A suspension is a collection of components that play a significant role in the comfort and handling of your vehicle.
Two of the most integral components of the suspension system are shocks and struts.
In essence, the former provides support for the vehicle’s weight while the latter absorbs impacts during driving over potholes and bumps.
The shocks and struts in your car can go bad just like any other component of your suspension.
It doesn’t matter, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explain how to lubricate shocks and struts in order to keep up the suspension.
Will Creaks and Squeaks be Eliminate by Lubricating Shocks and Struts?
The first line of defense in prolonging the lifespan and performance of both struts and shocks is to lubricate them. Lubricating shocks and struts regularly help keep them in good condition, but it can also reduce squeaking and creaking.
There is, however, a limit to how long this can last. A lack of lubricant will cause struts and shocks to creak and squeak again.
Grease and oil are not meant to eliminate unpleasant noises, but to keep the struts and shocks running effectively for longer periods of time.
How Often Should I Lubricate Shocks and Struts?
The type of shocks and struts used on a vehicle can vary depending on the model.
Most shocks and struts need lubrication once a year or about every 6,000 miles. The shocks and struts in your vehicle might not be squeaking or creaking, but if you hear these noises, then lubricating them is necessary.
The problem can occur even before you reach 6,000 miles. You should usually lubricate your shocks and struts as soon as you hit a pothole.
How to Lubricate Shocks and Struts: A Step-by-Step Guide
Listed below are the necessary items:
There are some items you need to have on hand for lubricating your vehicle’s shocks and struts. The tools include a jack, jack stands, rags, a syringe, a long-nozzle oil can, and an aerosol can. It is now time to get the grease/oil and these items together.
- It is necessary to jack up your vehicle before you can access the shocks and struts. You need to lift your car from the ground using a floor jack, then place jack stands on top to provide proper support. The shocks and struts will be visible once the wheels are removed. You may want to avoid this step if the struts on your vehicle can be accessed freely.
- The following instructions will show you how to grease shocks and struts. As long as you have both components in sight, you can easily see where the aerosol can of oil needs to be sprayed. Let the oil penetrate the bearings, turn plates, and bushings of the struts. After that, repeat the process once again and wait for it to finish.
- Inject some grease using the syringe once about 5 minutes have passed after the second round of penetrating oil was applied. Use the syringe to apply grease to the bushings, strut bearings, and turn plates again.
- Use the long nozzle oil can along with the syringe if you are unable to reach any of these areas with the syringe. Aerosol cans can also be used instead of syringes. This case is yours to decide.
- Once that has been accomplished, put the wheels back on and then lower the vehicle with a floor jack. If you plan on lowering your car, make sure you remove the jack stands first. After you have safely lowered your vehicle on the ground, repeat the process on the front or back, depending on which side you started with.
Is there any need to Replace Rubber Bushings?
When you lubricate your vehicle’s struts and shocks, you will need to replace the rubber bushings as well. What’s the reason? Rather than rely on worn-out old bushings, it is better to have new ones instead.
- As with lubricating the shocks and struts, you’ll have to raise the car to replace the rubber bushings. To see what exactly is happening under your vehicle when you replace the rubber bushings, you’ll need a flashlight. Check the bolts and rubber bushings of the struts, bushings, and shocks for damage.
- A rubber bushing can crack or be pulled away from its original position due to cracks. There are times when rubber bushings will appear orange. You will need to replace rubber bushings if at least one of these symptoms exists. Damage is likely to occur to them as a result.
- While you’re at it, check the shocks for any squeaks if they’re covered in oil. It is possible to do this by pressing the hood near where the wheel is located. You should replace your struts if both signs are present. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the repair, it is recommended that you replace both struts at the same time.
What are the Right Products for Lubricating Shocks and Struts?
By using an aerosol product properly, you can lubricate and prolong the lifespan of your car shocks and struts.
In additionally to lubricating oils and grease, other products can also be used to improve the efficiency of the former two. By doing so, you extend the life of your shocks and struts.
When lubricating shocks and struts, people usually refer to products such as WD-40 and PB Blaster.
Water displacement products are used in tight crevices to remove water. It is also possible to use Fluorocarbon Gel 880 and Theo lube 393 as alternatives to WD-40 and PB Blaster.
In the former, there is the ability to displace water, while in the latter there is a thickened and heavy hydrocarbon grease designed to last quite a long time.
Why Shocks and Struts Are Not the Same?
A suspension system also includes struts, which, if removed, would result in the wheels collapsing and the vehicle sinking.
In suspensions, struts support the weight of a vehicle, act as springs, and serve as a pivot point for its steering system. In other suspension types, they replace upper control arms and upper ball joints.
As the pivot point for the wheels of your vehicle, struts also serve as part of the steering system in the front of the vehicle.
What Do Struts and Shocks Look Like?
Look at the bottom portion of the absorber instead of the coil springs on these parts to tell them apart.
Only one bolt holds shocks in place, not struts. Your vehicle will also have an upper control arm if you have a shock.
Struts attach directly to the steering knuckle if their bottom portion is attached. Whether a tie rod is attached to the absorber is another indication of struts.
What are the Loaded or Complete Strut Elements?
Strut Mount: Found at the top of the strut, they are typically a metal component that attaches the strut to the body of the vehicle. The mount has a rubber section that isolates tire noise and vibrations from the vehicle. Many strut mounts have an integrated bearing or bearing plate to serve as the steering pivot.
Strut Bumper: A compressible suspension component that prevents metal-on-metal contact.
Coil Spring: A spring steel rod wound in a spiral (helix) shape that allows the vehicle to adapt to bumps and dips in the road. Installs near or around shocks and struts.
Spring Seat: Hard rubber or plastic cushions/insulators mounted between the coil spring.
You can even prolong the lifespan of your shocks and struts by combining these products. Furthermore, you should also avoid potholes and bumps on the road as much as you can without causing a collision.
If you want to get the most from shocks and struts, knowing how to lubricate shocks and struts won’t suffice. The shocks and struts on your car don’t matter if they’re quality.