How to Inspect Shock Absorbers

Schedule Brake Pad Replacement
Service Area

$124.62 - $450.29

Price range for all vehicles
Average rating from 10,770 customers who received a Brake Pads Replacement.

Proper shocks in your car can be the difference between a confident, enjoyable driving experience and a hard-to-handle, stressful one. The suspension in your car does more than just smooth out those bumps you drive over day after day. Your car’s suspension is also critical to safe operation, preventing excessive sway and bounce when turning, as well as helping your tires to stay in constant contact with the road surface.

If your car rides rougher than it once did, the shock absorbers may be to blame. Shock absorbers are designed to absorb the bumps and knocks of the road for a smooth, stable ride. You can check to see if they’re worn and need to be replaced.

Method 1 of 1: Do a visual inspection of your car

Step 1: Look at your car by standing along the front. Make sure it’s on a level surface and check to see if one side appears lower than the other.

If any corner of the car is lower or higher than the other corners of the car then you may have a binding or bent shock that needs replaced.

person pushing down on front bumper

Step 2: Press on the bumper. Press down on the corner of the front bumper and watch it move as you quickly release your hold.

If the vehicle bounces more than once, then the shocks may be worn out.

arrows showing shock movement of car

If it bounces more than one and a half times, the shocks are not good. This means that after you compress your car’s suspension, it shouldn’t bounce more than up, then down, then back up to its resting position.

Continue this check on all four corners of the car to test all of the shock absorbers.

tires showing feathering and cupping

Step 2: Inspect your tires. Notice uneven tread wear which indicates the shock absorbers may be worn. Feathering or cupping indicate shocks have a problem.

This includes patchy spots of wear rather than wearing on one side or the other.

If you notice uneven tread wear on your tires, have a certified mechanic look at them right away to make sure your car is not out of alignment, which could be potentially dangerous.

person placing ramps for car to drive up

Step 4: Inspect your shock absorbers for leaks. Drive your car onto ramps and secure it in place.

  • Warning: Always put your car in park and set the parking brake when your vehicle is on ramps. Use wheel chocks or blocks to keep your wheels from moving.

Crawl underneath and look at the shock absorbers.

shock absorber with a leak

If you see oil drips leaking from them, it indicates they are no longer working correctly and need to be replaced.

Sweating, or just a small amount of fluid around the fluid-filled cylinder, is normal to see.

If your investigation indicates worn shock absorbers or if you’re not comfortable checking them on your own, ask a trusted mechanic such as YourMechanic to look at them for you as they may need to be replaced.

Shock absorbers may wear out sooner when you travel over rough terrain, rough roads, or even over potholes frequently. Expect to replace them approximately every 50,000 miles.


Next Step

Schedule Brake Pad Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Brake Pad Replacement. Yourmechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7 days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 10k cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Brake Pad Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Brake Pad Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

10,770

Rating Summary
10,265
323
67
33
82
10,265
323
67
33
82

Arturo

25 years of experience
42 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Volkswagen Tiguan - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - La Jolla, California
Arturo was efficient and extremely professional. I'll refer him to friends and family and call him for any issues related to my car. I am very happy with the service!
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto

Travis

11 years of experience
312 reviews
Travis
11 years of experience
Ford Explorer Sport Trac - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Travis is great! This is the second time he has come and serviced our truck. I recommend Travis for any service ned you may have!
Subaru Forester - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Rosemount, Minnesota
Thank you Travis for your fast, easy, honest work on my vehicle today!! The first thing you did upon arrival to my home was find me a discount coupon for $50 off my service estimate. You did only what needed to be done in record time. You not only saved me lots of money, but did things in a profession manner. I've been looking for an honest auto mechanic for my whole life and would love for you to be it!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! You're the best!!!

Scott

32 years of experience
346 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Arrived on time and worked quickly. Gave me detailed information on his completed work and the details of my car. Answered all of my questions thoroughly.
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Nicholas

9 years of experience
251 reviews
Nicholas
9 years of experience
Lexus GX470 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Clayton, North Carolina
Nicholas texted me 30 minutes prior to arrival. Showed up on time as scheduled. He confirmed the work that I requested be performed. He completed the work, performed the road tested, and delivered my keys along with recommendations of other work that might be in my best interest. Was very pleasant, professional, and cleaned up after he was done. I was so impressed with the service he performed and the speed at which the services were completed. I have already scheduled a future service with Nicholas and will schedule any and all future repairs with him if he is available.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE