How to replace car shocks?

Shock absorbers are a very important system in your car that keeps your ride smooth and comfortable. No matter how bumpy the road is the shocks take care of everything. Whether your car is equipped with air or spring suspension system they take care of the rough roads and don’t allow the shocks to reach you. Like every other part of a machine, over time, the shocks too wear off. When damaged, the shock becomes incapable of shielding the car from the rough roads and your car starts rocking. You must repair or replace your car’s shock. Although it seems difficult but replacing your car’s shocks is a simple process that requires few hand tools and some basic knowledge. Let us see how you can replace a car shock.

Replacing car shocks
Replacing car shocks

Difficulty Level:

Moderate

Time Required:

Depending upon the type of expertise in using the hand tools and the familiarity with the car parts, it takes around 2 to 3 hours to replace all four shocks of the car.

Resources Required:

  • Two adjustable wrenches
  • Two floor jacks
  • Glasses for you eyes protection
  • A big skate board to move in and out under the car (optional)
Estimated Cost:

Depending upon the place and the quality of shock you are going to install the cost of the shocks varies from US $300 to $600 for all four shocks.

Instructions:

Step 1: Place your car in a comfortable place where you can easily move around and the surface flat enough so that you can place your car still and jack the car easily.

Step 2: Use some type of wheel blockers to prevent any motion of the car. Loosen the lug nuts of the shocks you wish to remove. You just need to loosen the nuts at this time and don't remove it.

Step 3: Place the floor jack under the lower shock mount as near to the wheel as possible and securing it on the stand so that the car doesn't slip off since you are going to work underneath. Keep lifting the stand to its three fourths of its highest adjustable position. Use another jack axle and repeat the process on the other side of the axle too.

Step 4: Now you need to move under the car so put on the safety glasses on your eyes and using a big skate board (if available) move under the car. Now remove the top upper shock retaining nuts which you loosened initially which requires wrenches or can be done with bare hands too.

Step 5: Remove the bottom shock bolt using one wrench to hold the bolt and rotating the bolt in the anticlockwise direction. You may need to know the wrench holding the nut with a hammer to loosen it a bit before you can remove it easily.

Step 6: Remove the shock and place the new shock at the same place from where you removed the old one. Start by placing the upper shock nut, bolts and washers first and allow the shock to expand removing the shock retainer. You need to compress it slightly to place it in line with the bottom shock bolt. Tighten the bottom bolt and nut with wrenches. Make sure that both upper and lower nuts and bolts are secured.

Step 7: Repeat the steps 5 and 6 for other side of the shock too.

Step 8: Lower the jack to remove it and also remove any other debris under the car. Remove the wheel block and it is time to go for a test drive.

Frequently asked questions:

Q. Are all shocks the same?

A. No, in the case of car shocks all the shocks are not the same. Although you can upgrade your shock but you need to contact a professional or the manufacturer to guide you what best suits your vehicle.

Q. When is the time to replace my car shocks?

A. According to the experts the shocks of your cars need to be replaced after 50,000 miles of run, but it mainly depends upon the care that you take while driving. When you feel unusual bumps or the shocks starts producing noise, you must consider replacement of the shocks.

Q. What measures should I take to improve my car shocks’ life?

A. Drive within the speed limits and try taking a smooth road. If there are bumps on the road kindly take it easy and slow down.

Q. How many shocks do I need to replace at once?

A. As a rule replacing both the shocks on either side of the vehicle is recommended to offer a better driving experience.

Quick tips:

  • Try using new washers, nuts, bolts and other hardware that comes with the new shocks even though the old ones look good.
  • If your car is fitted with the suspension with coil over struts you need to contact a professional for its replacement due to its complexity.
  • The instructions mentioned above may not be complete for every make, you are advised to consult the manufacturer’s manual for complete details.
Things to watch out for:

  • Keep the car on a flat floor and take care it doesn't slide or slip down the jack while replacing the shocks.
  • Always use glasses for your eye protection since you will be working under the vehicle and anything may fall in your eye.
  • Make sure that the new nuts and bolts are secured tight enough so that they don't get loose.

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