Shock absorbers make driving over rough surfaces a more comfortable experience by allowing the other components of the suspension to move smoothly. Shock absorbers suffer wear and damage over time and should be replaced. Fortunately, replacing shock absorbers is a relatively simple process when you have the right tools to remove and reinstall the parts.
Tools for Replacing Shock Absorbers
As each car model is different, consult the owner's manual and any instructions that come with the shock absorbers to ensure that the replacement parts are installed correctly. Replace shock absorbers in pairs to prevent rapid wear and damage to new units. The new shock absorbers should be identical to the old parts. In addition to the two or four replacement shock absorbers, you only need a few simple tools: ratchet, axle stand, socket, car jack, wheel brace, and in some cases, coil spring compressors.
Remove Old Shock Absorbers
Lift the car using the jack and place the axle stand in a suitable location that allows you to apply pressure to the axle later on in the process. Remove the tyres to allow better access to the shock absorbers. Make a note of where and how the bolts hold each shock absorber in place so that you can use the same configuration with the new parts. Remove the bolts, which may be at the top of the tyre arch, according to the specific model, and then remove the old shock absorber. For certain models, you also need to remove the coil springs, which involves putting pressure on the back axle to lift the components. In a few cases, you may need a coil spring compressor to compress, remove, and replace the springs.
Install New Shock Absorbers
Install the new shock absorbers using the attachment points where you removed the bolts. Begin by attaching the upper bolts loosely, followed by any lower bolts. Tighten the bolts to secure the shock absorber. If necessary, replace the coil springs. Finally, replace the tyres, remove the axle stand, and lower your car to the ground with the car jack.
Test New Shock Absorbers
To ensure that you have installed your shock absorbers correctly, take your car for a test drive. You should notice an improvement in the suspension response and steering control. However, if they are not responding well or you hear noise coming from the wheel well, you may need to adjust your shock absorbers.