STRUTS & shocks repair 

Your Car Riding Rough? AA Auto Repair is able to fix all your cars suspension needs. Springs, Struts, and Shocks are our specialty. We even do Lift-Kits.

(619) 448-5800

AA Auto Repair & Tires

Literally the only auto shop I will take my car to anymore. The staff is knowledgeable and fair. There is no dishonesty at this shop. Its family owned and they do go out of there way to make the customers happy and comfortable in those sometimes stressful automotive times. They were happy to give me options on prices and explained in full what was causing the issues and the solutions. This is the shop to trust.
(5)
There's a reason why I keep going back to these guys. Not only great work, but very trusting and very well priced. Not to mention they tell you what you don't need to get done that can be costly. They have been in the business for a long time and get only better.

Auto Suspension

Living in East County San Diego (El Cajon) can add some extra stress to your car. Mostly in the form of wear and tear on your car struts and car shocks.  Even trucks leaf springs can have more cracks than other trucks hear in El Cajon.

A vehicle’s suspension has two jobs:

  1. To provide a smooth ride over bumps.
  2. To keep the wheels in contact with the road for safe driving

Suspension parts wear out over time, and when they’re worn, they can negatively impact the vehicle’s ability to adapt to road conditions….more importantly accidents and the avoidance of accidents.

Accident avoidance usually includes hard braking and sudden weight shifts. With these situations a properly operating suspension could mean the difference between life and death. AA Auto Repair wants to maintain your car’s suspension and keep those every so important wheels and tires on the ground.

Don’t wait for an accident to learn that your suspension system is failing. Inspect and maintain your suspension system’s various mechanical components and AA Auto Repair can help you do it with our “Customer Maintenance Program” which allows us to send you out reminders to let you know your vehicles components are needing routing inspection for you to oversee. If you are too busy yourself we will be happy to oversee this task for you. Lift Kits in El Cajon, CA

Truck Lift Shop

Lastly, if your Truck or Car is needing some extra or less ground space we are happy to install any after market lift kits for racing or trucks. We are experienced and want our our customers to love their car as much as we love working on them. Whatever your needs are: lifting your truck or lowering your car is something we can do.

prices

 AA Auto Repair & Tires wants to make sure you don’t spend unnessary dollars on un-needed service. We are very competitive with our prices and always want you to be happy with your purchase or service.

FAQ’s

AA Auto Repair & Tires wants to make sure you don’t spend unnessary dollars on un-needed service. Check out some of our Frequently Asked Questions regarding Brake Service

Do I need an alignment after struts are replaced?

Suspension systems that use shock absorbers generally are not affected when the shock absorbers are replaced.  We recommend alignments anytime replacement struts are installed.

Can shock absorbers be mounted upside down and still work?

Most shock absorbers are a twin tube design.  Mounting the shock absorber at an angle greater than 45 degrees may allow gas to enter the inner chamber with a result of poor dampening performance.  For this reason, always prime or test shock absorbers and struts with the piston rod up; do not turn the part upside down with the piston rod on the ground to test dampening.

There are specially designed twin tube shock absorbers that use a gas cell to retain gas in the outer reserve tube that can be mounted upside down or exceeding a 45-degree angle.

How many miles do shocks and struts last?

The life of shocks and struts depend on the road conditions the vehicle drives on, the weight of the vehicle and environmental conditions.  Some vehicles; such as SUVs and Vans, are very heavy in the front and can wear out suspension components in 50,000 t0 75,000 miles. Vehicles driven in northern climates will wear out quickly due to road salt and potholes created from icy conditions.   Delivery vehicles carrying heavy loads will wear out springs and suspension components quickly.

So, mileage is not always the best way to estimate how long your shocks and struts will last.  Consider the type of vehicle, your normal road conditions, load, and towing frequency and the climate conditions.

When should shocks or struts need to be replaced?

Suspension parts should be inspected every 12,000 miles for the following conditions:

  • Bent, rusted or broken components such as spring seats, brake, and ABS brackets, strut mounts and springs.  
  • A test drive should check for nose dive, sway and excessive bouncing of the tires
  • Strut mount noise when turning the steering wheel right and left
  • Measuring from the ground to the top of the fender well on all four tires to see if there is a variation in ride height of more than ½ inch.
  • Damaged or missing dust bellows or bump stops on the piston rod shaft
  • Clear oil residue on the shock absorber tube leading to the top oil seal

At some point, the brake pad material will hit its minimum safe thickness. Here, the metal tab physically contacts the metal brake rotor, where it generates an irritating squealing sound. This is an audible signal from your brakes that it’s time to replace those worn out brake pads.

Just remember that brakes sometimes squeal or squeak, but not as a result of component wear. In any case, drivers should have their brakes inspected to determine the root cause of any unexpected noise.

Why are replacement shocks leaking gas and oil within a few months of installation?

The main cause of oil and gas leaks is a failure of the seal.  The piston rod moves back and forth through the seal; if the piston rod is dirty or damaged with a small scratch or pit, the seal can allow oil and gas to leak. When replacing shocks and struts; always make sure the dust bellows and bump stop are replaced as well.  Do not leave the piston rod exposed to dirt and gravel damage or the part will fail prematurely.

Do I need an alignment after struts are replaced?

Suspension systems that use shock absorbers generally are not affected when the shock absorbers are replaced.  We recommend alignments anytime replacement struts are installed.

Can shock absorbers be mounted upside down and still work?

Most shock absorbers are a twin tube design.  Mounting the shock absorber at an angle greater than 45 degrees may allow gas to enter the inner chamber with a result of poor dampening performance.  For this reason, always prime or test shock absorbers and struts with the piston rod up; do not turn the part upside down with the piston rod on the ground to test dampening.

There are specially designed twin tube shock absorbers that use a gas cell to retain gas in the outer reserve tube that can be mounted upside down or exceeding a 45-degree angle.

What is the difference between shock absorbers and struts?

Both shock absorbers and struts are used to control wheel motion up and down to maintain control of the vehicle and improve the vehicle ride.  Struts are incorporated into the suspension system to hold the spring and act as a pivot point for turning the wheels.

What is the primary purpose of shock absorbers and struts?

The primary purpose of shock absorbers and struts are to maintain the tires in contact with the road surface.  If there were no shock absorbers or struts; the wheels would bounce constantly off the road surface. When the tire is not on the road surface; the driver does not have control of the vehicle.

The secondary purpose is to improve the ride of the vehicle for the driver and passengers.  This is where the ride control science dampens the movement of the tires and helps remove vibration.

 

What happens if I do not replace worn out shocks and struts?

Tires will wear out prematurely, the vehicle becomes more difficult to stop, steer and maintain tire contact with the road.  The vehicle will be difficult to control and unpleasant to drive. The ability of the driver to make emergency maneuvers and stops is compromised.

Why should I buy a complete strut assembly instead of replacing the bare strut only?

The complete strut assembly includes a new spring, strut mount, dust bellows, and bump stop.  It is about 50% faster and much safer to install a complete strut assembly compared to a bare strut.  Generally, a new strut mount, dust bellows, and bumper are needed with the bare strut replacement. So, the complete strut assembly saves time, is cheaper than the bare strut plus purchasing the replacement strut mount kit and is much safer to install.

Why can't I just buy one shock or strut?

The same reason you wouldn’t buy just one shoe for your foot. As your suspension wears it generally wears evenly. By only focussing on one side you will be increasing the friction on your tires and car. This will obviously lead to a new tire sooner than later.

Do I need an alignment after struts are replaced?

Suspension systems that use shock absorbers generally are not affected when the shock absorbers are replaced.  We recommend alignments anytime replacement struts are installed.

Can shock absorbers be mounted upside down and still work?

Most shock absorbers are a twin tube design.  Mounting the shock absorber at an angle greater than 45 degrees may allow gas to enter the inner chamber with a result of poor dampening performance.  For this reason, always prime or test shock absorbers and struts with the piston rod up; do not turn the part upside down with the piston rod on the ground to test dampening.

There are specially designed twin tube shock absorbers that use a gas cell to retain gas in the outer reserve tube that can be mounted upside down or exceeding a 45-degree angle.

How many miles do shocks and struts last?

The life of shocks and struts depend on the road conditions the vehicle drives on, the weight of the vehicle and environmental conditions.  Some vehicles; such as SUVs and Vans, are very heavy in the front and can wear out suspension components in 50,000 t0 75,000 miles. Vehicles driven in northern climates will wear out quickly due to road salt and potholes created from icy conditions.   Delivery vehicles carrying heavy loads will wear out springs and suspension components quickly.

So, mileage is not always the best way to estimate how long your shocks and struts will last.  Consider the type of vehicle, your normal road conditions, load, and towing frequency and the climate conditions.

When should shocks or struts need to be replaced?

Suspension parts should be inspected every 12,000 miles for the following conditions:

  • Bent, rusted or broken components such as spring seats, brake, and ABS brackets, strut mounts and springs.  
  • A test drive should check for nose dive, sway and excessive bouncing of the tires
  • Strut mount noise when turning the steering wheel right and left
  • Measuring from the ground to the top of the fender well on all four tires to see if there is a variation in ride height of more than ½ inch.
  • Damaged or missing dust bellows or bump stops on the piston rod shaft
  • Clear oil residue on the shock absorber tube leading to the top oil seal

At some point, the brake pad material will hit its minimum safe thickness. Here, the metal tab physically contacts the metal brake rotor, where it generates an irritating squealing sound. This is an audible signal from your brakes that it’s time to replace those worn out brake pads.

Just remember that brakes sometimes squeal or squeak, but not as a result of component wear. In any case, drivers should have their brakes inspected to determine the root cause of any unexpected noise.

Why are replacement shocks leaking gas and oil within a few months of installation?

The main cause of oil and gas leaks is a failure of the seal.  The piston rod moves back and forth through the seal; if the piston rod is dirty or damaged with a small scratch or pit, the seal can allow oil and gas to leak. When replacing shocks and struts; always make sure the dust bellows and bump stop are replaced as well.  Do not leave the piston rod exposed to dirt and gravel damage or the part will fail prematurely.

Do I need an alignment after struts are replaced?

Suspension systems that use shock absorbers generally are not affected when the shock absorbers are replaced.  We recommend alignments anytime replacement struts are installed.

Can shock absorbers be mounted upside down and still work?

Most shock absorbers are a twin tube design.  Mounting the shock absorber at an angle greater than 45 degrees may allow gas to enter the inner chamber with a result of poor dampening performance.  For this reason, always prime or test shock absorbers and struts with the piston rod up; do not turn the part upside down with the piston rod on the ground to test dampening.

There are specially designed twin tube shock absorbers that use a gas cell to retain gas in the outer reserve tube that can be mounted upside down or exceeding a 45-degree angle.

What is the difference between shock absorbers and struts?

Both shock absorbers and struts are used to control wheel motion up and down to maintain control of the vehicle and improve the vehicle ride.  Struts are incorporated into the suspension system to hold the spring and act as a pivot point for turning the wheels.

What is the primary purpose of shock absorbers and struts?

The primary purpose of shock absorbers and struts are to maintain the tires in contact with the road surface.  If there were no shock absorbers or struts; the wheels would bounce constantly off the road surface. When the tire is not on the road surface; the driver does not have control of the vehicle.

The secondary purpose is to improve the ride of the vehicle for the driver and passengers.  This is where the ride control science dampens the movement of the tires and helps remove vibration.

 

What happens if I do not replace worn out shocks and struts?

Tires will wear out prematurely, the vehicle becomes more difficult to stop, steer and maintain tire contact with the road.  The vehicle will be difficult to control and unpleasant to drive. The ability of the driver to make emergency maneuvers and stops is compromised.

Why should I buy a complete strut assembly instead of replacing the bare strut only?

The complete strut assembly includes a new spring, strut mount, dust bellows, and bump stop.  It is about 50% faster and much safer to install a complete strut assembly compared to a bare strut.  Generally, a new strut mount, dust bellows, and bumper are needed with the bare strut replacement. So, the complete strut assembly saves time, is cheaper than the bare strut plus purchasing the replacement strut mount kit and is much safer to install.

Why can't I just buy one shock or strut?

The same reason you wouldn’t buy just one shoe for your foot. As your suspension wears it generally wears evenly. By only focussing on one side you will be increasing the friction on your tires and car. This will obviously lead to a new tire sooner than later.

SHOCKS & STRUTS

 Terminology

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Control Arm

Depending on the suspension system in question, such as wishbone or multilink, control arms define each wheel’s range of motion. In the rear, this is limited to a more-or-less up-and-down motion, while the front also allows for turning left and right.

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Ball Joint

In the front, the wheels need to turn left and right to allow for turns. The ball joint allows not only for turning but also the up-and-down motion of the control arms.
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Anti-Roll Bar

Sometimes called a sway bar, this part of the car suspension is connected between the control arms on the left and right and to the body in the middle. It helps to control body roll in turns, improving traction and control.
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spring

Between the control arm and the frame or body, leaf springs, coil springs or torsion bars support the weight of the vehicle. Some coil springs may be part of the damping system, such as MacPherson struts or coil-over shocks.

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Shock Absorber

Normally, a spring in motion will continue in motion, so a vehicle that hits a bump will simply keep bouncing unless there is something to stop it. Using hydraulic fluid, the shock absorber or damper slows and stops these oscillations.
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bleeding brake lines

Occasionally, your braking system may need to be recharged in order to restore its performance and safety. One great way to boost the overall function of your car’s brakes is to have your mechanic bleed your brake lines. During this procedure, your technicians will carefully pump and replace all of the brake fluid in your vehicle.

car struts repair

A strut is really just a shock absorber that is attached to structural components. Auto Struts support the entire wheel assembly of your car. You can drive without a shock absorber. You cannot drive without a strut. Because a strut is actually part of the support structure. A strut piston is usually more than twice the diameter of a shock piston. The strut housing is sturdier as well because it supports the spring. That’s why struts are usually 25-50% more expensive than shocks.

Car Shocks Repair

A shock absorber is an hydraulic unit that dampens a vehicle’s spring oscillations. It’s entire purpose is to eliminate bounce and keeps the tires on the road to improve traction and vehicle control. The shock itself is similar to a doctor’s syringe where the plunger is connected to the body of the vehicle and the body of the shock connected to the wheel. The shock contains valves that control the rate the plunger can travel through the fluid and the rate at which it can return to its normal position.

Most modern shocks also contain nitrogen gas to prevent “cavitation” and air bubbles which can accelerate wear in the valve assembly.

Lift Kits:  (Cars & trucks)

We install Lift Kits for Cars and Trucks in El Cajon. Lift kits are used to add more clearance under your car while it’s being operated.

Adding a lift kit to your car or truck can actually increase your vehicles performance and resale value.Most people just want a cool looking truck thats lifted but by adding this extra space can actually increase:

  • Ride Smoothness with bigger shocks and suspension.
  • Allows more clearance for “off-roading”
  • Allows Bigger Tires and Traction
  • Allows Faster Cars to hug the ground for aero dynamics & speed

AUTO REPAIR SERVICE

In El Cajon, CA

Providing Superior Auto Repair in El Cajon, CA for close to 30 years!

We handle all your Domestic and Foreign Car problems. No job is too big or too small. Our highly skilled mechanics are there for you.

Bring us your tough car problems and we will be able to find an economical solution for you and your family.

CAR MAINTENANCE

In El Cajon, CA

Save thousands of dollars by making sure your car is kept in tip-top condition. By performing routine maintenance on your car you will save time and most importantly your hard earned cash.

If you are hessitant to work on your car ask one of our technicians about our Car Maintenance Quarterly Service. This service provides top to bottom routine inspections for your car!