How to Replace Shock Absorbers
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated August 9, 2012)
Having your shock absorbers go out on you can quickly lead to a painful ride for you, and potential damage to your vehicle. While you can always hire someone to do the work for you, why go to the added expense? Replacing shock absorbers isn't all that difficult as long as you know what to do. Simply follow these directions to ensure that you get the job done right.
- Get the correct parts. The first thing that you will need to do is make sure that you get the correct parts. The easiest way to do this is to consult your owner's manual, and then get the part from your local automotive parts store. Make sure that you hold onto the receipt in the event of any problems.
- Prepare the work area. You will want to do your work on a flat, and level surface. If at all possible you should do the work inside, but if not you can always do the work in your driveway. Just make sure that you sit in an old oil spill. Raise one of the tires using a jack, and a jack stand. Before you raise the tire, make sure that you don't forget to also loosen the lugs on the tire.
- Find the shocks. Take off the tire that you raised, and then look for the shocks. In order to do this, you may need to actually slide under the car to find them.
- Remove the bolts. Find the bolts that hold the shocks to the car frame, and then loosen them. Often times you will also need to remove a bolt that is in the engine or trunk compartment. In order to remove the bolt you may need to actually "grease" the bolt with some WD-40 or similar lubricant. Set the bolt aside so that you don't lose anything.
- Remove the nut. You will also need to remove a nut that is helping to brace the shock absorber to the suspension. There are also usually two of these nuts, and once again you may need to use some lubricant to remove them completely.
- Take off the old shock absorber. With the nuts and bolts removed you should have no problem actually removing the shock absorber. Be careful when you do this incase the shocks expand as you remove them.
- Install the new part. Install the new shock absorber, so that it is in place the same way that the old one was.
- Put everything back together. When you have the shock absorber in place, put everything else back the way that it is supposed to be. This can usually be done by simply following these directions in reverse order.
- Repeat the process. With one shock absorber done, you can begin working on the other shocks as well. Repeat the entire process to ensure that you do the job correctly.
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