The Importance of Shock Replacement

by James Florence


Shock replacement continues to be one of the most commonly neglected aspects of vehicle maintenance. Most people put off replacement until their shocks are completely worn down or leaking fluid, but the average lifespan of most shocks is only 50,000 miles, so they should be replaced proactively rather than remedially.

The fact that shock replacement is so frequently overlooked may be due to a lack of appreciation for the role they play in vehicle operation. The primary function of shocks is to control a vehicle’s suspension system. As shocks become worn, however, their ability to fulfill this role becomes diminished, resulting in more movement of the suspension and its related components.

This diminishment of suspension control has several consequences. First, it causes unsafe driving characteristics in terms of a vehicle’s handling. For example, a car with worn shocks tends to lunge forward and dip downward when coming to a stop. This coincides with a second consequence of worn shocks: increased braking distance, which decreases the lifespan of tires and is generally unsafe.

An additional consequence of worn shocks is accelerated wear of suspension components like bushings and engine mounts, which, over time, can result in the need for costly repairs. While some of these repairs are unavoidable in the long-term, making sure your shocks are functioning properly will help maximize their longevity.

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