When to replace shocks and struts?



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Thread: When to replace shocks and struts?

  1. #1
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    Question When to replace shocks and struts?

    Aside from the "front-fender-bounce test," when do you folks usually replace the struts and shocks on these vans? I've had my 2006 GC SXT for 3 years now and have 38,000 miles on it. I'm still making payments on this thing (6 more, yay!) and want it to drive as close to new as possible.

    I actually still have the original Turanza tires on it as well; they've actually held up much better than expected but I don't trust them (even though there is still significant tread across most of the footprint). I'm planning to replace the tires soon with the Michelin Harmony and thought I might install new struts and shocks first. I'm also planning to get an alignment.

    Thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmeguy View Post
    Aside from the "front-fender-bounce test," when do you folks usually replace the struts and shocks on these vans? I've had my 2006 GC SXT for 3 years now and have 38,000 miles on it. I'm still making payments on this thing (6 more, yay!) and want it to drive as close to new as possible.

    I actually still have the original Turanza tires on it as well; they've actually held up much better than expected but I don't trust them (even though there is still significant tread across most of the footprint). I'm planning to replace the tires soon with the Michelin Harmony and thought I might install new struts and shocks first. I'm also planning to get an alignment.

    Thoughts?
    While one could make the argument to replace the Turanza tires, there is no evidence to suggest that you should mess with the shocks and struts for a long-long time yet. FWIW, our 2003 has over 130,000 miles on the factory shocks and struts, and they're all still good. Our 1998 still had the factory struts on at 170,000 miles (when we sold it) and they were still good to go as well. The only change I had to make to either of our vans was that the rear shocks on our 1998 needed replacing at the 150,000 mile mark, not because they weren't working any longer but because the dust shields on both sides had rusted away to tatters, and said tatters were starting to contact the shock valve body and make noise.
    Sold: 1998 DGC Sport 3.8 (Final odo: 178,000 miles)
    Sold: 1998 Chrysler T&C LXi 3.8 (Final odo: 190,000 miles)
    Sold: 2003 DGC ES 3.8 (Final odo: 172,000 miles)
    1998 Audi A4 Quattro (5-Speed manual)
    2001 Honda Accord EX V6 (4-Speed automatic)
    2009 Mazda3 i Touring (5-Speed manual)
    2012 VW GTI (6-Speed manual)

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    I'm sure your struts are fine. When you get tires, ask for the free alignment check before you actually say you want an alignment. I've heard of places charging for alignments when the suspension was still within factory specs but did it because the customer specifically asked for it.
    Candy the van. '98 Sport 3.8L 132,200 miles. Used trans at ~96k. Great piece of my life and a fine van.

    '69 GTO drop top
    www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Greif/1410438927

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    I'm sure your struts are fine.
    Respectfully, what are you basing this on? Are you fairly certain that yours are in good condition? I just want my (wife and kids') ride to be the best possible.

    I HOPE the struts/shocks are fine at 38000 miles, but my 2001 Ram had blown its shocks by 20000 so I thought I would see what folks here have experienced. These vans are heavy and I don't have much confidence in Chrysler's factory parts. But I'm not looking for a reason to blow money either!

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    Unless you are having a specific problem with your struts, I would agree with andyg. Everything I have heard from mechanics and others indicates that, in almost all cases, modern struts can be expected to give good service for a very long time, and it is highly unlikely that replacement is warranted until well after 100,000 miles.

    Put new struts on and you are probably wasting your money.

    How did you know your 2001 RAM had "blown" its shocks?
    Michael
    Centreville, VA
    Currently driving:
    2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT, 120K mi.
    Former owner of:
    1988 Dodge Caravan SE, 2.5L I4 (1988-1995, 99K mi); 1995 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE "Rallye", 3.3L (1995-2004, 169K mi); 2003 Grand Caravan Sport, 3.8L, (2004-2008, 106K mi), 2008 Nissan Quest, (2008-2010, 25K mi)

    Other vehicles:
    2008 Lexus RX400h (Dark Gray), 98K mi; 2005 Hyundai Elantra GT (Blue), 75K mi

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmeguy View Post
    Respectfully, what are you basing this on? Are you fairly certain that yours are in good condition? I just want my (wife and kids') ride to be the best possible.

    I HOPE the struts/shocks are fine at 38000 miles, but my 2001 Ram had blown its shocks by 20000 so I thought I would see what folks here have experienced. These vans are heavy and I don't have much confidence in Chrysler's factory parts. But I'm not looking for a reason to blow money either!
    My van has had the crap beat out of it its whole life. I replaced the front struts around 85k miles as it was starting to be floaty over dips and some larger bumps.

    The factory struts lasted the first 60k miles towing campers and hauling electrical equipment for a business. The miles from 60k onward were actually driven by me. I drive the van like I stole it every minuet after the engine has warmed up. WOT and hard on the brakes all the time, cornering at the very limits often and other such abuse. I make sure the Sport suspension gets its workout and I am very aware when something is wrong.

    That's how I can assume your 38k mile struts are fine. Most people don't drive their minivans like I do.
    Candy the van. '98 Sport 3.8L 132,200 miles. Used trans at ~96k. Great piece of my life and a fine van.

    '69 GTO drop top
    www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Greif/1410438927

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    Original shocks on my minivan @116K
    Replaced front/rear shocks on my truck at ~170Kmiles
    1994 Chevy K1500 220Kmiles
    1999 DGC 3.8 SE AWD 116Kmiles

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    Mine are all origional at 200,000klm. and it rides good.
    2000 Caravan 3 L. 17-20 MPG. 134,000 klm. New tranny at 97 K. Tires are P205 70R14 Bridgstone M+S. 123,800 KM. replaced tensioner pulley, serpentine belt, and power steering pulley.
    Old reliable - 1982 Dodge Ram Long Box 318 Auto 3 speed transmission 66 K.

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    Thanks all, just thought I would ask.

    As for my old Ram, the rear shocks had fluid leaking out of both at 20000 miles so I replaced all four. Suddenly it drove like you would expect a one-year-old truck to drive. The general consensus on the Ram forum I used to go to was the Ram's factory shocks were garbage.

    As for the GC, I think the ride is still good. I just seem to remember being VERY impressed with the ride when it was new and now I don't get that feeling. Again, just thought I would see how they've held up for other folks.

    Thanks again.

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    I rebuilt/replaced the struts & shocks with OEM on my 02 DGC @ 105kmi, having to replace the worn/"notchy" strut tower bearings. While the other components were by no means "bad", the whole package did yield a noticeable/satisfying improvement in tightness/damping.

    With your (the original poster's) low mileage, I doubt it's time - unless you are experiencing other issues.... (Go for tires, though.)

    -Jim
    Last edited by JCamasto; 11-03-2009 at 01:56 AM.

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