The shocks are part of a vehicle that help to absorb the bumps and heavy impact experienced while driving. If you can push down hard on the trunk or hood of your car and it does not bounce back quickly, or if you've begun to notice that driving has become a little more rough and you're feeling every single bump in the road, you may need new shocks. You can replace your shocks yourself without having to pay a mechanic, but before you do so, read on to learn more.
Determining What Needs Replacement
Most shocks consist of two major components: the springs and the shock assembly. If it's just the springs that need replacing, you can expect a much lower cost than if you have to purchase an entirely new shock system. It is important to check your vehicle's owners manual to ensure you purchase the correct parts before beginning the installation. Pre-made shock assemblies are much easier to install than the individual parts that make up your shocks, so try to purchase a kit that has everything included.
Preparing for Installation
You will need to raise your car up using a jack so that you can easily get underneath where the shocks are located. Be sure your car is level and properly secured with either jack stands or ramps for safety. You will need to remove the tires in order to get to the shocks. Look to see if they are attached with either a vertical or horizontal bolt. Gather the tools you will need ahead of time, which includes a lubricant to help loosen the bolts, the right sized ratchet and socket wrench, a hammer, and pliers. These tools are to help loosen and remove the bolts holding the shocks so you can install the new ones.
Carefully loosen the bolts holding the shocks with the ratchet and slowly turn them loose. Once the bolt is off, you can pull the springs out. If it's just new springs you need to replace, simply attach the replacement springs back onto the shock rod. Be sure they fit properly and are tightly installed. Then, reattach the bolts if they are still in good condition and put the tires securely back onto the vehicle. For more complex installation, you will need to remove the shock rods and shock assembly and reinstall them as well as the springs before you can put the bolts back on. Be sure the torque is correct, as this is what helps determine how effective your new shocks will work. You should install all new shocks or springs at once rather than just one at a time to ensure a smooth, safe ride.
For professional service, contact a company such as Affordable Automotive Service Center.