gas pedal, you might also have suspension issues. The vehicle should remain fairly level at all times.  
  • Tires Bouncing Excessively  
    The suspension system is responsible for keeping the tires firmly planted on the road. If the shocks or struts are bad, you might notice more bouncing after hitting a bump. There could also be a clunking noise that occurs when this happens.  
  • Unusual Tire Wear  
    When the tires can’t make consistent contact with the road, the tread begins to wear unusually. Inspect the tread often to find any suspension or alignment concerns.  
  • Leaking Fluid  
    A visual inspection of the shocks and struts could reveal a problem before symptoms are noticed. If there is fluid leaking out the housing, the seals are broken, and fluid is escaping.  

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can I replace my shocks myself? 

If you are mechanically inclined and have the right tools, you should be able to install the shocks on your own. However, if you are unsure, it’s best to have a professional handle the installation. You don’t want to put your road safety in jeopardy.  

How long do Bilstein shocks last? 

Bilstein shocks should last at least 50,000 miles under the right conditions. If you pay for high-performance aftermarket shocks, you should expect them to last longer than the stock shocks on your vehicle. You should also notice an enhanced on-road performance.  

How long do Fox shocks last? 

Fox also makes a lineup of high-performance shocks that should work for at least 50,000 miles. The average shock lifespan depends solely on how well you take care of the suspension system and how you drive your vehicle.  

How long do Tundra shocks last? 

In most cases, the shocks should last 50,000 to 100,000 miles. However, if you are hard on your truck or you’ve installed the best Tundra lift kit, you might be looking at a shorter lifespan.  

How long do BMW shocks last? 

Some people have reported BMW shocks lasting up to 150,000 miles with proper care. On these luxury vehicles, high-end shocks are used as factory equipment, offering a better ride and superior longevity.  


Conclusion

How long do shocks and struts usually last and how long do rear shocks last? It truly depends on the type of shocks you use and how you drive your vehicle. However, you can expect to get at least 50,000 miles out of the shocks when you take care of them.  

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