Shock Absorbers

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Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers from 1A Auto are direct-fit replacements, made of the highest-quality materials and held to strict quality control standards. Shocks are available in pairs and kits to make sure your ride is smooth across all four wheels. Our fast and free shipping and vehicle-specific how-to videos make it easy and convenient to replace your own shocks.

When to Replace Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers usually last between 50,000 to 75,000 miles, but their lifespan depends on use. Driving on rough roads or carrying heavy loads may shorten the lifespan of your shocks.

The most apparent signs of worn out shock absorbers can be felt while driving. You may notice a rough ride when hitting bumps in the road and steering may feel sloppy. You may also experience brake dive or acceleration squat. Brake dive is when your car’s nose dips when you hit the brakes; acceleration squat is when the rear of your car dips when you hit the gas.

Bad shocks may cause uneven tire wear or a scalloped pattern on your tires. You can also visually check your shock absorbers for dents or leaks. Shocks contain hydraulic fluid (basically oil). Big leaks are a sign that your shocks are breaking down.

Types of Shock Absorbers

Most cars come with twin tube shock absorbers. Twin tube shocks have an inner and an outer cylinder. As the shock expands and contracts, the hydraulic fluid can get pushed from the inner cylinder to the outer cylinder, and back, as needed. The outer cylinder acts as a reservoir. These shock absorbers are simple to build and affordable, but aren’t as well suited to rough roads, due to aeration. Under extreme conditions, the air and fluid inside the shock can mix, creating bubbles, which may make reduce the damping effect, giving a soft feel.

That led to the development of nitrogen gas tube shock absorbers. These are twin tube shocks that use nitrogen instead of air to reduce aeration.

You can also get monotube shocks, which have only one cylinder, but use a free-floating piston to separate the gas or air from the hydraulic fluid. Monotube shocks are good for off-road or performance applications, but can sometimes give a stiff ride. 1A Auto offers monotube upgrades from brands like Monroe and KYB.

Some vehicles come with air shocks. Air shocks use an inflated rubber bladder instead of coil springs. Air shocks can adjust to heavy loads and provide a smooth ride, which makes them popular for SUVs and luxury passenger cars like Mercedes or Lincolns. Some drivers find that air shocks give soft or lose handling. For that reason, 1A Auto offers coil spring conversion kits that allow drivers to replace an air shock system with traditional shock absorbers and springs.

Replacing Your Shock Absorbers

Replacing your shocks is not complicated, and can be done many do-it-yourselfers. You’ll want to replace your shock absorbers in pairs to keep the ride height even from one side of your vehicle to the other. Raise and support your vehicle. Remove the wheel and any other parts that keep you from accessing the shock bolts. Remove the bottom bolt first and hold the shock while you remove the top bolt. Install the new shock and tighten the bolts to the manufacturer’s specified torque setting.

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