How to Repair Shock Absorbers

Updated April 17, 2017

A vehicle's shock absorbers help minimise movement and vibration when you are driving on a bumpy surface. If the shocks on your car or truck are damaged or worn out, they should be replaced at the earliest opportunity. Continuing to drive on defective shocks could cause serious damage to your suspension. You can purchase a set of replacement shocks from your local auto parts store.

Place a car jack under your vehicle to raise it off the ground. Position the jack under the car and slightly off centre, closer to the wheel that you plan to work on. Provide additional support for the car jack by placing jack stands under the vehicle.

Pop the hubcap off the wheel. You should be able to unclip it with your hand but if the cap is difficult to remove, use a flathead screwdriver to pry it off the rim.

Remove the lug nuts from the wheel using a wrench. Lift the wheel free of the axle and put it in a safe area for reattachment later.

Remove the upper mounting bolts from the shock absorber and hold the shock in place with a vice-grip. Remove the lower bolts from the shock and then lift off the shock. If it is difficult to remove, use a wooden mallet and gently tap it loose.

Attach a new grommet to the piston rod. Insert the rubber bushing on top of the grommet. Attach another grommet on top of the bushing, facing the opposite direction. This will secure the bushing firmly in place.

Position the new shock absorber in the vehicle so that it is in between the two suspension arms. Compress the shock in place and attach piston rods to the connectors at the top and bottom of the shock absorber.

Reattach the wheel and shock absorber assembly to the vehicle following the above steps in reverse. Repeat on all four wheels. Test the vehicle in a secluded area to ensure that the shocks are working correctly.

Things You'll Need

  • Vice-grip pliers
  • Jack stand
  • Car jack
  • Wrench set
  • Screwdriver set
  • Replacement shock absorbers
  • Wooden mallet
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About the Author

John Johnston began writing in 2006 for article sites such as SN&CK Media, and has a large wealth of experience in writing automotive repair and electronics articles. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in sports journalism from the University of Central Lancashire.