How to replace shocks

How To Replace Shocks

One of the most overlooked maintenance items on your automobile is the replacement of shock absorbers. Special attention should be paid to your shocks as they provide the vehicle with stability and control.  Here are the basic steps on how to replace shocks on the rear axle of most front wheel drive cars.

First of all, determine whether or not you really need to replace them. On most cars, if you have more than 20,000 miles on your original shock absorbers, you probably need them replaced. There is a quick test for this.  You can bounce your car by pushing down on the rear bumper and letting it rebound up. Watch the motion of the car and how much it bounces.

If it continues to bounce more than once, you may need shocks. The purpose of the shocks is to keep the tires in contact with the road. If the car continues to bounce, that will allow the tires to lose some of their contact with the road. If your car is not in contact with the road at all times, it can result in an accident.

The shocks can be replaced without raising the car or removing the wheel but in most cases, either can give you extra space to replace the shocks. This will also allow for easier access to the mounting bolts and/or studs. Be sure to observe the orientation of the rubber bushings as you remove the shock from its position. Some cars require a shock that has built in bushings with a mounting eye on both ends. The mounting eye helps the shock to slide onto a mounting bolt. Some have a stud on the shock that require a bushing both below and above a mounting bracket.

Mount the new shock using the same orientation as the old one. Be sure to add new bushings where they are required. The new shock will have directions to help you differentiate between the upper and lower ends. Also, included with the new shock will be directions for the amount of torque required on mounting bolts and nuts.

So, there you have replaced your shocks and you will notice better ride and handling while driving your car.

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