Car suspension systems ensure driving comfort, handling performance, and offer smooth riding. They absorb shocks and harshness when driving a car off-road.
But your vehicle’s shocks & struts start losing their ability to handle the pressure. Over time, they get worn out. Auto repair experts suggest we should replace our suspension systems every 50000-100000 miles.
Regarding this, you go to your near automobile part equipment shop to get shocks & struts. The heck is- you can find multiple options from different brands, which makes it challenging to pick the right one. Indeed, you get confused and ask- who makes the best shocks and struts?
Don’t be fret! We will break down this question and provide you a list of the top 7 brands that make the best vehicle suspension systems. So, let’s check out this guide to discover your next go-to brand.
What are shock and strut? Understanding the basics
Shock and strut are separate components but work together to provide a comfortable and stable ride. Shock absorbers, or shocks, are hydraulic devices that help dampen and absorb the vibrations and shocks caused by uneven roads and rough terrain.
Struts, on the other hand, are structural components that support the vehicle’s weight and keep the wheels aligned. They also act as shock absorbers but are more robust and integrated into the suspension system.
In simpler terms, shocks and struts work together to absorb and dampen the forces and vibrations that occur when you drive over bumps, potholes, or uneven roads.
This elements help prevent your vehicle from bouncing or swaying excessively, which can affect your control and stability. They also reduce wear and tear on your tires, steering, and other components, which can lead to costly repairs.
Are shocks and struts the same thing?
No, shocks and struts are not the same, although they both serve a similar purpose in a vehicle’s suspension system.
Shocks, also known as shock absorbers, are cylindrical devices typically mounted vertically to the vehicle’s chassis or frame and the suspension system.
They help dampen the up-and-down movement of the suspension, which is caused by uneven road surfaces or sudden changes in speed or direction. Shocks are usually metal and contain hydraulic fluid, a piston, and a cylinder.
Struts, on the other hand, are a type of suspension assembly that combines a shock absorber and a coil spring into a single unit. They are typically mounted horizontally and provide more structural support to the vehicle’s suspension system compared to shocks.
Struts are commonly found on front-wheel-drive cars and are often used in place of shocks in rear-wheel-drive vehicles.
What is the difference between shocks and struts?
When it comes to a vehicle’s suspension system, shocks, and struts are two terms that are often used interchangeably. While they both are vital in providing a smooth and comfortable ride, they are not the same.
We’ll explore the differences between shocks and struts and help you understand why they are not interchangeable.
Design: Shocks are standalone components mounted vertically to the vehicle’s chassis. At the same time, struts are integrated components that combine a shock absorber and a coil spring into a single unit mounted horizontally.
Structural support: Struts provide more structural support to a vehicle’s suspension system than shocks, which makes them more commonly used in front-wheel-drive cars.
Cost: Struts are generally more expensive than shocks due to their complex design.
Installation: Replacing shocks is generally easier than replacing struts, which require more labor and time.
Ride quality: Because struts provide more support to the suspension system, they often result in a smoother and more controlled ride than shocks.
Best Shocks and Struts Brand: Our Top Brand Recommendations
Are you experiencing a bumpy ride while driving your vehicle? Do you hear strange noises or feel vibrations coming from your suspension system? It might be time to replace your shocks and struts.
Choosing the best shocks and struts brand is crucial for optimal performance and safety on the road. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to make the right choice.
We’ll guide you through the process of finding the best shocks and struts brand in the USA. So, buckle up and let’s dive in!
Monroe Shocks & Struts started its journey in 1916 in Monroe, Mich. August F. Meyer, a mechanic & entrepreneur, is the founder of Monroe, which was known as Monroe Auto Equipment Company at the beginning.
This company manufactured tire pumps for the first few years. Later, Meyer partnered with Charles S. McIntyre, who helped to manufacture the company’s first self-oiled & single-barreled pumps.
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After ten years later, Meyer and McIntyre decided to grab the larger opportunity- the demand for driver comfort & control. One year later, they designed the first Monroe Shock Eliminator. It helped to absorb shocks when driving off-road. That’s how Monroe makes its first shock absorber.
Now, Monroe has millions of customers who use Monroe’s high-quality and high-performance shocks & struts. Monroe designs and produces different types of shocks and struts. OESPECTRUM, Reflex, Monro-Matic Plus, Gas-Magnum, and Max-air shocks and struts Monroe offers.
Each of them offers exceptional control under every driving condition. Besides, they damp out vibration, bounce, and harshness for smooth driving.
Here is the list of best shocks & struts Monroe offers:
Drive the legend! Perhaps you are familiar with this motto. Yes, we talk about BILSTEIN. This company changed the damping technology and made a big name offering premium-quality and high-performance automobile parts.
Since 1954, BILSTEIN has been developing and designing the world-best dampers for racing cars. Whether you want to drive off-road or on-road, BILSTEIN always leads the drive.
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Its high-performance suspension systems put you at the front line of racing pleasure. They manufacture each of the products with premium material combined with the best technology. As a result, their shocks & struts always meet your style and requirements.
For example, the BILSTEIN Evo R suspension system uses a lightweight aluminum construction for stability and quick laps. It features two personalized dials to set up the damper. With its Pro-Click adjustment, you can set rebound and bump separately.
Now, let’s check out the list of best BILSTEIN shocks and struts.
- Bilstein 24-186643 Shock Absorber
- Bilstein 33-238319 Shock Absorber
- Bilstein 24191203 Shock Absorber
Whether you look for OE parts or aftermarket parts for your vehicle, ACDELCO will be there to support you.
ACDELCO has stood by the side of GM since its birth in 1908. You know that General Motors always pushes the limits and designs the best automobile parts for GM vehicles.
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Each of the OE parts fits every GM vehicle as they are designed, tested, and backed by GM. And gold and silver parts from ACDELCO are the alternative to OE parts. All of them are tested and approved by GM.
When it comes to suspension products from ACDelco, you can hardly find a brand that can beat ACDelco. The shocks & struts from this brand use high-carbon steel to ensure durability.
On top of that, the shocks feature a micro-finish pressure tube bore to operate the piston smoothly. Due to the metal piston, the shock absorbers can tolerate blow-off waving. Indeed, ensuring better control over your vehicle is the purpose of each of ACDelco struts.
Here is a shortlist of the best ACDelco shocks and struts.
- ACDelco 903-035RS Front Suspension Strut
- ACDelco 530-298 Premium Front Shock Absorber
- ACDelco 525-68 Heavy Duty Rear Shock Absorber
Rough Country emerged in the market in 1975 as an aftermarket online shop. But they turned into a company we loved today’s Rough Country in 1986. Providing the best and high-performance products is the goal of this automobile company.
The products this manufacturer includes in its lineup are lift kits, wheels & tires, winches, steering, and performance automobile parts.
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And vehicle suspension-related parts like shocks and struts from Rough Country are premium in quality. You can tackle both terrain or smooth streets by installing Rough Country’s shocks.
Each shock from this brand uses a high-quality aluminum body to ensure longevity. Therefore, the internal floating piston can handle unbridled vibration efficiently.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best shocks & struts from Rough Country.
- Rough Country 2.5″ Lift Kit
- Rough Country 3″ Lift Kit (fits) 2010-2020 4-Runner
- Rough Country 2.5″ Leveling Kit (fits) 2004-2008 F150
Rancho or Go Rancho is a widely-accepted brand that offers aftermarket suspension products. Shocks and struts are some of them. Putting the shocks or struts into your car, you can enjoy smooth riding as they absorb off-road harshness.
The polyurethane material of shock absorbers rebound bumps. On the other hand, a fluon-banded piston helps to absorb riding harshness and improve responsiveness.
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The best part of Rancho shocks & struts is they come with multiple adjustments damping control. As a result, you can customize the damping setting according to on or off-road conditions.
Above this, nitrogen gas pressurized Rancho shocks minimize air-to-oil mixture. In return, you can enjoy an increased damping performance.
Now, let’s introduce you to some of the best performance Rancho shocks and struts.
- Rancho RS9000XL RS999044 Shock Absorber
- Rancho RS9000XL RS999264 Shock Absorber
- Rancho RS9000XL RS999056 Shock Absorber
Gabriel is the only brand on this list that solely designed and manufactured vehicle shocks & struts. From its founding year (1907), it has only engineered, designed, and tested the best aftermarket shock absorbers.
This company is the first inventor of hydraulic shock absorbers. Therefore, it also manufactures adjustable & air adjustable shock absorbers.
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To this day, Gabriel is still thriving to design & produce high-performance shocks & struts for vehicles. Indeed, 90% of cars of Northern America install the shock or strut from Gabriel.
Below, we enlisted the top 7 Gabriel shocks & struts you can consider.
- Gabriel 43180 Rear Load Carrier
- Gabriel G63488 White Ultra Truck Shock
- Gabriel G57022 ReadyMount Complete Loaded Strut
At number 7, we enlisted KYB on our trusted list of the best brands for offering shocks and struts. It is one of the most popular and largest suppliers of vehicle performance parts.
You can find shocks and struts for every late car model on KYB. Besides, KYB also produces suspension system-related accessories.
The lineup of shocks & struts parts includes coil springs, mounting hardware, struts mounts, and so on.
Now, it’s time to check the shocks & struts list KYB offers.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Shocks and Struts Brand
Quality: The first and foremost factor to consider while choosing the best shocks and struts brand is the quality of the product. You should always look for brands that are known for their high-quality materials, durability, and reliability.
Compatibility: It’s essential to choose a brand that offers shocks and struts that are compatible with your vehicle’s make and model. You can check the manufacturer’s specifications or consult a professional mechanic to ensure that you choose the right product.
Performance: The performance of the shocks and struts is another critical factor to consider. You should look for brands that offer smooth and stable handling, improved steering response, and reduced noise and vibration.
Price: The price of the shocks and struts is also an important consideration. You should compare the prices of different brands and models to find a product that fits your budget without compromising on quality and performance.
Where to Buy Shocks and Struts? The Best Place to Buy Shocks in 2022
Shop vehicle suspension systems from the following big box stores:
- Shocks and Struts at Amazon
- Shocks and Struts at Homedepot
- Shocks and Struts at Walmart
- Shocks and Struts at ebay
Spend less, Smile More! Yes, Amazon resembles the meaning of its heading. This giant internet-based company provides household products to entertainment items at your door. It offers free shipping on millions of products. We don’t need to break down how Amazon makes our everyday life simple. You already know that.
When it’s about automobile products, you can also find them on Amazon. For example, if you look for vehicle suspension systems like shocks & struts, there are thousands of products there that come from top brands. Monroe, ACDelco, BILSTEIN, KYB, and other brands you can trust sell shocks and struts on Amazon. So, you will get the best product on this giant e-commerce site.
The best part is- Amazon lets you choose the car model and make you have to pick the right shocks that fit your vehicle. So, you never go with the wrong one.
Home Depot is the largest retailer in the USA which retails and supplies home improvement products. From decorating items to building equipment, you can find everything on Home Depot. Therefore, you can get construction products, power tools, and other everyday merchandise you need.
As Home Depot continually expanded its product lineup, you can also purchase automobile parts like shocks & struts. Besides the top brands like Monroe, other brands like BEHR Ultra, Glidden Premium, and OE Solutions are there.
They also sell shocks & struts for your vehicle. Indeed, you don’t hassle picking the best suspension systems for your car as Home Depot brings everything in front of you.
Walmart started its journey as a small discount retailer in Rogers. Now, it has become one of the biggest online retailer stores in the world. This online retailer now has thousands of shops in the USA and expanded stores around the globe. The key goal of the retail giant is to offer high-quality products at affordable prices. To give the best user experience, it allows customers to shop anytime, anywhere.
Like Amazon, you can also find millions of automobile parts on Walmart. From a tiny nut to vehicle tires, you can get everything from this big box store. At Walmart, you can purchase shocks & struts from over 50 automobile parts providers.
Monroe, ACDelco, Bilstein, and other top brands have stores on Walmart. Besides, other unknown brands like DayStar, Ridetech, Sensen are also available to get shock absorbers and struts. So, you don’t need to worry about whether you get high-quality products or not.
eBay is another American-based e-commerce website that works as a platform both for buyers and consumers. It allows the consumers to sell their used products to other consumers at a half-cut price. Like other online shops on this list, you can find almost everything from clothing to hand-craft products.
In terms of purchasing automobile parts, eBay has a wide range of automotive parts to sell. Top-tyro brands like ACDelco, Bilstein, KYB, and BuyAutoParts sell vehicle performance parts on eBay. You can choose the best shocks & struts and buy them from this e-commerce website.
Above this, you can select shocks or struts based on where you want to place them on your vehicle. For example, if you wish to get a shock absorber for the front, you will get that on eBay. Indeed, eBay makes it easy for you to pick the right shocks or struts for your vehicle.
When to replace shocks and struts?
Shocks and struts are crucial components of a vehicle’s suspension system, and over time, Shocks and struts wear out and need to replace. Here are some signs that it may be time to replace your shocks or struts:
Rough or bumpy ride: If you notice that your vehicle is bouncing or jolting excessively on rough roads, it may be a sign that your shocks or struts are worn out and not absorbing the impact as they should.
Nose dive or squat: If your vehicle dips forward when you brake or squats down in the rear when you accelerate, it may be a sign that your shocks or struts do not support the suspension system enough.
Uneven tire wear: Worn-out shocks or struts can cause uneven tire wear, resulting in a loss of traction and reduced handling performance.
Leaking fluid: If you notice fluid leaking from your shocks or struts, it’s a clear sign that they are worn out and need to be replaced.
Excessive body roll: If your vehicle leans excessively when you take corners or curves, it may be a sign that your shocks or struts do not support the suspension system enough.
High mileage: Shocks and struts typically have a lifespan of around 50,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. If your car has high mileage and you still need to replace your shocks or struts, it’s a good idea to have them inspected by a qualified mechanic to determine if they need to replace.
How much are shocks and struts?
The cost of shocks and struts can vary depending on several factors, including the make and model of your vehicle, the quality of the components, and where you purchase them. Here are some general price ranges to give you an idea of what to expect:
Shocks: On average, a single shock absorber can cost anywhere from $30 to $200, depending on the brand and quality. A set of four shocks can cost between $100 and $800.
Struts: Struts are typically more expensive than shocks due to their complex design. Depending on the brand and quality, a single strut assembly can cost anywhere from $100 to $500. A set of four strut assemblies can cost between $400 and $2,000.
Remember that these are general price ranges, and the actual cost of shocks and struts for your vehicle may be higher or lower depending on the abovementioned factors.
Additionally, the installation cost can vary depending on the labor rates at your chosen mechanic or repair shop. It’s always a good idea to get a quote from a trusted mechanic before purchasing shocks or struts to ensure that you have an accurate estimate of the total cost.
Important FAQ’s of shocks and struts
Do cars have both shocks and struts?
No, not all cars have both shocks and struts. Some vehicles have shocks only, while others have struts or a combination.
How long do shocks and struts last?
The lifespan of shocks and struts can vary depending on factors such as driving conditions, vehicle make and model, and quality of the components. On average, shocks and struts can last between 50,000 to 100,000 miles. However, it’s important to inspect them regularly by a qualified mechanic to ensure they function properly.
How much to replace shocks and struts?
The cost of replacing shocks and struts can vary depending on factors such as the make and model of your vehicle, the components’ quality, and the labor cost. The average cost ranges from $500 to $1,500 for all four shocks or struts, including parts and labor.
Does Walmart install shocks and struts?
Yes, Walmart offers shock and strut installation services at select locations. Please check with your local Walmart to see if they provide this service.
Does Costco do shocks and struts?
Costco does not offer shock and strut installation services. However, they do offer tire installation and rotation services.
Does Discount Tire do shocks and struts?
Discount Tire primarily focuses on tires and wheels and does not offer shock and strut installation services.
Does Walmart do shocks and struts?
Yes, Walmart offers shock and strut replacement services for vehicles at many of its Auto Care Centers in Walmart stores across the United States. You can check with your local Walmart Auto Care Center to confirm if they offer this service.
So, who makes the best shocks & struts?
Undoubtedly, Monroe, ACDelco, KYB, Bilstein, and Rough Country are some of the top brands that make the best aftermarket suspension systems.
You can choose shocks & struts for your car from any of the brands we mentioned above. To get them, you can go to the official site or the four big box stores to purchase shocks.
Nonetheless, don’t forget to check your car model before purchasing shocks & struts.