Everything you need to know about shock absorber replacements

Everything you need to know about shock absorber replacements

Shock absorbers are an important part of a car’s suspension system. Let’s go over how much it costs to replace shock absorbers in the UK, as well as what they are and what they do. We'll also answer questions like if you can get away with driving on broken shock absorbers!

What Are Shock Absorbers On A Car?

Shock absorbers are an important part of your vehicle's suspension system, helping to reduce the amount of vibration and shock that is transmitted from the road to the car's body.

This helps to improve vehicle stability, comfort, and safety. In addition, shock absorbers also help to protect other suspension components from wear and tear due to rough roads, which can help keep annual service costs down.

How Do Shock Absorbers Work?

Understanding how shock absorbers work can help you make informed decisions about maintaining or replacing them in order to ensure a safe and comfortable ride.

Shock absorbers are designed to convert the kinetic energy of the suspension into heat energy, which is then dissipated through the shock absorber's hydraulic fluid. This helps to prevent excessive bouncing and oscillation, improving both ride comfort and stability.

In addition to improving ride comfort, shock absorbers also help to improve tyre contact with the road, which is important for maintaining traction and improving handling, particularly during cornering and braking.

How Long Do Shock Absorbers Last?

The life expectancy of shock absorbers, as a general rule, is at least 4 to 5 years, or 50,000 miles.

However, it actually depends on the road conditions. If you drive on smooth roads in generally good conditions, the lifespan of shock absorbers can extend to longer than 10 years. On the flip side, if you’re driving on rough, uneven tracks filled with potholes, then the lifespan will be greatly reduced to a few years.

What Are The Signs Of Worn Shock Absorbers?

Over time, shock absorbers can wear out and become less effective, leading to an uncomfortable ride.

Symptoms of worn shock absorbers include:

  • Increased vibration in the steering wheel
  • A bouncy ride
  • An excessive amount of body roll when cornering
  • Additionally, if there is visible damage such as oil leakage or rust on the shock absorber then this also indicates that it needs to be replaced.

What Noise Does A Broken Shock Absorber Make?

Broken shock absorbers are known for making unusual noises, you might hear a clunky sound knocking under your car. That’s the sound of metal components hitting each other as the car bumps over an uneven surface.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Shock Absorbers in the UK?

The cost to replace shock absorbers in the UK costs between £150 to £500. The cost varies so much due to different car makes and models, if you need all four replaced, then you also need to consider the labour cost from mechanics. 

Worried about the costs? With Bumper you could benefit from 0% interest car repair financing and pay for car repairs in instalments in easy-to-manage monthly payments.

The Labour Costs To Replace Shock Absorbers

The time it takes for mechanics to replace shocks varies due to different car makes and models. However, our research shows that on average it takes garages between 1.5 to 4 hours to replace shock absorbers.

Do I Have To Replace All Four Shock Absorbers At Once?

Typically the front and rear shock absorbers are replaced together as this helps maintain reliable handling and a consistent response on both sides of the vehicle.

However, at the very least they should be replaced in pairs, i.e the front shock absorbers and rear shocks.

Can I Drive My Car With A Broken Shock Absorber?

Driving with a broken shock absorber can be dangerous and highly risky. It is important to understand that shock absorbers are an essential part of the suspension system and their main purpose is to absorb shocks from the road while driving.

A broken shock absorber will not only cause discomfort while riding but also lead to loss of control over the vehicle in certain situations. Therefore, it is not recommended to drive your car with a broken shock absorber as it could put you and other drivers at risk.

Can I Fit New Shock Absorbers Myself?

If you are looking to upgrade your car's shock absorbers, you might be wondering if it is possible to fit new shock absorbers yourself. The answer is yes, with the right knowledge and tools, fitting new shock absorbers is a relatively straightforward job but the key is ‘right knowledge’. Only attempt to change your shock absorbers yourself if you are competent and confident in your ability to carry out mechanical repairs on your car.

Considering the importance of shock absorbers for a car’s health, it doesn’t make sense to risk it and try a DIY job replacing shock absorbers. Instead, we recommend taking your car to your nearest mechanic to carry out the job safely.

Split The Cost With Bumper

Bumper knows a large repair bill on your car is the last thing you want to spend your money on, but essential parts such as shocks are crucial for you and your family’s safety. 

Look after your car and your bank balance by splitting the cost or repairs into monthly instalments, interest-free. 

Join the Bumper community and get access to the best care for you and your car. Choose a dependable dealership and split your repair bill into monthly chunks.

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