How Long Does a Shock Absorber Last?

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Your car has a suspension system that provides dampening of shocks and jarring while driving on the road. The suspension also helps improve vehicle handling. There are many different types of suspension systems out there, but the most common by far is a combination of shock absorbers and struts. On older cars, shock absorbers are used on both the front and rear wheels, but modern cars use them primarily on the rear wheels, with strut assemblies on the front.

Both shocks and struts work in a similar way. They use either compressed gas or liquid to help absorb the lateral (up and down) movement of your car caused by bumps, dips, speed bumps, potholes and more. Your shock absorbers are in use any time the car is moving (and even when it’s not). That means they’re subjected to a lot of wear and tear, and they will eventually fail. In fact, they’re considered a normal maintenance item, and they should be replaced relatively regularly. You should also have your shocks and struts inspected at each oil change.

In general, a shock absorber should last at least 50,000 miles before you need to have it replaced. However, the real determining factor is where you drive and how you drive. For instance, if you do a lot of off-road driving, or spend a lot of time on dirt roads, your shocks will wear out much more quickly. If you do primarily highway or interstate driving where the roads are smooth and level, they may last well beyond the 50,000-mile mark.

Once your shocks begin to wear, they’ll fail quickly. What happens is that the end seals begin to wear. Eventually, they will fail. The gas or liquid inside the shock absorber will then leak out. In a liquid-based shock, this can be seen as moisture on the top of the shock absorber or running down the side of the assembly.

Because your car’s shock absorbers have such a dramatic role to play in handling and comfort, it’s important to know the signs that indicate you have a failing or failed shock. These include:

  • Knocking or bumping from the rear suspension

  • Vehicle does not sit level

  • Feeling that the rear end is “loose” while going around turns

  • The rear end bounces more than it should

  • Jarring ride over rougher roads

  • Even small bumps are very noticeable

If you think your shocks are in need of attention, YourMechanic can help. One of our mobile mechanics will come to your location, inspect each shock absorber and replace them if needed.


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Recent Shock Absorber Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Shock Absorber Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

510

Rating Summary
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Damian

10 years of experience
436 reviews
Damian
10 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala - Shock Absorber Replacement (Rear) - Washington, District of Columbia
Excellent worker, he had the same problem the first mechanic had. Instead of quitting like the first mechanic, he figured out how to remove the nut holding the SHOCK.
Isuzu Trooper - Shock Absorber Replacement (Front, Rear) - Clinton, Maryland
A very outstanding mechanic! Did not waste time, explain what he was going to do, showed the new parts, and did the job. Could not asked for more.I will tell my family and friends. Thank you so much!

Scott

35 years of experience
665 reviews
Scott
35 years of experience
Honda Civic - Shock Absorber Replacement (Rear) - Phoenix, Arizona
Great hobby Scott on my 2008 Honda Civic EXL.Great communication and on time.He is replacing a front passenger CV axel and washer pump on my 2006 Kia Sportage EX today.I’ll rate that job after completion and driving it a few weeks after.
Chevrolet Trailblazer - Shock Absorber Replacement (Front) - San Tan Valley, Arizona
As you can see by my posts, he has always done a great job on all of my vehicles and is still doing so! Another great job Scott!

Juan

12 years of experience
41 reviews
Juan
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - Shock Absorber Replacement (Front) - Walnut Creek, California
Juan was punctual, polite, and responsive. I watched his work processing and it was clear immediately that he is a pro. The work was finished promptly and correctly. I would not hesitate to request Juan again.
Honda Odyssey - Shock Absorber Replacement (Front, Rear) - Elk Grove, California
Juan was fantastic! He was on schedule, very knowledgeable about cars, and did a superb job on installing my struts and shocks. My van rides so much better now!

Daniel

10 years of experience
139 reviews
Daniel
10 years of experience
Jeep Liberty - Shock Absorber Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
I've used Your Mechanic many times but this was my first time Daniel repaired my car. Daniel was prompt, explained clearly everything I needed to know about shock absorber replacement and did a fantastic job in less time recommended replacing shocks and hood and lift back struts. I would definitely use him to service my car in the future.

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