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Shocks and Struts for Chevrolet HHR

Shocks and struts are important for your vehicle in keeping the car from bouncing. If your Chevrolet HHR has been handling a little out of control going over bumps, it may be time to replace those springs. Before you replace your shocks or struts, you need to know how they work and when you need new ones.

What are shocks and struts?

Shocks and struts are two different parts. Shocks are made to absorb the shock and lower the rate of bounce while you drive. This keeps your seat from bouncing you all over the place. They are not a part of the suspension system and do not support the weight of the car. Struts are a major part of the suspension in your Chevrolet HHR. While they dampen bounces like a shock, they also provide the structural support for the suspension of the vehicle, holding tires in alignment and supporting springs.

  • Shock: A shock is like a small pump that uses hydraulic fluid to dampen the bounce and sway of your Chevrolet HHR. It is connected with the suspension and uses the suspension’s movement to force the hydraulic fluid through tiny holes. This slows the movement of the piston down, which reduces the movement of the suspension and lowers the bounce in your seat.
  • Strut: A strut looks like a shock inside of a spring. The inside of a strut works similar to a shock absorber. However, the spring is a part of the suspension and supports the weight of the vehicle. The spring part also affects your drive and your car’s handling as well as braking, control, steering, and of course riding comfort.
When should you replace shocks and struts?

Damaged struts can affect your driving control and your tires. While the recommended mileage differs between manufacturers, most recommend replacing your struts in your vehicle between 50,000 and 100,000 miles. You should also replace them if there are any obvious signs of problems. Signs of problems in your Chevrolet HHR can include:

  • Hydraulic leak near one or more of your tires
  • Uneven tire wear, especially cupping or scrapped off parts
  • Rust
How can you test your shocks and struts?
  1. Push down on the front of your Chevrolet HHR
  2. Let go
  3. Check to see if car bounces after released. The vehicle should settle immediately after you let go. If it goes up and down again or several more times, that is a telltale sign something is wrong.
  4. Check the top of the shock or strut for hydraulic oil. Shocks and struts are located next to the wheel.