Shocks and Struts: When Should You Replace Them?

At Franklynn Automotive, we’re committed to keeping you and your family safe on the road. One critical aspect of vehicle safety often overlooked is the suspension system. Your vehicle’s shocks and struts (suspension) is responsible for providing a smooth ride, ensuring stable handling, and most importantly, keeping your tires in contact with the road. But how do you know when suspension components like struts, ball joints, control arms, and bushings need to be replaced? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore these components and their replacement intervals, so you can drive with confidence and peace of mind.

Struts and Shocks

Struts and shocks are fundamental parts of your vehicle’s suspension. They absorb the shocks from bumps and uneven road surfaces, providing a comfortable and controlled ride. Over time, they can wear out, leading to a bumpy, uncomfortable ride and reduced handling performance.

Replacement Interval: On average, struts and shocks should be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. However, this can vary depending on driving conditions and the quality of the components.

Ball Joints

Ball joints are crucial for connecting the suspension components to the steering knuckles. They allow for smooth wheel movement and steering control. When they wear out, you might experience steering issues, uneven tire wear, and a clunking noise when driving over bumps.

Replacement Interval: Ball joints typically last around 70,000 to 150,000 miles. However, regular inspections are essential because their lifespan can vary depending on factors like road conditions and driving habits.

Control Arms

Control arms connect the suspension to the vehicle’s frame and maintain the wheel’s alignment. Worn control arms can result in poor handling, uneven tire wear, and alignment problems.

Replacement Interval: Control arms usually last between 90,000 and 100,000 miles. However, this can vary, so it’s essential to have them inspected during routine maintenance.


Bushings are small, yet crucial, suspension components. They help control the movement of various parts, reducing vibrations and noise. Over time, they can crack or wear out, leading to a decrease in ride comfort and handling performance.

Replacement Interval: Bushings can last anywhere from 80,000 to 150,000 miles. Keep an eye out for signs of wear, such as excessive noise or reduced ride comfort.

Signs That Suspension Components Need Replacement

Besides following recommended replacement intervals, it’s crucial to watch for warning signs that indicate worn suspension components. These include:

  • Unusual noises: Clunks, squeaks, or rattles when driving over bumps.
  • Poor handling: Difficulty steering, excessive body roll when turning, or a feeling of instability.
  • Uneven tire wear: Tires wearing unevenly can be a sign of alignment issues related to suspension problems.
  • Vehicle sag: A visibly lower ride height on one side of the vehicle may indicate a worn-out suspension component.

The Importance of Suspension Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your suspension system goes beyond just replacing components at the recommended intervals. Regular check-ups by a qualified mechanic, like those at Franklynn Automotive, can catch issues before they become serious problems.


Your vehicle’s suspension system is vital for a safe and comfortable driving experience. Regular maintenance and timely replacement of suspension components are essential for maintaining optimal performance and safety. At Franklynn Automotive, we recommend following manufacturer recommendations for replacement intervals and conducting regular inspections to ensure your suspension is in top condition. If you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above, don’t hesitate to schedule a visit to our auto repair shop. Your family’s safety on the road is our priority, and a well-maintained suspension system plays a significant role in achieving that goal.

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