Shocks and struts
Bouncy Ride in 2004 Buick LeSabre PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

I have a 2004 Buick LeSabre and I had to replace all of my Air Shocks and Struts, and now my car rides terrible. I bought the car for the ride and now it rides like a 5 ton truck. Driving down the road, I am bouncing around like a basketball, no longer having that smooth ride I once had. What is up, I called a local dealership and they said this not an unusual problem. Have I lost my good ride forever?


Dear Bill,

I will first tell you to check all of your tires to make sure that one of them is not the culprit by having a bubble on it from possibly hitting a curb too hard or the possibility that one of your tires is way out of balance.

I would then take it back to whomever replaced your air shocks and struts and ask them to examine their work that they did on your Buick. Bottom line is, if they installed the right parts and adjusted the air correctly, then you would not be feeling this bouncy ride.

Thanks for writing in,

1997 Buick Ball Joint Replacement PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

Hi again,

I guess it’s the lower ball joint on my 1997 Buick. I heard a crunch and I found 2 styro type cuffs? Will I be able to fix this myself as my mechanics keep retiring on me?

Thanks for your help last time!


Dear Jeff,

This is without a doubt a mechanics Job. The ball joints need to be pressed in with a hydraulic press. So, if your home garage is not equipped with an extensive supply of tools, I would take it to your trusty local mechanic! Try and grab him before he retires!

Thanks for writing in again,


'05 Chevy Colorado shocks and struts problem PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

I hope you can help. 

I have a '05 Chevy Colorado with 18K miles and I am getting a little rhythmic vibration from the front end at moderate speeds.  I took it into a tire place and they said my shocks were shot and it caused "chopping" on the front tires on the inside portion and that causes the vibration. 

Shocks shot after 18k miles and less then 3 years?  Could that be right?  Have you heard of anything like this?  If this is it, will Chevy be any help since it is still under warranty?  I've owned it since it was new. 

BTW, enjoy your column.


Dear DDB,


Of course Chevy should stand behind their vehicle and help you out.  This is why we cling on tight to the warranties that come with our vehicles that sometimes require a second mortgage on our house in order to buy. 

Ask one of the service techs to get behind the wheel of your Colorado and take it for a spin in order for him to experience what you are living with day end and day out.

One more thing…after checking to see if there were any TSB’s pertaining to your make and model I did come across one active TSB to do with your shocks and struts, which explains the problems that you are having with your Colorado.

It would be worth a shot to see if this is under warranty especially being as there is a TSB on it.

I would run down to your Chevy dealer and cross your fingers that this will be under the factory warranty considering all of the unique circumstances.



Thanks for writing in and enjoying my column because I absolutely love writing it!


1998 GMC Sonoma suspension problem PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,


I own a 1998 GMC Sonoma pickup, ZQ8 suspension, 105,000 miles.  A few months

ago the suspension seemed to have gone out and began to bottom out. 


The garage I deal with installed new shocks up front and that helped some. Then they

replaced the front springs and that helped a little more. The problem stills continues,

depending on the speed and the condition of the road.  I went to a dealer and they could

not give me any definite answers.  Their comment was to replace all the springs and see

if that worked, if not they would try something else. Not much of an answer. 

I contacted GM and they said take it to a dealer. 

Do you have any idea what I am dealing with? 



Dear Sonoma owner,

I completely understand the problem that you are having.  The only thing that I can think of is

if they didn’t put the correct shocks or springs on the truck as the ZQ8 requires its own special

set of either. 

This type of suspension is designed to be a sport suspension and is designed to work together so

if one of the parts is mismatched this could result in your problem. 


Take it back to the shop that you went to and share this info with them to see if they will make certain that they have used the correct shocks and springs.


Thanks for writing in and I hope that this helps,


Shocks and Struts recommendation and replacement PDF Print E-mail
Dear Barbara,
I purchased a 1997 Infiniti I30 last November which now has 99,200 miles on the odometer. It is in very good condition with the exception of the way it contacts the road. The handling is good and I am using 31 psi in front and rear Michelin (205 65R15) tires. The struts are original equipment and one local Midas dealer told me there were no leaks but they should be replaced. I went to an Infiniti dealer and was told the struts were OK and there were no leaks. My question is, will new struts improve the ride enough to justify the expense? Jeff Yip's recent article mentions KYB GR-2s with excellent results, how do they compare with Monroe or original equipment? I bought it to mainly drive in the local area but would likely drive on the Interstate more if the ride improved enough.
Dear Lee,
With nearly 100k on the odometer the shocks/struts should show some improvement when replaced. They do not have to leak to be worn and loose ride quality as most shocks/struts are only good for around 70k miles…some less some more.
The KYBs are a good choice and original equipment is also recommended. I have personal always liked Monroe so just keep in mind that you get what you pay for in this category most of the time, so if you grab the cheapest thing out there you may be unhappy with the outcome.
Of course original equipment will be more costly but you absolutely can not go wrong with any of the above 3.
Thanks for writing in and hello to Jeff Yip!
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