Are you planning on replacing the shock absorbers of your vehicle and you are looking to learn more about the replacing shock absorbers cost? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be quite a lot to cover on this topic where we are going to learn everything when it comes to this problem.
- Shock Absorbers?
- Shocks VS Struts
- Bad Shock Symptoms
- How To Diagnose
Doing regular maintenance on your car is quite an essential thing to do. And shock absorbers if you didn’t know have a limited lifespan. They don’t last forever and have to be replaced on time. Even though a ton of people are often not paying attention to this and are leaving their cars like that and driving them with bad shocks.
And driving with bad shocks is something that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. Why so? Well, there will be a lot of symptoms that are associated with bad shocks. And on top of that, there could be also problems with the overall structural integrity of the vehicle since you will create a ton of stress on the chassis if you don’t replace these components. But you shouldn’t worry because we are going to help you out.
First, we are going to learn what are shock absorbers and we will cover the difference between struts vs shocks. Then we will cover the bad shock absorber symptoms and learn more about the symptoms that will be present. After that, we will cover the diagnosis process and also the topic of replacing shock absorbers cost. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
What Are Shock Absorbers
Now let’s start with the basics and learn more about what are shock absorbers in general. Knowing this is quite essential because you still need to know the basics before you jump into learning the replacing shock absorbers cost.
So, what is a shock absorber? Well, a shock absorber in simple terms is a component that is designed to absorb impacts.
As you probably know, the roads are not ideally smooth and there is a need for something to soften up the driving experience and deliver you comfort inside of the cabin.
There are a ton of bumps and potholes that could ruin your driving experience if you don’t have some kind of cushion to absorb all these imperfections and still make you feel like you driving comfortably.
So, this is why shock absorbers were invented. These shock absorbers are simple hydraulic devices that work with the help of hydraulic fluid.
Inside them, they are full of hydraulic fluid and this fluid has a ton of resistance against compression. This is why it is widely used in these applications.
So, when you go over bumps, the hydraulic fluid is doing all the labor-intensive processes and absorbs the impacts. But sometimes these shock absorbers can tend to leak. Especially after many miles of using them and you will end up in big trouble.
Namely, you will start to notice bad shock absorber symptoms and you will be looking for replacing shock absorbers cost. But more about that we are going to cover in a bit. Now let’s further elaborate on the importance of these shock absorbers. Because why not, there is still a lot to talk about their function in the automobile and learn why they are so irreplaceable when it comes to the vehicle’s suspension.
Why Shock Absorbers Are Important
Now since we learned the basics of the shock absorber and how does it work. Before we dive into replacing shock absorbers cost and how much is it, let’s further discuss this topic and learn more about the importance of these devices in your vehicle. Why shocks are irreplaceable components in your car?
Well, the first aspect as we mentioned is comfort. Without shocks, you would have a really bumpy ride. If you have driven agricultural equipment with no suspension whatsoever, you know what we are talking about. It is that stressful.
So, the need for shock absorbers is more than essential for the driver and the passenger to drive in comfort.
Also, shock absorbers have other roles as well. More precisely, to keep the structural integrity of the vehicle. If you have bad shocks and you drive like that, you can suffer some structural damage as well.
More precisely, the shock towers can take a toll and start to develop cracks on them. And when you have cracked metal, this is not a good situation. You risk facing some serious consequences down the line because of this issue.
The structural integrity of the vehicle is the most important thing that you need if you want to drive safely without any problems and potential hazards.
In total on each car, there are four of these shocks. Even though some of them are not called shocks. They are called struts. So, why is this the case?
Well, more on this topic we are going to elaborate in the following chapter where we are going to discuss the difference between struts and shocks. Later on, we will cover the replacing shock absorbers cost.
Struts VS Shocks
Now before we start learning about the bad shock absorber symptoms and learn more about the possible symptoms when shocks go bad as well as the replacing shock absorbers cost. Let’s first take a look at the difference between shocks vs struts.
As we mentioned previously, both of these types are shock absorbers. But how they are different?
Well, the main difference is that the shock absorbers are designed to absorb impacts. And that’s it. They have no other role to play in the automobile. And shocks are usually mounted on the rear wheels of vehicles.
While struts are run on the front suspension. Struts are basically coilover suspension. The strut is also known as a MacPherson strut.
This component includes the coil spring, as well as the shock which is mounted in the center. And these struts are part of the front independent suspension.
They participate in proper handling and also keeping the car nice and level at all costs. So, they play many different roles. Unlike the shocks at the rear that only are in charge of absorbing impacts over bumps.
And that is the main difference between the two. So, when you see only a shock absorber, this means that this is only a shock absorber.
But if the shock absorber has a more complex design that is used to accommodate a spring, this means that this component is a strut.
Struts come as shock only and you replace the spring. Or, they come equipped with brand new springs.
More expensive but we think that it is worth it because you get a practically brand new front suspension. Also, there are coilovers.
Coilovers are high-performance struts that have the ability to adjust the preload, rebound, and also ride height.
Bad Shock Absorber Symptoms
So, we have covered the basics when it comes to shock absorbers and we learned that the shock absorbers are usually mounted in the rear. Since the front end is equipped with struts.
These shock absorbers over a long time of use can develop symptoms that are quite common. So, before you learn more about replacing shock absorbers cost, we think that you should definitely learn more about the symptoms of bad shock absorbers first.
And in the following chapters, we are going to cover all about the symptoms. We will also cover the ones that are concerned with struts.
We will start with the most common ones and finish with the ones that are less likely to occur on your vehicle. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
Replacing Shock Absorbers Cost, Symptoms #1: Nose Dives When Braking
Now let’s begin with the first symptom before we dive into replacing shock absorbers cost. And this is the symptom when you experience nose-dive under braking. Why is this the case?
Well, as you probably know, shocks and struts are there to keep the car nice and level all the time. So, no matter if you are accelerating or braking, the body of the car should be nice and level most of the time.
If you start to experience something like nose-dive under braking, then you definitely have a problem. How big of a problem that depends. In these cases, the struts are the ones to blame for this symptom since they sit at the front and take the most stress under heavy braking.
So, you definitely need to check them out first. If they seem okay, move on to the rear shocks and inspect them as well. Later on, we are going to explain how it’s done.
Replacing Shock Absorbers Cost, Symptoms #2: Increased Bounce Over Bumps
The second very common symptom when it comes to both struts and shocks is the increased bounce over bumps. So, why is this the case?
Well, this is the case because the shocks or struts are all empty of the hydraulic fluid they had before. Now there is only air in the shocks and struts. And air does not work well as hydraulic fluid. It can get compressed.
So, you can expect the car to become really bouncy when the rear shocks or the front struts have failed. This will be most present when you will go over bumps or over potholes.
And not only that it will be bad for the car, but it will also be bad for your driving. You will get easily distracted and annoyed by this occurrence and you could lose concentration. This is why we recommend learning the replacing shock absorbers cost and replacing shock absorbers on your vehicle. Now let’s move on to the next symptom of bad shock absorbers on our list.
Replacing Shock Absorbers Cost, Symptoms #3: Increased Body Roll While Cornering
The third symptom on our list of symptoms of bad shock absorbers and struts is the increased body roll while cornering. So, what is body roll and why does it increase?
Well, body roll is a situation when the car leans too much while cornering. The bigger the vehicle, the greater the body roll. This is why vehicles have sway bars installed on them to make sure that the body roll is limited and you don’t suffer too much from it.
But if you own a big SUV, this is unavoidable. Big cars have a ton of body roll even with these suspension tweaks.
And when the struts and shocks fail, this situation will become even worse. The body of the car will lean too much when you take a corner. Especially if you take a corner at high speeds. So, it is best that you notice this symptom early. Then learn the replacing shock absorbers cost. Because if you don’t, you can get yourself in a dangerous situation.
So, replace the suspension components on time if you don’t want to regret it later on.
Replacing Shock Absorbers Cost, Symptoms #4: Rear End Squats Under Acceleration
Now let’s move to the next symptom when you have bad rear shocks. And this is the situation when your rear end of the car squats under acceleration. Why is this happening?
This is happening because the rear shocks have leaked out all of the hydraulic fluid inside them. So, when the car accelerates, the rear end will squat.
Similar to the case when the front end dives under braking when the struts are worn out. So, if you notice something like this on your car. Looking at replacing shock absorbers cost is really important because these shocks are no good and have to go. Now let’s move on to the next symptom.
Replacing Shock Absorbers Cost, Symptoms #5: Uneven Tread Wear
Let’s move to the next symptom and this is the symptom when you have uneven tread wear on the tires. So, why is this the case?
Well, in this case, because shocks and struts are also important parts of your suspension. So, when they are not functioning on their factory-recommended specs, the downsides will appear on the tires.
So, you need to learn more about replacing shock absorbers cost and replacing the shocks on your car before the problem becomes too much and you have a really big and expensive issue. More on that, we are going to cover later on in the article after we finish with all of the symptoms of bad shock absorbers.
Replacing Shock Absorbers Cost, Symptoms #6: Vibrations In The Steering Wheel
Now let’s move on to the next symptom. And this is the symptom when you experience vibrations in the steering wheel. So, why is this happening?
Well, let’s imagine that the struts have all their fluid leaked out. In this situation, you don’t have a properly working suspension anymore. And vibrations will be present inside the car, and most often on the steering wheel.
So, in this case, your best bet would be to look at replacing shock absorbers cost. And more on that we are going to cover in a moment.
Replacing Shock Absorbers Cost, Symptoms #7: Rear End Sits Up In The Air
The next symptom that we would like to discuss, that is important, especially when it comes to the rear shocks is the situation when the rear end sits up in the air.
A car should be level 100% of the time. If the rear end is lifted, this is a clear indication that you have a problem with shock absorbers. They are empty without any hydraulic fluid and you are basically left with shock absorbers that do not work, filled with air. And basically, this is a situation that you want to avoid.
Replacing Shock Absorbers Cost, Symptoms #8: Fluid Leaks
The next symptom that we would like to discuss when it comes to the bad shock absorbers is the situation with the fluid leaks.
When shock absorbers fail, they tend to develop leaks. As we noted previously, shocks are full of hydraulic fluid and this hydraulic fluid allows them to work properly.
If there is a small leak, the shock will not work as intended by the factory. So, it doesn’t matter if you catch these leaks at the beginning or later on, the important thing is that these shocks have to go. But what is the replacing shock absorbers cost? More on the cost we are going to elaborate on later on in the article.
Replacing Shock Absorbers Cost, Symptoms #9: Strange Noises
Another symptom that we would like to discuss when it comes to bad shock absorbers is the situation when you experience strange noises coming from the body of the car when you go over bumps.
These noises will resemble squeaks and rattles because the vehicle’s suspension is basically thrashed and needs to be diagnosed and replaced or repaired. But how you can diagnose bad shock absorbers and determine that you need to learn more about the replacing shock absorbers cost? More about that we are going to cover next.
How To Diagnose Bad Shock Absorbers
Now let’s take a look at the diagnostics process when it comes to these bad shock absorbers. How this process is done the right way?
Well, first things first, is that you need to perform a thorough inspection of the shocks. You need to check for leaks and see if there are any leaks on them. If there are leaks and they are all greasy and covered with dust, then they have probably leaked out.
The next thing you would want to do is to apply force on top of the strut tower that the shock is mounted on. Apply gentle pressure with your hands. Press it as much as you can.
If the body of the car goes down and then rebounds up like a sponge, then you definitely have bad shocks and these shocks need to be replaced. And more on that next.
Rear Shock Replacement
Now before we dive into replacing shock absorbers cost, let’s take a look at the replacement process and how it is done.
We will not dive into explaining but we will attach a video of how this process is done and performed the right way.
Replacing Shock Absorbers Cost
Now let’s discuss more on the replacing shock absorbers cost. How much can you expect to pay for this type of work?
Well, the answer to this question really depends on the car. Some cars have more expensive shocks while some have cheaper ones.
On average, a single shock is between $80 to $150. This is for the part alone. So, times two, about $300 for both rear shocks.
The labor is also expensive and can cost $300 on average. So, to replace both shocks you can expect to pay anywhere between $500 and $600 on average. With the price for the parts and the labor. Also, an alignment is recommended and this should be $60 plus.
Conclusion To Replacing Shock Absorbers Cost
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to shock absorbers. First, we learned what they are and why they are so important. We covered the differences between shocks vs struts as well.
Then we covered the common symptoms that are associated with both shocks and struts as well as the diagnostics process. Lastly, we elaborated on the costs involved in this type of work.
F.A.Qs On Replacing Shock Absorbers Cost
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Are Shocks On A Car
Shock absorbers are special components that are installed on the car’s suspension with the goal to reduce impacts caused by the uneven road surface. They improve the comfort of the vehicle and keep the car nice and level.
What Are Struts On A Car
MacPherson struts are suspension components that are installed on the car’s suspension. A MacPherson strut, unlike the shock absorber, is a component that actively participates in the driving characteristics of the vehicle. It is a combination of both a shock and a spring.
How Long Do Struts Last
On average, they last about 60,000 miles. After this mileage, they will start to leak hydraulic fluid and will go bad. You will notice this behavior. The car will be bouncy and it will handle quite poorly.
Are Shocks And Struts The Same Thing
No, they are not the same thing. Even though they are shock absorbers. Struts are much more complex since they actively participate in the vehicle’s handling characteristics.
How Much Do Shocks Cost
Shocks are not expensive. They cost between $80 and $150 per piece. Even though there are some high-performance ones that cost a lot more than this. So, be aware of the prices.
How To Test Shocks By Hand
You can do this simply by applying pressure with your body on top of the shock tower. If the car dives and immediately rises up, the shocks are worn out. This spongy behavior is something that you don’t want.