Struts or Shocks? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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Struts or Shocks?

Hey guys...

I own a 2004 Mercedes Benz E320. I took it to the local mechanic and he told me it needs 2 front Struts. When I called the dealer for a price quote he asked me for the vin number then told me I need shocks. Is there a difference? Can a car have both (front shocks and front struts). What does a MB E320 have?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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the car only has 21k miles by the way.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 08:23 AM
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See here which parts can be purchased separately:
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by trinidon2k View Post
Hey guys...

I own a 2004 Mercedes Benz E320. I took it to the local mechanic and he told me it needs 2 front Struts. When I called the dealer for a price quote he asked me for the vin number then told me I need shocks. Is there a difference? Can a car have both (front shocks and front struts). What does a MB E320 have?

Thanks in advance
Struts are often referred to as shocks.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by trinidon2k View Post
I own a 2004 Mercedes Benz E320. I took it to the local mechanic and he told me it needs 2 front Struts. When I called the dealer for a price quote he asked me for the vin number then told me I need shocks. Is there a difference?
On cars with McPherson strut suspensions, the shock ("damper" is a better term) is integrated into the front strut housing.

Your dealer is right: you probably don't need to replace the entire strut assembly. You probably only need to replace the strut insert (the damper/shock). This is a bit more involved than replacing the stand-alone dampers found on semi-trailing arm, live-axle, and double-wishbone suspensions. You'll need a vice, a spring compressor, and probably an air gun. It's not a difficult job, but it requires more than just a few basic hand tools.

Honestly, there's no reason to pay an M-B main dealer to do such a basic job. Any mom-and-pop garage can do the job just fine. I would take it to a trusted mechanic or independent M-B repair shop before going to the dealer. But I'm one of those guys who would rather do stuff myself than trust a dealer (having had some very bad experiences with BMW and Mitsubishi dealer service centers in the past). Unless the work is going to be covered by warranty, I would take a good independent shop over a dealer any day.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 09:17 AM
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Do you really trust this guy, I have close to 80,000 mi on my 01 E 320 wagon, and 100,000 on my 500SEL, still on origional shocks and struts only having replaced the accumulators on the S at 75. Mercedes shocks are not like the US ones that go at about 25. do you have airmatic suspension?
The fronts are shocks, and the rears are shocks unless you have load levelling suspension like the wagon and the S then they are hydraulic struts. The word strut are also used on some cars where the shock and springs are an assembly.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 12:01 PM
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Just a guess but I'm with Peter. It's highly unlikely that you need new shocks with only 21,000 miles and 4-5 years on your car. Take it somewhere else for a 2nd opinion. Mine are the originals after 79,000 miles and 8 years in service.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 12:03 AM
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I will almost bet that you do not need them replaced. Why was this even brought up? Did you have a ride quality complaint?
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