Replacing Your Vehicle’s Shock Absorbers

Your shock absorbers are one of the most vital components in your vehicle’s suspension system and they are critical to the safety and performance of any vehicle. In this Buying Guide, we will explore how shock absorbers work, how to tell when they need replacing and how you can have your shock absorbers replaced.

What are Shock Absorbers?

Shock absorbers are a major and critical component of any vehicle’s suspension system and have a significant effect on the vehicle’s ride and handling. Shock absorbers provide a smoother, more controlled ride and allow the tyre to remain in contact with the road, improving traction and safety.

The shock absorber does this by slowing down the unwanted movement of the wheel and suspension system. The shock absorber consists of a piston and rod in a fluid-filled cylinder and as the tyre experiences road irregularities the rod causes the piston to move up and down through the fluid with the motion of the suspension.

How do Shock Absorbers Work?

The piston in the Shock Absorber is designed to allow the fluid to flow through the piston as the suspension moves. The resistance in the piston limits the speed and frequency that the shock absorber can move up and down, thus absorbing much of the kinetic energy that would otherwise go through the suspension system, allowing the motion of the wheel to slow down and follow the contour of the road surface.

Without the shock absorber the wheel would bounce up and down like a basketball as it travels over bumps in the road. This is why you will often feel a bouncing sensation when your shock absorbers are worn.

How to tell if your shock absorbers are worn out?

Most shock absorber problems are caused by the fluid or gas from the shock absorber leaking as the seals wear over time but can also be caused internally by small metal wear particles causing valves to stick or leak internal pressure which reduces damping effectiveness.

If you’re unsure of the condition of your shock absorbers, book a Pedders $28 Brake, Steering & Suspension check – we’ll provide you with a comprehensive report on the condition of your vehicle’s vital undercar components.

Common signs your Shock Absorbers may be worn out

1. One of the most common signs that your shock absorbers are not working correctly is a feeling of wallowing in your suspension as the shock absorbers aren’t able to slow down the movement of the springs sufficiently. This feeling will be particularly noticeable over irregularities like speed bumps. You may also feel a constant light shudder through the steering wheel if your front shock absorbers are worn.

2. When your shock absorbers are not working effectively it can result in uneven tyre wear as the tyre contact patch can oscillate when it makes contact with the road. This causes an uneven wear pattern around the tyre known as scalloping.

Should shock absorbers be replaced in pairs?

Each of your vehicle’s four shock absorbers typically experience the same conditions over their lifetime. If you find one shock absorber that needs replacing, chances are the other shock absorbers will also need replacing immediately or at some point in the near future.

It is recommended that you replace all four shock absorbers on your vehicle at the same time but if that’s not practical then certainly they must be replaced in pairs – two front or two rear.

If you raise or lower your vehicle’s ride height with aftermarket springs, you should also consider shock absorbers to suit. 

How to get your shock absorbers replaced

Replacing your shock absorbers is a relatively straightforward task for a trained technician. Your local Pedders store will be more than happy to assist you to check the condition of your vehicle’s shock absorbers and overall suspension system and replace any worn out items required.

Pedders offers a range of replacement shock absorbers to return your vehicle’s suspension to like-new condition, or we can upgrade your vehicle performance shock absorbers.

Set My Vehicle

You will see parts and services that are suited to your vehicle