How to Replace Rear Shocks

How to Replace Rear Shocks

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The shock absorbers play a huge role in both the comfort of your ride and its handling. They are designed to absorb most of the shock caused by various road conditions. If you like to use your car on the track, you probably have stiffer shocks. The stiffer the shocks are, the more tightly the car will stay on the ground, especially around corners at higher speeds. The tighter your shocks are, however, the less comfortable they will be.

When shock absorbers go bad, they become extremely soft. As much fun as it sounds riding in a boat-like car, it is a hazard, as extra bouncing at higher speeds can cause loss of control. There are a few ways to tell if your shocks are blown. The first and easiest way is to visually inspect them for any oil. Bad shocks tend to leak oil, so if there is oil on your shocks, you may want to get in the market for new ones. Another test you can perform to check your shocks is to go to one corner of the car, press down on the car, and watch how it bounces back. If the car bounces back and fourth a few times, then your shock is blown. If the car goes back to its neutral position right away, your shock is working properly.

In this article we will cover the replacement of the rear shock absorbers. The front shock absorbers are slightly different to replace. Before purchasing the replacement shocks, consider what you will use your vehicle for. If racing is one of your hobbies, consider stiffer shocks, which will give you the freedom of taking corners at higher speeds. If you use your car as a daily driver, however, consider regular shocks, which will compromise between comfort and handling. Read on to learn how to replace the rear shock absorbers in your car.

Tools Required:

Jack
Jack stands
Tire iron
Socket set
Ratchet with extension
Shock absorbers

Step 1 – Raise car and remove wheel

Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel behind which you will be working. Raise the car and secure it with jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and the wheel.

It is recommended you replace the rear shocks together and both the front together, or even all four at the same time. Don’t replace one side only.

Step 2 – Support rear axle

After securing your car with jack stands, use your jack to support the axle from which you are removing the shock. Compress it just enough to make removing the shock easier.

Step 3 – Remove top bolt

Shock mountings can slightly vary from one vehicle to another; however, the process is almost identical for all. Locate the top bolt holding the top of the shock absorber in place. A lot of times the top is held in place by two bolts, mounted to the top, which may require you to use an extension with your ratchet to get to them. Other times it is one bolt. Remove the top shock mounting.

In some rare cases, you may need to access the top shock bolts from the trunk of the car. Just remove the trunk liner and remove the nuts holding the top of the shock in place.

Step 4 – Remove lower bolt

The bottom of the shock is almost always held in place by one bolt. Remove the lower bolt to free the shock.

Step 5 – Install new shock

Most new shocks come compressed with a zip tie that you can remove to decompress them once they are secured.

Secure the top mounting first, then remove the tie. Push the bottom of the shock in place as it gets decompressed. If it goes too far down, use your hands to compress it just enough to align it with its lower mounting. Install the lower bolt in place.

Lower the car and test your new shocks.

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