How to Replace the Shocks and Struts in a Chevy Cobalt

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Chevrolet is famous for its reliable cars, but around 60,000 miles of normal driving, the suspension in a Cobalt is usually worn enough to warrant replacing the shocks and struts. Having your suspension function properly is an important component of the comfort of the car and its safety.

Things You'll Need

  • Ratchet set
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Tire iron
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Torque wrench

Replace the Front Struts

  • Open the hood of the Cobalt, and remove the upper mounting nuts for the strut. They're the three nuts surrounding the strut cap cover directly over the wheel well. Jack the car up, and set jack stands under the frame so it's secure.

  • Use a tire iron to remove the bolts holding the wheel on, and set the wheel aside. Use a wrench to remove the nut on the stabilizer shaft link, the lower strut bolts and the antilock braking system (ABS) wiring bracket bolts. Pull out the strut.

  • Slide the replacement strut in, and connect it to the upper mounting nuts. Torque them each to 15 foot pounds. Attach the lower bolts and the ABS wiring bracket, and torque those nuts to 89 foot pounds each. Attach the stabilizer shaft link nut, and torque it to 48 foot pounds.

  • Put the wheel back on and let the car down to the ground. Align the front wheels.

Replace the Rear Shocks

  • Jack your Cobalt up and support it with jack stands under the rear axle near the shock absorber. Remove the wheels. Loosen and pull out the upper and lower shock bolts, and pull out the shock.

  • Replace the shock, and torque the upper bolt to 66 foot-pounds. Torque the lower bolt to 81 foot pounds.

  • Put the wheel back on and lower the car.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't use a lift that applies support to the car by the suspension system. Only support the car by the frame.

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