Shocks play a vital role in the suspension system of your vehicle as they help to alleviate the immediate transference of energy that your vehicle experiences when you hit any type of bumpy feature while driving.
There is a shock absorber installed for every tire on your vehicle which helps to stabilize the body of your vehicle overall. There are several unique purposes and functions that shocks play in the operation of a vehicle, this is why it is essential to have a balanced and functioning set in your car or truck at all times.
When your shocks begin to fail, you will notice several different signs which indicate their need to be replaced. Some of the most common issues that you’ll encounter with bad shocks will include leaking fluid, uneven tire wearing, delayed braking time, nose-diving while braking or swerving, and vibration throughout your steering wheel when on the road.
As stated earlier, the primary purpose of shocks is to limit the loose movement of your vehicle’s body however, they also play a critical role in making sure that your tires remain evenly in contact with the ground at all times. shocks do not support the weight of your vehicle contrary to what most people believe, that is the purpose of struts which is another vital component that is a part of the suspension system.
If you begin to notice issues such as these, you need to install new shocks on your vehicle as soon as possible. Before deciding on which shocks are right for you, you need to take into consideration a lot of different variables such as the type of vehicle you have, the current suspension system on your vehicle, and more.
Below, we’re going to go over all of the most important information that you need to know when choosing the proper shocks for your vehicle to ensure that you make the right purchase decision.
Our Top Recommendations
There are several different types of shocks available and all of them are designed to provide tire support for varying vehicle configurations. In this section, we’re going to give you our top recommendations for shocks currently out on the market so that you can ensure your vehicle is running optimally at all times.
Keep in mind, the shock absorber recommendations that we mention below will be rated for various types of vehicles, drivetrains, suspension systems, and more. Take all of these variables into consideration before purchasing shocks to avoid any issues during installation and operation.
#1 Monroe MA836 Max-Air Adjust Shock Absorber
The Monroe MA836 Max-Air Adjust Shock Absorber comes with a ½ inch piston rod that is hardened and precision machined to provide consistent performance and long serviceability to your vehicle.
These shocks are rated for all-weather fluid and contain special modifiers which reduce the overall amount of friction produced while driving, this ensures that your vehicle maintains quick road response times and smooth-riding capabilities at all times.
You will also find that these shocks come with full-displaced valving that enhances the valving range for both the compression and extension cycles of your shock absorber unit. If you want shocks that will provide you with a smooth and responsive ride, these are the right choice for you.
#2 ACDelco 560-579 GM Original Equipment Front Shock Absorber
The ACDelco 560-579 GM Original Equipment Front Shock Absorber is designed to help absorb and reduce the amount of road input that comes from your vehicle while driving. These shocks are GM-recommended for GM vehicles as they are rated as an OEM part which is good news if you own a GM vehicle.
These shocks are manufactured with durability, reliability, and quality in mind so you never have to worry about them giving out on you while driving. They fit all GM fitting, function, and trim specifications so you can install them on your vehicle without any issues.
#3 Rancho RS7254 Rear Shock Absorber
The Rancho RS7254 Rear Shock Absorber is designed with a 50mm body diameter at about 1.97in, these shocks deliver high-performance capabilities and they have a very sleek appearance.
These shocks also have a very quick damping response time which ensures that you will always be able to maintain a smooth ride regardless of the road conditions.
You will also find that these shocks come with a monotube design that utilizes high-pressure nitrogen gas to charge the absorbers for sustained stability and a smooth ride over time.
Another great feature about these shocks is that they have ten-stage velocity sensitive valving which helps you tune them for the specific configuration of your vehicle in particular.
#4 Gabriel G51840 Ultra Spring Seat Shock Absorber
The Gabriel G51840 Ultra Spring Seat Shock Absorber is designed with precision engineering to be compatible with vehicles that use G-force technology which adds a layer of enhanced performance capability and stability overall.
These shocks come with integrated infinitely variable damping which provides adaptable and on-demand control of your vehicle for all sorts of road conditions.
They also come with stable steer valving which improves the amount of contact that your tires have with the road. You will also find these shocks outfitted with G-force pistons made from sintered iron construction which means that they are built to last for a very long time.
There is an advanced feature on these shocks known as an orifice control disc which helps to maintain steady control, stability, and comfort while on the road at all times.
They come with an OE-design that has a single lip oil seal which minimizes the amount of friction produced to sustain enhanced performance and control.
You will find that these pistons come with a chrome-finished piston rod that provides great corrosion resistance over extended periods of use.
#5 ACDelco 540-147 GM Original Equipment Premium Monotube Rear Shock Absorber
The ACDelco 540-147 GM Original Equipment Premium Monotube Rear Shock Absorber helps to absorb and dampen the amount of road input you experience by reducing the direct impact on your vehicle’s suspension system.
These shocks are a GM-recommended replacement part which means that they come with an original manufactures’ fit so that you do not need to make any adjustments when installing them on your vehicle.
These shocks are rated for the highest quality standards as they come with integrated reliability, durability, and quality standards.
#6 Monroe 58654 Monroe Load Adjust Shock Absorber
The Monroe 58654 Monroe Load Adjust Shock Absorber comes with all-weather fluid integration in addition to special modifiers which help reduce friction and ensure that you maintain a smooth ride, regardless of conditions. These shocks come with full displaced valving which allows you to finely tune your shocks to the specifications of your vehicle precisely.
The integrated valving feature on these shocks automatically adjusts to extreme road conditions which provide a smooth ride and consistent support for your vehicle over extended periods of time.
You will also find that these shocks come with a fluon branded piston which helps to sustain a consistent seal between the pressure tube and piston on your vehicle. All of these features provide you with enhanced control and durability for years to come.
#7 Monroe 32379 Monro-Matic Plus Shock Absorber
The Monroe 32379 Monro-Matic Plus Shock Absorber comes with a ½” diameter piston rod that is made from nitrocarburized material. This very strong material protects your shocks from wear and tear.
These shocks are self-lubricating and come with a fluid deal design which helps to retain gas without excessive friction creation or accelerated wear.
Another great feature of these shocks is that they are nitrogen gas charged which means that they will provide you with improved handling and riding stability.
They also have a 1-3/16” bore which is larger than most you will find on shocks to help you maintain consistent and efficient control at all times. Monroe 32379 Monro-Matic Plus Shock Absorber
All of these shock absorber recommendations will provide varying levels of stability depending on the type of vehicle you own. Take the time to look through all of the specifications listed about each of these shocks so you will be able to choose the optimal fit for your vehicle while also retaining vehicle control and tire to road contact at all times.
What are the signs of bad shocks?
Shocks tend to last for a very long time however they are prone to breaking just like any other car part. When your shocks begin to decline in performance and durability, you will notice a few key signs which indicate that it’s time for you to replace them with new ones.
To help you identify which shocks are best for your vehicle, we’re going to list all of the critical indicators which point to failing shocks so that you will be able to change them before they start severely impacting your ability to drive your vehicle efficiently. Vibration in your steering wheel while driving
One of the most common signs that your shocks are going bad on your vehicle is vibration coming through your steering wheel.
This can be caused due to your piston or valve seal wearing out or not sitting correctly within your suspension system when this occurs fluid will begin to flow uncontrollably past the valve or piston seal which allows even the tiniest bump in the road to cause an overreaction that will be felt in your steering wheel. If you notice that you’re experiencing an increase in vibration while driving, it may be time to replace your shocks.
Delayed braking time
Another common symptom of worn shocks is that you will notice a delay in the amount of time that it takes for your brakes to stop after you engage them. This is caused due to more time being requires to take up all of the piston rod lengths.
Noise when engaging your brakes
If you engage your brakes and notice a lot of noise or swerving occurring when you brake, this could mean that the valving or piston seal inside of your shock is wearing out.
When this occurs, there will be a lot of uncontrolled fluid moving which results in reduced steering capabilities. When this occurs, you will notice that even the slightest movement in your steering wheel will cause the weight of your vehicle to shift very hard in that direction. This is a tell-tale sign that your shocks are beginning to wear out and it’s time to replace them.
Uneven wear on your tires
Another very noticeable sign that your shocks are going bad is that you will notice uneven wear on your tire tread. This is due to the fact that failing shocks are not able to maintain firm road contact with all tires, this can create a lot of bouncy motion when driving on the road.
That means that the part of your tires which make contact with the road will wear while the parts of the tire that fail to make contact will not wear resulting in uneven wearing.
Leaking fluid is a very common issue that people with bad shocks experience, you will notice that fluid is leaking around the seals of your shocks near the shaft area extending from your vehicle body.
This loss of fluid will also cause a loss in the effectiveness of your shocks to perform the critical function of maintaining road contact across all four tires.
Fractured bushings at attachment points
All shocks have connection points at each end which allow them to be bolted to the vehicle. Many shock absorber attachment points are made from rubber bushings.
When these connection points begin to break or crack you will notice a tapping sound every time you drive over bumps in the road. This is a sign that your bushings are beginning to fracture which means that it will soon be time for you to replace your shocks.
All of these are some of the most common symptoms that you will notice when your shocks begin to decline in their overall performance and stability. Pay attention to all of these factors so you can make sure that you stay on top of the condition and functionality of your shocks at all times.
If you’re experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms with your current shocks, it’s probably time to replace them.
How to find the right shocks for your vehicle
When it comes to choosing the right shocks for your vehicle, there are several different factors that you need to consider. Below, we’re going to give you a complete rundown on all of the important factors and elements that you need to consider when choosing the right shocks for your vehicle in particular.
One of the most important features to consider when choosing the right shocks for your vehicle is the operational efficiency of your selected set.
Since the main job of shocks is to alleviate the amount of direct road impact that you feel in your steering wheel, you need to check the material and technologies used in the production of your selected shocks to ensure that they will maintain balanced and consistent. Some of the features you need to look for are all-weather fluid integration, low friction, and self-lubrication.
The material your shocks are made from will play a huge role in determining how long they last. Most premium shocks are made from high-quality materials such as steel that comes with a zinc or chrome coating.
If you find shocks made from these materials, you can rest assured that they are built to last and withstand high-performance situations for prolonged periods of time.
Look for these materials in your shocks of choice so that you can rest easy knowing that your vehicle will remain in pristine operational condition at all times.
You want to make sure that your chosen shocks will last a long time once they are installed on your vehicle. You also want to make sure that you select a set of shocks which are highly cost-effective, trying to figure out these variables by simply looking at the specifications on the shocks can be difficult which is why you will want to rely on customer reviews and testimonials for this information.
However, you can use some tangible specification variables such as the thickness of the pistons, what material the shocks are made from, and how well-protected the shaft is on your selected shocks as these are all variables which will help you determine their overall service longevity and durability. Many of these most reliable shocks on the market will use a rubber boot for protection of this area so look out for this feature.
Type of shocks
Not all shocks are rated for every vehicle, in fact, most of them are designed with very specific configurations in mind. This is a very important factor that you’ll want to consider when purchasing a set of new shocks for your vehicle to ensure that they work correctly once installed.
Some shocks are designed with specific performance features in mind which is something that you’ll want to keep in mind before finalizing your purchase.
Take all of these factors into consideration when choosing the right shocks for your vehicle so that you won’t have to worry about any compatibility or performance issues.
FAQ’s About How to Find the Best Shocks
The process for installing new shocks can be very tedious and time-consuming if you have no prior experience with the process you need to go to an experienced automotive mechanic. You can also find tutorials and information here.
The recommended time interval needed to replace your shocks will all depend on the type of vehicle that you have. However, it’s recommended that you change your shocks about every 50,000 miles.
There are several ways that you can check to see if your shocks are declining in quality. One of the easiest ways to do so is by simply driving your vehicle and seeing how your steering wheel responds to bumps in the road.
We’ve covered all of the most important factors and features that you need to consider when choosing the right shocks for your vehicle. As long as you use all of these tips and information when selecting your shocks, you will have no problem maintaining the stability of your vehicle for years to come!