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Shocks 101

Should Shocks & Struts be Replaced in Pairs?

Critical Repair for Restoring Vehicle Ride and Handling

When it’s time to replace your shocks or struts, you may wonder if you need to only change the one that is failing or if you need to change additional parts. It is important to remember that shocks and struts are critical to your vehicle’s steering, handling and braking. Maintaining these crucial ride control parts can help reduce tire wear, cut down on braking distance and contribute to a comfortable ride. Learn why it’s advantageous to change both shocks and struts on an axle.

Technician inspecting shocks.

How Many Shocks And Struts Need to be Replaced?

Monroe recommends that you change your shocks and struts in pairs. If the front left strut has failed and needs to be changed, you should also install a new front right strut. Similarly, if the rear right shock needs replacing, be sure to change the rear left shock. Resist the temptation to only change the shock or strut that has failed. While you might think that you’re saving money by only changing the shock or strut that is showing signs of failure, don’t be tempted to compromise. There are many reasons why replacing both shocks and struts on an axle is the right choice for ensuring the ride and handling of your vehicle.

First But Not Last to Fail – If your shocks and/or struts were previously replaced at the same time and you only change the shock that first presents signs of failing, it is likely that it won’t be long until the other shock on the other side of axle starts to show symptoms of wear. Keep in mind that wear to shocks and struts happens gradually and it is hard to tell when they are nearing the end of their lifespan. You may think that your vehicle rides and handles fine but if you were to drive your vehicle with new shocks and struts on both sides of an axle, you’d notice a drastic difference.

Maintain Consistent Performance – Replacing both shocks/struts on an axle at the same time ensures that both sides deliver the same consistent performance. If you only replace one side of an axle, it can create uneven damping characteristics. This imbalance can cause the new shock to overcompensate causing them to wear out faster and can also lead to the premature failure of other suspension components.


Selecting the Right Shock or Strut

Choosing the right shock or strut depends on the situation and how you use your vehicle. Whether you’re looking to restore your vehicle to factory quality, need to upgrade your shocks to handle a heavier load while hauling or towing, or simply want to keep your ride on the road, Monroe has the right shocks and struts for your vehicle. Check out the Monroe lineup of shocks and struts that deliver exceptional drivability and performance.


Featuring a vehicle-specific design, Monroe Quick-Strut assemblies are fit include all required components to complete a strut repair in a single, fully-assembled unit.



Designed to restore a vehicle’s original factory drivability and performance, OESpectrum shocks and struts provide an exceptional level of handling precision and control.



Ideal for light trucks and SUVs with a higher center of gravity, Reflex shocks and struts automatically adjust to absorb impacts, helping reduce vehicle roll and dive.

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For hardworking half-ton trucks, a Magnum loaded strut assembly includes an application-specific design and variable rate coil spring that delivers a controlled ride and maintains ride height for everyday driving or when under load.



Designed for midsize and full-size trucks and vans, Monroe Gas-Magnum shock absorbers provide firm control while loaded without a harsh ride.

Monroe Gas-Magnum Shock


Ideal to maintain level vehicle height for vehicles that consistently haul heavy loads or tow trailers, Max-Air shocks feature a large volume air chamber that inflates up to 150PSI when under load with additional weight up to 1,200 lbs.; it deflates for normal driving.

Monroe Max-Air Shock


Designed to reduce sag when loaded for vehicles that carry varying loads or tow trailers up to 1,200 lbs., these shocks feature a heavy gauge calibrated coil spring and single groove pressure tube for added performance and control.

Monroe Load Adjusting Shock


Convert a vehicle’s factory-equipped air, self-leveling, or electronic suspension to a conventional suspension with a Monroe Suspension Conversion Kit.

Monroe Suspension Conversion Kit


Equipped with nitrogen gas charge, Monro-Matic PLUS shocks and struts feature Velocity Proportional Valving (VPV) technology for improved comfort at an economical price.

Monroe Monro Matic Plus Shock


Learn more about quality shocks, struts, and strut assemblies, find the right car part, or find a local repair shop today.

The content in this article is for informational purposes only. You should consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have questions relating to any of the topics covered herein. Tenneco will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.