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I apologize if the question has been asked already but I wasn't able to find it.

How long should the original OEM shocks last on a 2004 4cyl ?

My car has 125 000 km (78 000 miles) and lately I find the car's control isn't as precise (granted that my tires are one their last leg though), it feels like it bumps up and down more when hitting uneven pavement and whenever I get to a dirt road with lots of small bumps, I hear some knocking sounds in the suspension.

Is it a normal occurrence after 78 000 miles ?
Could the symptoms I describe point to something other then shocks ?
Most posts about shocks also mention struts... should both parts be necessarily changed at the same time ?

Thanks for your usual help !
 

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It's hard to pin point how long stock struts will last. As far as the knocking noise I would first check the sway bar links and the front lower control arm bushings.

A strut is a type of shock absorber except a shock is not structural. Struts have a spring attached to them while a shock does not.
 

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You wrote "dirt road." If you regularly ride on a bumpy road, 78,000 miles could be very normal for struts/ shocks. By the way, your car has struts on the front and shocks on the back.
 

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I dont think so. On my 2007 it has struts in the back also.... You have to remove the spring just like in the front.... Looked up the part and they call it a strut...
 

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http://auto.howstuffworks.com/under-the-hood/car-part-longevity/how-long-shocks-last.htm

There is no standard answer to how long shocks and struts last. "Experts" recommend changing out your shock absorbers every 50,000 miles, but that's only a guide. Shocks can last longer or fail earlier and it all depends on how and where you do most of your driving.
Struts do not necessarily need to be replaced when/if you replace your shock absorbers, but if you do, they should be replaced in pairs.
Take it to a shop and ask them if your shocks and struts need replacing. Get an estimate if they determine they do. Take your car to another shop and ask them too. Get an estimate if they say they do. If both shops come to the same conclusion, chances are you need to have some work done.
 

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I would ask any shop you take it to (that tells you it needs struts) the reason why and not just because it is "over 50,000 and you should replace at that time".

Any shop I have been where you tell them you think it needs struts will jump on the mileage band wagon without even looking at the car first.
 

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I would ask any shop you take it to (that tells you it needs struts) the reason why and not just because it is "over 50,000 and you should replace at that time".

Any shop I have been where you tell them you think it needs struts will jump on the mileage band wagon without even looking at the car first.
totally agree.
If the struts are leaking, that is a sign they need to be replaced.
 
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