A shock absorber plays an important factor in the suspension of a car. The purpose of a shock absorber is to reduce or absorb the compression and fluctuation of the suspension and springs. It regulates excessive and undesirable spring action. Your tyres always stay in contact with the ground because of shock absorbers. When the car suspension and axles move, if you hit a bump or dip on the road, the tyre will stay in touch with the ground and absorb the force. The transforming of the kinetic energy into thermal (heat) energy of the springs, the shock absorbers reduce the movement of the springs. Shock absorbers are cylinders that are filled with oil and then use hydraulic fluid to decompose the heat energy.

How do you know when shocks need to be replaced?

There are many common ways to know when shocks need to be replaced.  Some of the occasions are: when your car falls out over speed bumps, railroad lines, or bends on the road, or if it continues to bounce long after the impact. Unusual sounds over bumps, significant body tilt or shake in curves, or the rear end of a car diving suddenly under severe braking are other symptoms of worn shocks and struts. Uneven tyre wear and poor steering control can also be caused by bad shocks.

 What do worn-out shocks feel like?

The shocks feel something like this. You can feel the vibration in the steering wheel when you are driving on a bumpy road. If you feel excessive vibration in the steering wheel it may be a symptom of bad shock absorbers. Similarly, if you feel vibrations on smoother roads and the vibration increases with the speed of the car you have to stop and call for the auto care services. The other symptom might be the longer stopping distance. It is not because of the brakes but it could also be the problem of the shock absorber. Shock absorbers and springs play an important role in weight distribution.

When you apply the brakes, keep in mind that the weight of the car goes forward, applying downward pressure on the front wheels. The front shocks support the front end and assist retain part of the weight on the car’s rear end. When the shocks fail, more weight shifts forward, which puts additional pressure on the front brakes. Whatever the reason for a slower braking reaction and greater stopping distance, it has to be looked at right away.

 How many miles do car shocks last?

Under optimal driving conditions, shocks and struts may typically last 5–10 years or 40,000–120,000 miles. The longevity of these parts can be impacted by a variety of variables, including the manufacturer, poor roads, big loads, towing, severe braking, and aggressive driving. It is preferable to start checking these components after 40,000 miles or when the car starts to bounce, have longer stopping distances, or exhibit other suspension issues. If you suspect your shocks or struts may be damaged, you should have your car checked out right away. Both shocks and struts have the potential to produce dangerous circumstances like bouncing or shoddy braking that can result in accidents. Front struts, as opposed to shocks, are an essential component of the steering system and their failure might seriously impair steering. The car will probably not be drivable if these components entirely fail.

Is it expensive to replace shocks?

A pair of new struts typically cost between $450 and $900 on average. The cost of the replacement will be between $120 and $350 for a single strut replacement, while labour will run you between $180 and $320 for a pair.

 You can expect to spend between $300 and $600 to replace two shocks if you’re replacing them. You’ll need to spend between $150 and $300 on labour to do this repair.

The springs and shock absorbers are among the components that make up for most of the cost of replacing shocks and struts.

Can you drive with bad shocks?

The shocks are for the purpose of absorbing the bumps and bends on the road. With bad shocks, it will make your drive uncomfortable. The shocks should be replaced after they last for a long time. If you go long without replacing shocks it can be too dangerous for you. The circumstances under which you might have to deal with bad shocks are :

1. Speeding with bad shocks 

When the vehicle accelerates, the torque created by the acceleration of the vehicle is absorbed by the shocks and it keeps your vehicle stable. And if the condition of the shocks is bad, it can cause the loss of control of the vehicle while you speed up the vehicle and you can be meet with an accident.

2.  Braking power

The brakes must be smooth for safe driving. With bad shocks, it is difficult and hard for you to stop the car efficiently.

3. Hard steering

Bad shocks make your drive harder to handle which increases the risk of road accidents. So, that’s why it is important to replace your shocks at the right time.

4. Fluid Leaking

The seal of the shocks should not be broken which is responsible for the leakage of fluid in the shocks and it reduces the ability of the shocks to absorb the pressure from the bumpy roads.

5. Leaning on one side 

Sometimes, you see that your car leans on one side when you take a sharp turn, it is because of the bad shocks.

How often do shocks need to be replaced?

As the car drives a lot of miles, shocks (also known as automobile struts in some vehicles), gradually deteriorate. Shocks and struts have a set maintenance schedule, much like all other components and systems of a car. Depending on how much wear and tear they have endured, Auto Mechanic service professionals recommend replacing them every 40,000 to 100,000 miles. Depending on how you drive, shocks and struts will last longer or shorter. Such components will have to be updated more frequently if you frequently drive over uneven roads and rough streets.

Is replacing shocks easy?

Yes, but it depends on which car you have. It is easy to replace shocks if you have the right tools and follow the correct and safe procedure to change shocks. Nowadays, there are so many videos or guides to replace shocks on the internet and on youtube.

For old cars, it is very hard to get to the position where you have to replace the shocks. Because of the compact arrangement of the suspension arrangements, it is tight to work there.


To conclude, the life of the shocks depends on your driving patterns. If you drive on bumpy roads maximum times, it will reflect and you’ll have to change the shocks early in time. If you drive on plain or smooth roads and at a short distance, it will go longer than the bumpy roads. It also depends on the driving quality of the car rider. Shocks should be replaced before it gets failed as it can cause an accident. Checking the vehicle’s bad shock signs and symptoms on time can prevent this issue from getting messy. Repairing is better than replacing as replacement of shocks is very costly.