Six Steps to Install your Shock and Strut Kit
If you love to drive at high speeds, then you should always ensure that your vehicle's shock and struts are always in good shape. These parts help your vehicle to become stabilized and ensure only a smooth, comfortable, and safe ride. Due to age and mileage, the shock and struts get worn out. When this happens, they tend to break and fail. You can confirm this if you have been experiencing some of its warning signs: uneven tire wear, leaks, and a harsh, bumpy ride. You may also hear a deep click sound whenever you turn, which means that your struts have failed. To bring your vehicle back in good condition, invest in a high-quality shock and strut kit. You can do the replacement at home, and it is not that hard.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Jack and jack stands
- Spring compressor (optional)
- Socket wrench
- Impact wrench with socket extension
Step 1: Check your vehicle if you need a spring compressor. You can do this by inspecting if the front suspension design of your vehicle is one where the springs are separated from the struts. If this is the case, you can remove the struts without worrying about the springs. Otherwise, you need a spring compressor to remove the springs properly.
Step 2: Raise your vehicle on one side using your jack and jack stands. If you have an actual lift, better. Place a jack stand under the jack point behind the front wheel.
Step 3: Remove your front wheel and get the old shock and strut. You might have a hard time remove the absorber. Unbolt the struts using a socket wrench. Keep the three bolts aside for later use. Use an impact wrench with a socket extension to get the strut in the strut tower loose.
Step 4: Hold up the lower control arm before it drops after you have removed the lower bolts. Slide a jack stand underneath to hold it.
Step 5: With your old shocks and struts removed, install the new parts from your shock and strut kit. Use a torque wrench to tighten all bolts to OEM specifications. Re-install the parts that you removed, like the absorber and wheel.
Step 6: Lower your vehicle and you're up for a test drive. Take a nice and slow spin through the neighborhood, while wiggling the steering wheel every once in a while. Check if there's a clicking sound when you make a turn. If there's none, then you have successfully installed your shock and strut kit.
You can finish the removal and installation of your shock and struts in less than an hour, especially if you are used to bolting and unbolting. In case you are having a hard time locating the components of your vehicle, you can always refer to your owner's manual. If replacing the shock and strut still doesn't fix your vehicle's stability, you may want to consider bringing it to your trusty mechanic to have it diagnosed and repaired as necessary.