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How to Lubricate Shocks and Struts?

Maintaining the health of your vehicle involves many different components, and among these are the shocks and struts. These integral parts of your vehicle’s suspension system play a paramount role in absorbing road shock, providing a smooth riding experience. Over time, they can wear out, resulting in a rough and bumpy ride. One way to extend their life and improve their performance is through regular lubrication.

This guide will walk you through the process, providing a practical and organized approach on how to lubricate shocks and struts.

What are Shocks and Struts, and Why Do They Need Lubrication?

Shocks and struts are essential parts of your vehicle’s suspension system. They work together to absorb impact from road imperfections, ensuring a smoother and more comfortable ride. Shocks absorb and dissipate energy from road ups and downs, while struts—coils and shock absorbers combined—provide structural support to the suspension system.

Why is lubrication necessary? Lubrication reduces friction and wear and tear between the moving parts, ensuring they function smoothly. Without regular lubrication, the shocks and struts can become stiff, leading to a less comfortable ride and potentially more significant suspension issues. Regular application of the right lubricant can extend the life of these components and improve overall vehicle performance.

Different Types of Lubricants Available for Shocks and Struts

When it comes to lubricating shocks and struts, there are several different types of lubricants available on the market. Depending on the condition of your vehicle’s suspension system and the type of shock or strut you have, one may be more suitable for your needs than another.

Silicone-based lubricants are designed to replace worn out silicone seals in shocks and struts. They help reduce friction between the seals and other components, lessening wear and tear over time. Grease-based lubricants are designed to fill in small spaces, reducing friction between moving parts while helping to keep debris away from delicate components.

You can also find multipurpose lubricants that provide a combination of both silicone and grease-based lubrication. These lubricants are especially useful for parts that are exposed to moisture, dust, and heat.

How to Lubricate Shocks and Struts: A Step-by-Step Guide

This guide provides a simple and practical approach to lubricating your vehicle’s shocks and struts. Regular maintenance will help preserve the lifespan and performance of these critical components.

Tools Needed

Before beginning, you will need to procure the necessary tools. These include a portable jack, safety stands, wrenches or sockets of various sizes and shapes, grease gun, and shock/strut grease. Depending on the model of your vehicle and its suspension system, you may also need additional tools such as an adjustable wrench or a flathead screwdriver. It is also recommended that you obtain a manual for your specific vehicle to ensure accurate directions.

Step 1: Prepare Your Vehicle

The first step in lubricating shocks and struts is to prepare your vehicle properly. This involves lifting the car off the ground, so you will need to use the jack and safety stands as mentioned earlier. When lifting the vehicle, make sure to position your jack on an even and stable surface. Then, with the help of the manual, locate and release any clamps or bolts that may be securing the shock absorbers in place. Once you have your vehicle off the ground and all relevant bolts are unfastened, you can move onto step two: lubrication.

Step 2: Grease the Shocks/Struts

For this step, start by attaching the grease gun to the shock’s or strut’s valve. Point the nozzle towards the opening of the valve and press down on it. This should apply a moderate amount of pressure and push some of the lubricant into the inner chambers of your shock absorbers. After you have greased all of the shock absorbers, use a rag to wipe away any excess grease and then reattach the bolts that were removed in step one.

Step 3: Test Your Vehicle

Once you have completed steps 1 and 2, it is time to test your vehicle to make sure everything is working correctly. Start by engaging the parking brake and then slowly lower your vehicle back onto the ground. Next, take your car for a short test drive to make sure that the shocks and struts are functioning properly. If you notice any vibrations or hear any strange noises, you may need to check all of your bolts again. It is also important to remember that lubrication should be done at least once per year, as this can help to extend the life of your shock absorbers.

Benefits of regularly lubricating shocks and struts

Regularly lubricating shocks and struts has numerous benefits for your vehicle’s performance, safety, and lifespan. It reduces friction between moving parts, minimizes wear and tear, and ensures smoother operation. Lubrication also safeguards against rust and corrosion, especially in harsh environmental conditions. Moreover, it prevents dust and debris from causing damage, as these particles are more likely to stick to dry surfaces. Regular maintenance enhances driving experience by improving comfort and handling, as well as responsiveness to road conditions.

Identifying when it’s Time to Replace Shocks and Struts

While regular lubrication can extend the lifespan of your shocks and struts, these components are not designed to last forever and will eventually need replacing. Here are a few signs that it may be time to replace your shocks or struts:

Unusual Noises: If you start noticing unusual noises, such as knocking or banging sounds when you drive over bumps, it may signal that your shocks or struts are worn out.

Uneven Tire Wear: Worn out shocks and struts can cause your tires to wear unevenly, affecting your vehicle’s handling and safety.

Deteriorated Ride Quality: If your car starts bouncing or swaying more than usual during rides, or you feel a decrease in comfort, these could be signs of worn shocks or struts.

Leaking Fluid: Shocks and struts contain fluid which can leak when they’re worn out. If you notice any fluid leaks in the area of your shocks and struts, it’s likely time for a replacement.

Visual Inspection: Physical damage, such as dents or corrosion on your shocks or struts, are clear indicators that a replacement is necessary.

FAQs about Lubricate Shocks and Struts

Can you add oil to shocks?

Yes, you can add oil to your shocks. This is generally done when the vehicle has been sitting for a long period of time or when you are trying to lubricate and maintain the seals on shock absorbers. It’s important to use the correct type of oil that’s compatible with your shocks.

How do you fill car shocks with oil?

Fill your car shocks with oil easily. Get the right oil type and amount for your shock absorbers. Fill each absorber using a syringe until it reaches the correct level. Replace the dust cover and secure bolts or screws removed.

Can you spray lubricant on struts?

Yes, you can spray lubricant on struts. However, when doing so it’s important to use an appropriate lubricant designed for the purpose and take precautionary measures such as wearing safety glasses or a face shield. Applying lubricant to your struts should be done with care in order to prevent any damage to the components.

What can I use to lubricate shocks?

You have several options to lubricate your shocks. These include molybdenum disulfide oil, white lithium grease, and synthetic shock absorber oils. Ensure that your choice is compatible with your vehicle’s shock absorbers and meets the manufacturer’s specifications.

Do struts need oil?

Yes, most struts need oil in order to remain lubricated and running smooth. If your struts don’t have oil, they can start to wear out quickly or become noisy. To keep your struts properly lubricated, it’s important to check the oil level regularly and top off when needed. It’s also a good idea to use the appropriate type of oil, such as molybdenum disulfide or synthetic shock absorber oil.


By following these steps, you will be sure to learn how to lubricate your shocks and struts quickly and efficiently! Taking care of your car is key to having a long-lasting vehicle. Investing in regular maintenance can save you from costly repairs down the line. When your vehicle needs an oil change, take the time to access whether your shock absorbers or struts need lubrication. Check the external parts of your shocks and struts for signs of wear. If they appear dry and cracked, they likely need new sealant or solder points before additional lubrication is applied. Keeping up-to-date with maintaining these components can help ensure that your ride is comfortable and able to handle the road surfaces with ease.

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