I just changed the front struts and strut mounts on my 98 Mazda 626. The old ones were completely shot. While I noticed an improvement in the ride, it wasn't nearly as much as I expected, and quite frankly the ride is still quite bouncy. While I assume a little of that is probably the rear struts being worn out also, it still just seems really quite excessively bouncy. The tires are properly inflated.


After replacing the two struts, I push down on the corner, I can barely get it to move ( I'm only 70kg / 155 pounds ) and it comes straight back to the starting position without even one bounce. This may be just because I'm only able to depress it an inch or two.

Any ideas?

  • 3
    It is the dampers job to stop the bouncing, so I would replace the rear ones before doing anything else.
    – HandyHowie
    Mar 4, 2016 at 17:02
  • @HandyHowie Yeck, I really don't want to spring for rear struts just now. Cheap chinese struts are about $75 here, KYB's run about $125. Mar 5, 2016 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


OK, so if you've got four worn out struts / shocks, and you only replace the front two your car's gonna ride like a camel with a python latched onto it's nuts.

That's pretty much how my 626 rode after replacing just the front struts. I just changed the rear struts and it's like a whole new car. I can't believe the difference.

  • 2
    You have painted a beautiful picture in my minds eye. Jun 21, 2018 at 19:06
  • I couldn't have expressed it so eloquently.....LOL
    – Old_Fossil
    Sep 6, 2018 at 7:08
  • I have exactly the same problem! I changed my front shock absorbers, but the car still feels bouncy. I am now considering changing my rear shocks too. But perhaps the springs are the problem as indicated in comments below... May 20, 2021 at 2:36
  • 1
    @DmitryKamenetsky Bounciness comes from the struts / shock absorbers being worn out. The springs are what quickly extend the wheel down when there's a dip / pothole in the road the struts dampen the energy of the springs and keep them from oscillating / bouncing. Just think of a slinky - when you hold it and let go it keeps bouncing up and down till all the energy in the spring is used up. A strut lets the spring quickly extend, but then absorbs some energy so it doesn't bounce. May 20, 2021 at 9:26
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    @DmitryKamenetsky If you end up planning a trip here drop me line. sailorb@gmail.com May 23, 2021 at 14:18

McPherson Strut presumably? What condition is the rest of the suspension in? Bushes etc? How stiff is it supposed to be? Bear in mind that a family car like that will be more wallowy and bouncy than a small sports car or something...

Ideal would be to compare it to a known-good 626, but I suspect that you don't have another car to compare with!

  • I'm basically comparing to my Nissan Almera ( Sentra ) 1.6L, which is a much smaller car and even though it's struts are worn out still rides way better than the 626 even after replacing the front struts and mounts. I think the guy I bought the car from probably was driving it like this for a few years, so maybe the springs are shot? Would that account for this? Mar 5, 2016 at 19:16
  • shot springs certainly won't help. The two have slightly different effects - poor springs will make the car bounce more, poor shocks will make it keep bouncing - lean on the front corner, if it goes down too easily, but comes straight back then sits still, the springs are shot but the shocks are fine.
    – Nick C
    Mar 7, 2016 at 9:16
  • 1
    When you say poor spring will make it bounce more, do you mean the height / strength of the bounce? You're making me think maybe the shocks I replaced where fine, I did that exact test before replacing the struts and it came back up without even a single bounce... Could you peak at this other question: mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/26857/… Mar 7, 2016 at 10:50
  • 1
    yeah, the height and how easily it starts bouncing - a soft spring will compress easily, so you'd get a bounce over every bump
    – Nick C
    Mar 7, 2016 at 11:03

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