Can You Bring Car Shock Absorbers and Struts on Planes?

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Car shock absorbers

Carry-on bags


Checked luggage


Rules for Flights in the USA

Because car shock absorbers (shocks) and struts contain compressed gas (or oil), on flights within the USA they’re prohibited in hand and checked luggage. TSA treats them like any other compressed gas cylinders, which are banned on airplanes, except for medical oxygen cylinders. That’s because when punctured, these cylinders can cause an explosion.

They’re only allowed on one condition – if the compressed cylinder is completely empty. Furthermore, the valve must be completely disconnected from the cylinder itself. In order for it to be allowed, the cylinder must be visibly open – there should be a hole where the TSA agent can look through and see that it’s empty. However, this isn’t really doable with car shock absorbers, unless completely disassembling them, so this isn’t really a valid option.

Rules for Flights in Other Countries


On Canadian flights, car shock absorbers and struts are banned in hand luggage, but certain airlines might allow placing shock absorbers and struts in checked luggage when specific instructions are met. The requirements are different for each airline, so you should get in touch with the airline you’ll be flying with.


On European flights, it isn’t specified whether shock absorbers are allowed on planes. But generally, shocks and struts aren’t allowed in checked or hand luggage. Only medical, avalanche, and life vest gas cylinders are allowed on flights in the EU.

The United Kingdom and Australia

On UK and Australian flights, only 50ml (or smaller) compressed gas cylinders with non-flammable gas are allowed. Since manufacturers don’t specify how much gas is inside shock absorbers, there’s no way that the security agent can confirm that it’s below 50 ml, so they usually aren’t allowed in hand and checked baggage.

New Zealand, China, and India

In New Zealand, China, and India, car shock absorbers and struts are banned in hand and checked luggage.


Sources: For writing this article, we took information only from official sources, like airline regulators, government websites, and major airlines. If you want to confirm that our information is accurate and up to date, click on any of the links mentioned above. We linked out to where we found this information for each country.

Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring shock absorbers and struts onboard airplanes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Shock Absorbers and Struts on Planes

Why are shock absorbers and struts banned on planes?

Most shock absorbers and struts contain compressed gases, which are classified as dangerous goods by most airline regulators. Some have banned them in hand and checked luggage altogether. Others allow compressed gas cylinders only if they don’t contain flammable gases, and only on certain devices, like avalanche backpacks, life vests, and medical devices. Furthermore, they’re usually allowed only in 50ml containers or less. Shock manufacturers usually don’t specify how much gas is inside, so the security agents can’t confirm if they’re allowed or not.

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Do gas shock absorbers and struts contain flammable gases?

Usually, gas-powered shocks and struts contain nitrogen gas, which is non-flammable. So theoretically, gas shock absorbers could be allowed on some flights in Australia and the UK. But because manufacturers don’t specify how much gas is inside, and only less than 50ml is allowed, they can’t be brought on planes.

Are oil shock absorbers and struts allowed on planes?

Because oil shock absorbers use automotive oil for shock absorption, they can’t be brought in checked and hand luggage. Auto car parts that contain residue of gasoline or oil are banned in hand and checked luggage.

Can I bring open, non-compressed shock absorbers and struts on planes?

Theoretically, if you open the seal for shocks or struts, and get rid of all the gases and oils inside, they should be allowed on planes. However, you have to clean all the residue throughout because it can’t have even tiny traces of oil. You should also be able to clearly show the security agent that it doesn’t contain any compressed gases or oils. And finally, you should remember that the final decision always rests on the security officer, so they might still prohibit you from bringing shocks on planes. Generally, we would advise transporting shocks with shipping couriers instead.

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