Car shock absorber replacement

Compare shock absorber repair prices and specialists online

Shock absorber  on modern car close up

What is a shock absorber?

Shock absorbers are a vital part of providing comfort when driving. They are there to stop your car from vibrating or bouncing excessively when you drive over rough or uneven road surfaces, whilst keeping your tyres on the road.

Shock absorbers are a part of the suspension system of the car, and work by converting the kinetic energy of your car’s suspension into heat. This in turn smoothens the ride and eliminates vibration.

Shock absorbers are also considered to be a major safety feature because of the fact they ensure contact between the wheels and road stays in place, so that the car can brake properly.

This then means that without shock absorbers in great working condition, then there could be a lack of control when steering, braking, or accelerating. That is why it is vital that faults are diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible.

Shock absorber repair average costs and prices

The average cost of a shock absorber replacement booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £397.92. WhoCanFixMyCar estimates an average cost of £416.91 to replace the front shocks and £327.47 for the rear shocks.

Most cars are likely to need at least one set of replacement shock absorbers during its lifetime to restore vehicle handling, safety, and ride comfort to original levels.

Prices for replacing shock absorbers will always vary between garages, so getting a number of quotes is a good idea. Keep in mind shock absorbers are often recommended to be replaced in pairs, so this may increase the price. The table below gives you a general idea of the costs for popular car makes.

Car MakeAverage Price

Which shock absorber repair service do you need?

The general consensus is that your shock absorbers should be able to last around 50,000 miles before they’d need replacing. Here are some services under shock absorber repairs:

Shock absorber repair

Not all shock absorber problems can be repaired. Certain parts of the shock absorber may need to be replaced, rather than the whole unit. Parts that can be replaced individually include mounts, shock absorber bushings, seals, piston, and compression oil.

Shock absorber replacement

Shock absorber replacements are common when you are facing problems with this part. However, be mindful that there is a risk involved in only replacing this safety-critical component on one side of the vehicle so technicians often advise to replace shock absorbers in axle pairs.

Shock Absorber Leaking Fluid

If oil happens to be on the shock absorber body, nearby components or on the ground then this will often mean that the shock absorber is leaking. The seals can break over time, or the body can be torn. Worn seals are repairable by an automotive technician.

I don’t know

Unsure of whether your car needs a shock absorber replacement? Book your car for a diagnostic and the mechanic will be able to tell you whether the shock absorbers are damaged and needs to be replaced or can be repaired.

Shock absorber  on modern car close up

Top warning signs that your shock absorbers need attention

There are several reasons why you might consider a shock absorber replacement by a local garage. Some of the reasons include:

  • When going over various bumps, speed bumps, or potholes and you hear a knocking sound, it likely means you have worn shock absorbers.

  • Vibrating felt through the steering wheel

  • Car drives roughly

  • Uneven tyre wear

  • Excessive bouncing when driving the car over bumps #

  • When a car’s stopping distance is up to 20% further than usual

  • If a car swerves and dips when the brakes are used

  • If a car’s suspension squeaks

  • You may also feel the body of the car lurching forward or nose-diving when braking- one of the front shock absorber symptoms to watch out for

  • Fluid is leaking down the side of the shock absorber towards the ground Longer stopping distances

What impacts the cost of shock absorber replacement?

There are a few factors that can impact the cost of your shock absorber replacement. The main one is the make and model of your vehicle and the number of shock absorbers that need replacing.

Prices for replacing shock absorbers will always vary between garages, so getting a number of quotes is a good idea. Keep in mind shock absorbers are often recommended to be replaced in pairs, so this may increase the price.

Is a shock absorber repair necessary?

The shock absorbers on your car play an essential role in the comfort of your vehicle’s drive quality. This gas or oil-filled tube, compressed by a piston, is responsible for levelling out your car’s passage over any bumps, humps or holes in the road.

Worn shock absorbers will affect the car’s handling and braking, which can reduce your safety so it is important to have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Find shock absorber replacement and repair garages near you

If you have identified that your shock absorbers are indeed faulty, the next step is to find a trustworthy garage or mechanic to carry out the repair or replacement.

WhoCanFixMyCar’s network of garages and mobile mechanics is complete with trusted shock absorber repair specialists.

We can help you find local shock absorber replacement or repair specialist garages so they can diagnose and repair any faults, to keep you safe whilst driving.

Learn more about suspension

What is a shock absorber?

In order for a car to drive on anything other than perfectly-smooth surfaces, all cars' suspension systems contain two key components: springs, to absorb the immediate impact of a bump or dip in the road, and shock absorbers. These prevent the car from 'bouncing' on its springs - providing a more comfortable ride for passengers and, also, keeping the car's wheels in contact with the road.

How does a shock absorber work?

In simple terms, a shock absorber is an oil pump. A piston moves up and down in a cylinder filled with oil. The cylinder has small holes cut in it, allowing oil to flow through, allowing the piston to move. Because the holes are small, the piston provides resistance to the spring, absorbing the spring's natural 'bounciness'.

Can shock absorbers leak?

A shock absorber is a 'sealed unit' which means it requires no special maintenance. However, over time, the seals retaining the absorber's oil may fail, causing oil to escape. If this happens, the shock absorber usually needs to be replaced, because they will stop working when oil levels fall below a certain point.

Do shock absorbers need to be replaced in pairs?

This will depend on the condition of the other shock absorber. If a driver's side unit is worn, many garages will recommend replacing the equivalent passenger side unit.

What is the main symptom of a bad shock absorber?

A car with bad shock absorbers will bounce over bumps, and you may hear a knocking noise. It may also 'bob' over bumps, like a boat.

Get an instant shock absorber replacement quote - it takes less than 1 minute
Get quotes