How to Adjust Shock Absorbers

Written by robert good
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On most shock absorbers, there will be an adjustment screw to tighten and loosen the tension of each shock. The vehicle will need to be raised off the ground to adjust the shock, and there will be specifications for the vehicle that the shocks are mounted on. These specifications pertain to the tension of the shock and are found in a shop manual for that vehicle. You will need some basic tools and the specifications for the shocks to correctly adjust them.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Jack
  • Jack stand
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Raise the vehicle's end that needs the shock adjustment off of the ground with a jack. Support that end on jack stands.

  2. 2

    Examine the base of the shock where it connects to the bottom of the frame of the vehicle and locate the adjustment screw. The screw will have a (+) and (-) sign above it to signify which way to turn the screw to tighten or loosen the tension.

  3. 3

    Turn the adjustment screw towards the (+) to tighten the tension. Turn the screw towards the (-) to loosen the tension. Use a screwdriver to turn the screw. Once the shock is adjusted, raise the vehicle with the jack, remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground.

Tips and warnings

  • Some shocks will need fluid added to them in order to increase or decrease the tension.

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