Struts and shocks are very similar in function, but very different in design. The job of both is to control excessive spring motion; however, struts are also a structural component of the suspension. Struts can take the place of two or three conventional suspension components and are often used as a pivot point for steering and to adjust the position of the wheels for alignment purposes.
Experts recommend replacement of automotive shocks and struts at 50,000 miles. Testing has shown that original equipment gas-charged shocks and struts degrade measurably by 50,000 miles*. For many popular-selling vehicles, replacing these worn shocks and struts can improve the vehicle's handling characteristics and comfort. Unlike a tire, which rotates a specific number of times per mile, a shock absorber or strut may compress and extend several times per mile on a smooth road, or several hundred times per mile on a very rough road. There are other factors that affect the life of a shock or strut, such as, regional weather conditions, amount and type of road contaminates, driving habits, loading of the vehicle, tire / wheel modifications, and the general mechanical condition of the suspension and tires. Have your shocks and struts inspected by your local Monroe Expert Plus dealer or any ASE Certified Technician once a year, or every 12,000 miles.
*Actual mileage may vary, depending upon driver ability, vehicle type, and the type of driving and road conditions.
It's relatively easy for most vehicle owners to determine when their tires, brakes and windshield wipers are worn out. Shocks and struts, on the other hand, aren't nearly as simple to inspect, in spite of the fact that these safety-critical components are high susceptible to everyday wear and tear. Shocks and struts should be inspected by your local Monroe Expert Plus dealer or any ASE Certified Technician every time it is brought in for tire, brake or alignment services. During a road test, a technician may notice an unusual noise originating from the suspension system. The technician may also notice that the vehicle exhibits excessive bounce, sway, or dive during braking. This could warrant additional inspection. If the shock or strut has lost a large amount of fluid, if it is bent or broken, or if it has damaged brackets or worn bushings, it should be repaired or replaced. Generally, replacement of parts will be required if a part no longer performs the intended purpose, if the part does not meet a design specification (regardless of performance), or if a part is missing. Replacement shocks may also be installed in order to improve the ride, for preventative reasons, or to meet a special requirement; for example, load-assisting shock absorbers can be installed for leveling a vehicle that is often used to carry additional weight.
If the shocks or struts are functioning correctly, a light film of oil covering the top half of the working chamber does not warrant replacement. This light film of oil results when oil used to lubricate the rod gets wiped from the rod as it travels into the painted part of the shock or strut. (The rod is lubricated as it cycles in and out of the working chamber). When the shock / strut is manufactured, an extra amount of oil is added to the shock / strut to compensate for this slight loss. On the other hand, fluid leaking down the side of the shock / strut indicates a worn or damaged seal, and the unit should be replaced.
The main cause of oil leakage is seal damage. The cause of the damage should be identified and corrected prior to replacing shocks or struts. Most suspensions incorporate some type of rubber suspension stops called "jounce" and "rebound" bumpers. These bumpers protect the shock or strut from damage due to topping or bottoming. Most struts also utilize replaceable dust boots to keep contaminants from damaging the oil seals. To prolong the life of the replacement shocks or struts, these components should be replaced if they are worn, cracked, damaged or missing.
Shocks and struts are an integral part of your suspension system. They work to prevent suspension parts and tires from wearing out prematurely. If worn, they could jeopardize your ability to stop, steer and maintain stability. They also work to maintain tire contact with the road and reduce the rate at which vehicle weight transfers among the wheels when negotiating corners or during braking.
There are many factors which affect tire wear. The five main items are:
A "cupped" wear pattern is typically caused by worn steering / suspension components or by worn shocks / struts. Typically, worn suspension components (i.e. ball joints, control arm bushings, wheel bearings) will result in sporadic cupping patterns, whereas worn shocks / struts will generally leave a repeating cupping pattern. To prevent replacement of good components, all parts should be inspected for damage or excessive wear prior to replacement.
Yes, gas charged shocks / struts contain the same amount of oil as standard hydraulic units do. Gas pressure is added to the unit in order to control a condition referred to as "shock fade," which occurs when the oil in a shock or strut foams due to agitation, excessive heat, and low pressure areas which develop behind the piston (aeration). The gas pressure compresses air bubbles trapped within the oil until they are so small that they do not affect the shock's performance. This allows the unit to ride better and to perform more consistently.
There is most likely nothing wrong with the replacement units, but a metallic "clunking noise" typically indicates loose or worn mounting hardware. If the noise is present with a replacement shock absorber, check that the mountings are tightened securely, and look for other worn suspension parts. Some shock absorbers utilize a "clevis" type mount, which must squeeze the sides of the shock's "mounting sleeve" very securely (like a vise would) in order to prevent noise. If the noise is present with a strut, then the upper bearing plate should be inspected and replaced if necessary. Old mounting bolts can stretch if over-torqued or if they have been loosened and retightened multiple times, resulting in a noise. If mounting bolts no longer hold their original torque, or if they have been stretched, they should be replaced.
Definitely! Because removal, replacement and alignment of struts or shock absorbers can be labor intensive, it is a good idea to have the "bearing / mounting plate", and mounting bolts inspected along with other parts that are designed to protect the strut / shock such as the "jounce bumper" and "dust boot". You'll not only be saving yourself from paying for the same labor charges again, but you will also be protecting the investment you made in new parts.
Yes. Monroe recommends alignments anytime replacement struts are installed. However, there are a few exceptions where the vehicle manufacturer does not provide alignment provisions, or where the alignment angles are not affected by a strut replacement. Examples include certain double wishbone, some modified type struts, and suspension systems which utilize shock absorbers.
When installing existing components onto a replacement strut, care must be taken to insure the upper spring seat is installed with the correct orientation to the lower spring seat or mount. The orientation of the upper spring seat determines the direction that the coil spring is bowed to allow for inner fender clearance. If the orientation is off, the spring may rub on the inner fender well when the wheels are turned or when the suspension is compressed.
The main cause for this is a strut bearing plate that will not rotate freely due to contaminants, over-torqued rod nut, or wear. Other causes can include: low tire pressure, incorrect alignment angles, and binding steering components such as ball joints, tie-rod ends, and steering rack.
In most cases, no… many vehicles use shock absorber length to limit the suspension travel when the wheels are hanging in order to protect components from damage. For this reason, shocks should be installed with the vehicle suspension at normal ride height. Replacement could be performed on drive-on type ramps, over a mechanics pit, or on an alignment rack. Examples of components typically protected against damage from over-extension are: ball joints, tie-rod ends, 4WD half shafts / CV joints, U-joints, brake lines, ABS sensor lines, and height sensors. If the vehicle has been modified with an aftermarket suspension system, specially designed longer shocks are typically required.
Most modern shock absorbers utilize a twin (dual) tube construction; in order to work properly the inner of the two tubes (working chamber) should stay completely filled with oil. The outer (reserve) tube contains an oil reserve along with air or a pressurized gas. If the unit is mounted inverted (rod side down), the air or gas in the outer chamber can enter the inner working chamber, resulting in poor damping performance. Therefore, twin tube shock absorbers should not be mounted upside down (or on their side), with the exception of specially designed units that incorporate a gas cell, or cellular gas material, designed to keep the gas retained in the outer reserve tube.
As a safety feature, some replacement struts are equipped with a large diameter lower spring seat. This seat is designed to prevent a broken coil spring from contacting the tire. Clearance should be checked if larger tires, tire chains, or replacement wheels are being used.
Positive Molding Technology is a key performance-enhancing feature of Monroe® Premium Brake Pads. This press-curing process, the same used by leading OE manufacturers, guarantees that full friction-material density is reached on every part. Most aftermarket competitors utilize the "Flash Mold" process, requiring high resin content to make the friction material flow. High resin creates fade, which can increase stopping distances up to 50%.
To maintain the braking performance of any vehicle, it's generally recommended to follow the OE manufacturer's choice of friction material (replacing semi-metallic with semi-metallic, organic with organic, etc.). There are, however, options for improving braking performance. That's why Monroe® offers choices to assist in making the best selection for each vehicle. Monroe Ceramics® brake pads feature a non-ferrous formulation to reduce noise and dusting. Monroe Dynamics® semi-metallic formulations and manufacturing technologies increase overall pad life. Both offer stable friction performance across wide temperature ranges.
Monroe® highlights the original equipment formulation in the catalog. Simply look for the bold-face part number.
Monroe® manufactures a comprehensive range of friction products, each engineered to fit and perform like OE for each application.
As Total Solution™ for brake specialists, Monroe® pads are shipped complete with advanced rubberized shims pre-attached, as well as all required clips and lubrication for most applications.
Total Solution™ pads, shims, clips and lubrication are packaged together in a single box to ensure you have all of the parts you need for a perfect repair for most applications.
Monroe's "Positive Molding Technology" (O.E.-specified constant pressure molding process for bonding the pad to the backing plate) reduces resin content by 50%,resulting in more active ingredient in the friction material. This denser material performs better, lasts longer, produces less dust and is quieter.
The Monroe® pads' Q-lock textured backing plate holds friction material better than conventional stamped-steel for less pad separation, less vibration and less noise.
This includes the abutment hardware/clips and moly-based silicone lubricant included with each set of Monroe® brake pads to ensure satisfaction.
Integrally molded, or molded directly to the backing plate, results in much more strength and less flex than the riveting process.
The quality of today's drums and rotors requires removal of any and all dust, particles and/or residues. Residual contaminants may be present from reconditioning or shipping. Monroe® recommends removing contaminants with detergent, warm water and a clean cloth. CAUTION: Shop towels are chemically treated and may leave a residue that will result in glazing.
Monroe® recommends removing contaminants with detergent, warm water and a clean cloth. CAUTION: Shop towels are chemically treated and may leave a residue that will result in glazing.
The CNC lathe used during rotor manufacturing creates a surface roughness (Ra) that meets or exceeds the OE standard. It is difficult to obtain this Ra when reconditioning, or turning, new rotors so Monroe® does not recommend turning new rotors.
To maintain the braking performance of any vehicle, the generally accepted recommendation is to follow the manufacturer's choice of friction material when replacing brake pads (replace semi-metallic with semi-metallic, organic with organic, etc.). There are, however, options for improving braking performance, and Monroe® offers choices to assist in making the best selection to meet vehicle braking requirements.
Pedal pulsation may occur when rotors or drums have been overheated or incorrectly machined. Rotor run out and thickness variations are often the result of incorrect torquing of wheel lug nuts.
Disc brakes do not have return springs. A sticky piston or dirty or rusty sliding surface may prevent the pads from sufficiently releasing, allowing them to drag on the rotor. Brake pull may also be caused by worn a wheel bearing, suspension components or tires of unequal sizes generating different levels of leverage.
A soft pedal could indicate an internal master cylinder leaking, air in system or drum brakes out of adjustment.
Refer to manufacturer's manual for service and calibration or indexing schedule.
As a rule, nothing should ever be applied to the surface of the brake pad. In the event that the surface becomes contaminated, clean with detergent and warm water. ("Brake Clean" may be used to remove heavy soiling, but must be followed with detergent and warm water).
As the friction material wears, the brake lining material becomes airborne. The rotation of the wheel assembly causes a magnetic field that may attract ferrous metals from the lining material. Monroe Ceramics® are a genuine ceramic formulation with virtually no ferrous metal content, and Monroe® Dymanics are formulated to have the least ferrous metal content of any semi-metallic friction material available.
Monroe® utilizes OE processes to manufacture integrally-molded, O.E.-quality premium disc brake pads for the aftermarket. Slots and/or chamfers match OE specifications.
Proper break-in is one of the most important factors in determining brake pad performance, as it seats the pads for optimum performance. Monroe® recommends 15 to 20 gentle stops from 20 mph. Monroe® Premium Brake Pads' positive molding technology does not require burnishing.
Manufacturers recommendation is that the brake system should be inspected every 12 months.
Common causes include worn brake pads, low brake fluid level, and worn wheel bearings/hub assembly.
A squealing noise can be caused by: worn brake pads/shoes; wrong brake pads/shoes; improper rotor finish; lack of lubrication; worn hardware; and/or fatigued brake shoe hold-down springs.