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Q: Replacing front shocks and springs on 2000 Volvo S40

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I noticed the front suspension making rattling noises as I drive, so I told my mechanic. He says the front shocks and springs are leaking and will need replacing. But he says it does not need to be done right away-he says I can wait a couple months. He quoted me a cost of $1200 parts and labor to do this. Is that a fair price? I had to switch mechanics and go to the Volvo dealership now. They are higher than my old mechanic and sometimes I wonder if they are over charging me. Can anyone help? They are also charging me $585 to replace my windshield wiper motor. Is that a good price?
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Honey, I am not a mechanic but a woman who has had very expensive car repair lessons from a master mechanic. You are definitely being overcharged for the front suspension AND the wiper motor. Best to keep shopping for a mechanic who does not rip you off. Dealerships are not the end all to end all either unless you enjoy throwing your money down the old toilet with both hands. I have a 17 year old Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and I shopped for front and rear shocks on Amazon and came up with Gabriel's at $20 some each for both front and rear. I have a great mechanic who charged me $40 for front and $40 for rear to install. Took him a half hour for each shock. Yes, I am a real person who shops around as I am on SSR and must watch my pennies. Try asking around at work who does good car repair, get their number, call them up and have a chat before spending enormous sums on something you don't have to. Also, you need the shocks done IMMEDIATELY if not sooner or you will be happily buying NEW TIRES shortly as your tires will end up cupping (look it up) and be both dangerous AND unfixable. The more you drive on bad shocks the worses your tires will get period. Springs don't leak either. Kind of reminds me of the time I was in Arizona getting my van ready to go back to Florida. The poor woman in the next bay was told that she had BAD air in her tires and needed the air changed immediatly!!! Yep, they sure saw her coming.

Definitely try finding a place that lets you supply the parts and they put them on. Hard to do but CAN be done. I even insist on standing around and watching them work on my old car to boot.
Unless the springs are really corroded with rust, or broken, they don't need to be replaced.
Either shock will be sufficient for your needs, in fact, I would go with the Volvo OE parts if the price is comparable.
$585 is a high price, the OE motor cost $317.70 and the labor is an hour.
If you have the front struts replaced, make sure you will use the new style, updated strut mounts with the bushings. It's available from Volvo. Repair stores are still selling a knock-off of the old version.

I spoke with 2 other shops and one said he only uses Bilstein parts and his quote was $850-900. The other shop uses KYB parts and his quote was $660 to 700. The second gentlemen said also, that the springs hardly ever need replacing-which the dealership said I need new springs and shocks on the front. I use my car daily but only on the highway-work, errands, shopping, etc. I never take it on road trips or anything crazy. So which brand should I go with-Bilstein or KYB?
I wouldn't bother getting them changed if there is no noise, no leaking from the shocks, no extra bouncing when you go over a bump, your tires are wearing evenly and normally, and your ride is comfortable.
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