The national cost for a shock absorber replacement with CarAdvise in 2024 is between $138 and $913 with an average of $380.

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What is a shock absorber and how does it work?

As the name implies, a shock absorber is a device that absorbs the shock or impact received by your vehicle’s suspension system any time you drive over a bump in the road. Also known simply as a “shock”, it serves to dampen the movement of the springs that suspend your vehicle over the wheels and tires. They are in place to ensure that your tires remain in contact with the road. A shock absorber uses hydraulic oil or gas to resist the movement of an internal piston. Tiny holes in the piston allow only a small amount of fluid to pass when the shock is lengthened or shortened. In this way, a shock absorber automatically adjusts to road conditions. Most late-model vehicles feature front wheel strut assemblies rather than shock absorbers, but many still have rear shocks.


How is a a Shock Absorber Replacement done?

Shock absorbers should always be replaced in pairs, left and right. Otherwise, vehicle handling characteristics can be affected and safety impaired. To replace your shock absorbers, a mechanic will typically do the following:

  • Safely lift and support your vehicle off of the ground and remove the wheels and tires
  • Remove the upper shock mounting bolt
  • Remove the lower mounting bolt and lower the shock from its location
  • Push the new shock absorber up into its location from below and insert the upper bolt
  • Remove the strap that holds tension on the new shock, stretch the shock to length, and start the lower bolt
  • Torque the mount bolts
  • Reinstall the wheels and tires, lower the vehicle, and test drive your vehicle

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National average cost of a a Shock Absorber Replacement
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How do I know if the shock absorbers need to be replaced?

Shock absorbers are integral to the suspension of your car or truck. And they are important for safety, since they are designed to help your wheels maintain contact with the road and to help distribute vehicle weight properly. If your vehicle is equipped with shock absorbers, you might notice one or more of the following signs that it is time to have them replaced:

Your vehicle bounces excessively when you drive over bumps or when you stop

Your vehicle swerves as you drive

Longer than normal stopping distances

The steering wheel vibrates

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Other questions customers ask

Do I need an alignment after replacing shock absorbers?
You generally do not need a wheel alignment after replacing shock absorbers. However, if other steering and suspension components are replaced at the same time, such as control arms or tie rod ends, it is likely that your vehicle will need an alignment.
How do you check shock absorbers?
A simple test that you can perform to see if your shock absorbers might need to be replaced is to park on a hard and level surface. Push down firmly on each corner of the vehicle, taking care to prevent dents in the body panels. A properly working shock absorber will compress and rebound quickly, whereas a bad shock will bounce excessively. You can also check to see if the shock is leaking fluid.
Should I replace front and rear shocks at the same time?
If your vehicle is equipped with both front and rear shock absorbers, it can sometimes be a good idea to replace all four at once. However, it is not always necessary. It is, on the other hand, essential that you replace them in pairs, left and right, so that you do not compromise the way your vehicle reacts on the road.

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