Shocks and struts

What kind of shocks or struts do I need?

In Shocks & Struts, Suspension by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

If you’re due to have your shocks and struts replaced, then it’s important to choose the right ones for your vehicle. Our certified technicians at HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire will recommend struts or shocks if your car is over 50,000 or shows some signs that they’re worn down – but how do you know which ones to choose?

Before you can move forward with deciding what kinds of shocks and struts you want, you first need to have a full understanding of what they are and how they work in your vehicle. Being informed about your car – including the parts in it – will ensure that you are confident in your purchase and that you’re caring for your vehicle.

You can find shocks and struts in your car, and while they do the same thing for your car, remember – you can not replace shocks for struts, and vice versa, as your car is designed to handle either one or the other. These components work to eliminate or at least minimize the amount of bouncing your car does, which will not only provider you with more control over the vehicle, but it will also avoid some potentially costly repairs.

Let’s go a little further and talk about what they look like, and where they are located in the car. A shock is attached to a coil spring and is located near the wheels. Struts are a little different, as they do not have the spring and they are actually mounted into the car’s suspension system.

Types of shocks and struts

Now that you know what shocks and struts are, and what they do, we can move on to looking at the types you’ll have to choose from.

The two most well-known shocks and strut designs are the mono tube and twin tubes.

When the monotube shocks and struts are placed in your vehicle, they use a gas charge that keeps the oil and nitrogen inside of them separate. What does this really mean? It means that your ability to ‘dampen’ or soften the force of breaking and running over bumps is enhanced and you have more driving control. Monotube are good with cars that need high quality performance or for drivers that like a slightly more aggressive ride. Mostly likely you’ll see these used with SUVs or light trucks.

Looking then at the twin tube shocks and struts, the most immediate difference is that they have two cylinders instead of one. Inside of these cylinders there are shafts and pistons that move, along with hydraulic fluid to again ‘dampen’ the force of breaking and driving over rough road. These shocks and struts don’t have same emphasis on performance as the mono tubes do, but they are an affordable option that provides good vehicle control for light trucks, SUVs and cars.

Ultimately, the shocks and struts you replace your current ones with need to coincide with driving conditions, your car and what you are looking for. Having a conversation with one of our technicians at HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire will help you make that important decision.

Factors to consider

Some things to ask yourself when selecting shocks and struts:

  • What do I use my car for?
  • Does my car regularly carry heavy loads?
  • Do I want shocks that are designed more for performance?
  • What are the driving conditions where I live?
  • What kind of car do I drive?
  • Will I need shocks that are adjustable?

You’re not expected to have full answers to these questions or know everything about shocks and struts – and that’s where we’re here to help. By making an appointment to get your car looked at, and talking to one of our guys in the shop, we can make sure you get the right shocks and struts in your vehicle so you can get back on the road.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.