Lesson Plan Industry Sector

Lesson Plan Originally Created By: Dennis Johnson

Shock & Strut Inspection & Service (updated) by Dennis Johnson

Part of Unit: Fundamentals of Steering, Suspension, Tires, Wheels

Lesson Plan Overview / Details

This lesson includes the inspection and servicing of strut and shock suspensions.

Lesson Time

Lesson Time
55 Minutes

Objectives and Goals

  • Students will learn the function of shocks and struts
  • Students will properly inspect shocks and struts
  • Students will learn the procedures for servicing shocks and struts

Activities in this Lesson

  • As students enter room I will show a video clip of a vehicle driving down the road with massive up and down movement from the rear.  I will have the students write down and describe what they think is wrong with the vehicle.  I will give them about 5-6 minutes to complete this activity while I take roll.  After a few minutes I will ask, "How many students have ever rode in a vehicle that felt like a roller coaster?"  We will then have a group discussion about this situation to give students an opportunity to share their experiences with the class.

    Resources and Materials

    • YouTube - Car without rear shocks.mht [ Download ] Intro Hook Suspension Clip
  • I will discuss the importance of properly performing suspension shocks/struts; what the differences are between shock absorbers and struts; and how they affect ride quality, tire wear, and overall vehicle control and safety.

    Students will be given Chaper 67 (Suspension System Fundamentals theory work) which will discuss how shock absorbers work, gas-charged shock absorbers, self-adjusting shock absorbers, adjustable shocks and air shocks.  Chapter 67 will also cover strut assembly and how it consists of a shock absorber, coil spring and upper damper unit. MacPherson Strut construction and functions will also be covered in this chapter.

    I will show video clips of how to performance a shock/strut bounce test determining if they need to be serviced. I will also show video of how to safely remove and install shocks and struts. I will give the students inspection sheets, one to complete during the lecture session and the others will be utilized while in the lab.  Students will follow along and take notes during this session to use them and the inspection sheet as a a reference during their own suspension inspections.  I will answer any questions that may arise during this session.

    Resources and Materials

    • YouTube - How To Check Your Shock Absorbers.mht [ Download ] Shock/Strut Bounce Test Clip
    • A4C3.1.pdf [ Download ] Replace Shock Absorbers Job Sheet
    • A4C2.4.pdf [ Download ] Mac Pherson Strut Removal/Inspection Job SHeet
    • chap67.pdf [ Download ] Suspension System Fundamentals Chp 67
  • I will have the students get their safety glasses, sample inspection sheet, and the remaining blank inspection sheets and follow me into the shop for a demonstration on how to perform a shock/strut bounce test and shock/strut visual inspection.  I will demonstrate the shock/strut bounce test by  pushing down on one corner of the vehicles body, then release counting the number of times the vehicle rebounds (moves up and down).  A good shock/strut should stop body movement in one (1) or two (2) rebounds. Bad shocks/struts will let the body bounce three (3) or more times.  I will tell students to visually check the shock/strut for signs of leakage (oily wetness) and damage.  When shocks/struts are faulty they should be replaced.

    I will now demonstrate how to replace the typical shock absorber:

    1) Place the vehicle on jack stands or on a vehicle lift.

    2) Remove the wheel and tire assemblies.

    3) Place jack stands or other lifting devices under the control arms or the axle housing if necessary.

    4) Using basic hand tools or air impact gun, remove the old shock mounting hardware and the old shock absorber.

    5) If the fasteners are rusted, spray rust penetrant on the threads. When a threaded stud and a nut are used, you may need to hold the stud while turning the nut.

    6) Install the new shock absorber and new mounting hardware in the reverse order of removal.

    Resources and Materials

    • YouTube - How To Change Your Shock Absorbers.mht [ Download ] Shock Removal Clip
    • SS1R&IShock.doc [ Download ] Remove and Install Shock Task Sheet
    • SS2R&IStrut.doc [ Download ] Remove Strut Assembly Task Sheet
    • YouTube - Auto Repair Car Shocks & Struts Replacement - 2 of 3.mht [ Download ] Strut Assembly Removal and Tear Down clip
  • Instructor will have students gather into groups of two, assign them a vehicle, and ask them to locate the spot on the vehcile to perform a shock absorber bounce test.

    Once students have done this, I will ask them to follow the procedures demonstrated to them by me and count the number of rebounds on their vehicle. Students will also indicate condition of shock absorber by performing a visual inspection by checking for oil leaks and any physical damage. 

    I will ask them to record their findings on the inspection sheet during this task.  During the inspection and after they have completed their forms, I will have the student teams perform spot inspections on other teams work and documentation.

  • Clean-Up Closure

    Instructor will have students put away all checked out tools, clean up their work area, secure the vehicles, and aks them to properly dispose any dirty shop towels.  I will then discuss the importance of cleaning up their work area and checking tools back to tool room as well as verify that students work was done and meets industry standards.  I will discuss the following items: Did students get it and can the perform the task? I will inform the students that we will continue with procedures on how to properly and safely remove a strut assembly from the vehicle.


Assessment Types:
Demonstrations, Observations,

I will monitor the students during the lecture and ask questions about the material being taught to ensure they understand the information. I will monitor the students in the lab and ensure that they are following shop safety as well as answer any questions that may arise.