How Long Do Shock Absorbers Last?

Many drivers have little knowledge about how critical the shock absorbers and struts are for the safety of the vehicle. Like all components in the motor mechanism, the shocks and struts can wear out over time. You should know how long do shock absorbers last and when to replace shocks and struts to detect the failing ones and protect your car’s safety.

What Are Shocks And Struts?

Many people interchange the terms but shock absorbers and struts are two different parts in a car’s mechanism. They are a part of the suspension system that buffers the shocks and vibrations when the car is on the road.

The suspension can be of several types but the most common one consists of a combination of shocks and struts. On modern vehicles, the shocks stay on the rear wheels while the struts are to be found on the front. They muffle the vehicle’s lateral movements caused by rough roads.

how long do struts last
Struts are different components.

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Both shock and strut assemblies work incessantly irrespective of whether the car is moving or not. For this reason, they deteriorate at a quicker rate. But, how long do shock absorbers last and what is the life expectancy of struts?

How Long Do Shock Absorbers Last?

Shock absorbers life expectancy, as well as the struts, is at least 4 to 5 years. Nevertheless, it actually depends on the road conditions. The lifespan can extend to even 10 years if you drive the car mostly on smooth pavement. Similarly, it can be shorter than 5 years if you mostly drive on uneven roads filled with cracks and potholes.

Some experts use mileage to keep track of the health of shocks and struts. The rule of thumb is shocks last at least 50,000 miles before requiring a replacement. But it is again difficult to project a definite number when comes to how long do struts last or the lifespan of shocks. They may not have such a long life if the roads the car was on were not smooth and flat.

So, how long do shock absorbers last? The regular numbers are either 5 years or 50,000 miles. But, it can be more or less depending on the conditions of the roads. The same rule is applicable to the strut assemblies.

The Symptoms Of Bad Shocks And Struts

Once the shocks and struts start wearing out, they hit the rock-bottom pretty fast. The seals around their joints begin to wear off and the liquid or gas inside them leaks.

shock absorbers life expectancy
Shocks failure is a huge safety concern. Source: Lexus

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Beware of these signs as they warn you about failing shocks and struts:

  • Moisture on the top of these components or dripping down the side in case of a liquid-based unit.
  • Taking turns make you feel that the car’s rear part is somewhat ‘loose’. Also, the rear end feels bouncier than normal occasions.
  • Knocking sound coming from the rear suspension.
  • Driving on rough, uneven roads becomes painful due to the excessive jarring and bangs.
  • The car does not sit flush on the ground.