FAQs—GMC Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly
- What would be a practical way to test the condition of the shock and strut assembly without going to a technician or taking the car to a mechanic?
You can check for oil/air leak and can do the bounce test to find out if the shocks and struts of the vehicle are still in good working condition or already need replacement. Oil leaks on shocks or struts can be spotted with a puddle of oil under the vehicle, on the ground, or the shocks or struts themselves. For air-filled shocks and struts, you can use spray them, along with the connecting lines and hoses, with soapy water. If air bubbles get through some of the areas that have been spread, this can be a good indication of an air leak. The shock and strut assembly should be inspected more thoroughly and should be replaced as needed.
Another well-known technique is the bounce test. Push down on the front or rear of the vehicle with as much force you can apply and then release quickly. If the car bounces excessively after the weight is removed, you probably have to check the shocks and struts and consider replacing them.
- How many miles do shocks and struts usually last? How often should I have the shock and strut assembly checked?
Experts typically recommend automotive shock and strut replacement at 50,000 miles. Based on tests done on OE shocks and struts, shocks and struts start to degrade significantly at this mileage, although this may vary depending on the type of vehicle and other factors such as road condition, weather, driving habits, load of the vehicle, tire/wheel modifications, and the mechanical condition of the suspension system. If the tires suffer from abnormal wear patterns or there's excessive vehicle movement when braking, cornering, or accelerating, this may indicate shock and strut wear, which leads to loss of ride control and decreased handling performance. Confirm this by having the shocks and struts checked. Thorough inspection is advised once a year or every 12,000 miles.
- How can I tell if the uneven tire wear is due to worn-out shocks or struts? What are the other possible factors that can lead to accelerated or abnormal tire wear?
Uneven tire wear can be caused by worn-out shocks and struts, but this can also be attributed to other things such as driving habits, alignment, tire pressure settings, and bad suspension components or busted steering parts. Usually, a cupped wear pattern can be blamed on deteriorating shocks and struts or other steering and suspension components. Sporadic cupping patterns are often attributed to bad ball joints, control arm bushings, and wheel bearings. For worn-out shocks and struts, the main difference is that they will have a repeating cupping pattern. Have these components thoroughly checked for damage and wear before replacing them.
- The shocks/struts are new. The old ones were replaced recently. But still, the vehicle is making this metallic clunking noise, especially when going over bumps? What seems to be the problem?
This probably has nothing to do with the new shocks/struts that were installed on the vehicle. The clunking noise could be caused by a mounting problem. Check the mounting hardware and other components that link the shocks/struts to the vehicle. The mount may be worn out or loose or the bolts may not be properly torqued. These may lead to slight, unwanted movements.
- Are there other parts that should be replaced after the GMC shock and strut assembly has been serviced?
If the shocks/struts will be replaced or serviced, other parts of the suspension should be checked as well and replaced if needed to save not just time since the job can be labor-intensive but also money. Parts that may be replaced along with the shocks/struts are the bearing/mounting plate, mounting bolts, and parts like the dust boot and jounce bumper, which protect these components. When shocks/struts are installed, some would highly recommend alignment. It would be best, however, to first check with the vehicle manufacturer for exceptions and other recommendations.