The cost to replace car shock absorbers (dampers) varies on factors that include age of the vehicle, whether it is a passenger or performance car and where it comes from. For the purposes of this article, we'll follow six cars of three different types through the years and follow the evolution of the damper prices for each. These vehicles were chosen as they fairly represent different vehicles from each segment: the Honda Civic, Acura TSX, Chevy Malibu, Chevrolet Corvette, BMW 318i and BMW M3.
Newer Cars (2005-present)
Newer cars generally use far more complicated shock absorbers than those used even a few years ago. A set of four for a typical passenger sedan runs on average $334 for American cars, $322 for Japanese cars and $280 for European cars. Performance shocks average $645 for Americans, $348 for Japanese and $364 for Europeans.
Newer Cars (2005-present)
Newer cars generally use far more complicated shock absorbers than those used even a few years ago. A set of four for a typical passenger sedan runs on average £217 for American cars, £209 for Japanese cars and £182 for European cars. Performance shocks average £419 for Americans, £226 for Japanese and £236 for Europeans.
Older Cars (1994-2004)
The simpler designs used previously make these shocks a bit more attainable and easier to install. A full set of passenger car shocks average about £26 less across the board than newer ones, except for the European cars, which stay about the same. Performance shocks are significantly less expensive for American cars, at around £266 a set, and the Japanese and Europeans stay about the same as they are now.
As the types used by most cars before the early 1990s were the simplest, cheapest and most generic, they are cheaper than those on a newer car. Import cars average £105 a set, Americans are £100 and the European's shocks run around £130. Performance shocks from this period are practically unheard of, but those available cost nearly the same as their standard counterparts.
Aftermarket Shocks (Older Cars)
New technology has come to breathe new life into the handling of even the most tired old car. Many companies make bolt-on suspensions for older front and rear-wheel drive cars. One of the most notable is Edelbrock, whose internally adjusting shocks adapt to the road surface to deliver the best traction for any road condition. These cost between £227 and £292 a set, depending on the application.
Aftermarket Shocks (Modern)
The sky is the limit for modern race and sport suspensions. From Koni's £646 universal coil-over kit to £6,045 JRZ Triple Adjustable Race units, the late-model suspension tuner is simply spoiled for choice. The only limit to the suspension enhancements available for modern cars is the size of the owner's wallet.