Car Suspension Problems Cost Explained

In this brief article we will discuss the cost of repair for different Suspension problems, and what factors influence this cost.

How much does it cost to fix car suspension issues? 

The cost of Suspension repair is wide-ranging. There are some basic factors that influence the pricing of suspension repair. The major factors are:

Age of the vehicle

For vehicles of model years 15 years or more out of production, the first challenge is to source the parts. As per laws, a car manufacturer’s parts support obligation is limited to 15 years after the end of production. Depending on how popular the car was, while on sale, the parts availability would either be abundant or scarce. For a rare car model that went out of production, the sourcing of spare parts would be a challenge. In such a scenario there’s every chance that the spare parts prices are sold at a premium since they mostly need to be made to order.

The other scenario is that a particular car model became popular in the used car market after going out of production. This could incentivize parts manufacturers to keep producing spares and this brings down the cost.

Car Segment

It goes without saying that the purchase price of the car would have a huge influence on the price of spares. Luxury cars, obviously, cost more to repair and maintain.

A mass produced family car, hatchback or small car, would, conversely, cost much less to repair and maintain.

The reason for this would be closely related to the exclusivity and technology levels that are built into the particular segment of car.

Mass produced cars tend to rely heavily on very conventional technologies that are already in production and therefore source parts from the same supplier as their competitors. This would bring down the cost of spare parts.

Domestic vs Import

Locally produced cars would source parts locally from suppliers. Hence, these domestic models would cost lesser as compared to their imported counterparts. The imported cars attract higher taxes, which is a practice followed by most countries aimed at encouraging local manufacturers.

High Tech vs. Low Tech

A basically advanced technology like, say, Active Shock absorbers, would cost at least 10-12 fold the cost of, say, a conventional twin-tube no-adjustable shock absorber. The reason, in this case, is that active shock absorbers contain electro mechanical actuators that are very high precision and more expensive to produce. 

A conventional shock absorber is a standalone unit that needs no electrical connections whatsoever. Active shock absorbers, on the other hand, are not standalone and work in conjunction with a computer, which also involves some expensive components.

Another example would be Air Suspension vs. conventional steel springs. An Air suspension air strut cannot function unless it is hooked up to the air suspension electrical and pneumatic circuit. For this reason, air suspension repair and replacement would cost orders of magnitude higher than a conventional spring.

General Mechanics vs. Specialists

A relatively low number of cars are equipped with high-end technologies like Driver Modes, Active Chassis, Active Air Ride, etc. This would make the unit cost of labour increase drastically since the technicians involved would need to have very niche experience and knowledge that is not commonly available.

But however, if you are of the DIY type and have a collection of bare essential tools (the specialized tools you could rent quite cheap), then labour costs nothing, but at the expense of your time.

If you choose to go back to the dealership of your vehicle’s brand, you are asking for trouble. Everything at the dealership is overpriced, with the reasoning that manpower at the dealership is trained directly by the car maker and therefore ‘Specialized’.

Actual Ranges in the United States

Taking the United States as a case, suspension repair, on an average would cost in the following manner:

  • Shock absorber replacement: $250-$1,700
  • Coil spring replacement: $600-$750
  • Strut replacement: $100-$1000
  • Wheel alignment: $40-$500

Some more specialized work would cost in the following manner:

  • Air Suspension/Active Suspension Troubleshooting: $500- $2000
  • Air Suspension/Active Suspension Component replacement: $1500 – $5000

Conclusion

In this brief article we have discussed the cost of repair for different Suspension problems, and what factors influence this cost.

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