Replacing Shocks and Suspension Springs

Replacing Shocks and Suspension Springs

Sooner or later, every car owner faces the need to replace shocks and suspension springs. At first glance, these inconspicuous components play a crucial role in providing comfort and safety during driving. Timely replacement of worn parts will maintain the car's handling and extend the service life of other units.

Information on Service Life and Maintenance

Timely maintenance and replacement of worn suspension components are crucial for ensuring safety and driving comfort. Below is the recommended information on service life and scheduled maintenance.

Typical lifespan of shocks and springs:

  • Shocks: 60,000 - 100,000 km mileage
  • Suspension Springs: 100,000 - 150,000 km mileage

However, the actual lifespan can vary significantly depending on the car's operating conditions.

Factors affecting wear:

  • Intensity of use and driving style
  • Quality of road surface in your region
  • Load on the car (passengers, luggage)
  • Timeliness of scheduled maintenance
  • Climatic conditions (temperature fluctuations, road salt, etc.)

To timely detect wear, it is recommended to check the condition of shocks and springs every 20,000 km mileage or at least once a year. If signs of wear are detected, replacement should be carried out immediately.

When replacing shocks and springs, also check and, if necessary, replace related parts: support bearings, bump stops, dust covers, and other suspension rubber-metal products.

Identifying the Problem

Shocks and springs are consumables, and their lifespan is limited. But how do you know when it's time for a replacement? Here are a few signs to look out for:

  • One of the first signs of wear is a deterioration in the car's response to steering wheel turns and braking. The car begins to "float" and loses directional stability, especially on uneven roads.
  • If you feel strong shaking and prolonged swaying of the body when driving over small bumps, this may indicate worn shocks. They no longer effectively dampen the suspension's movements.
  • Heard characteristic knocks when driving over bumps? Perhaps the springs are no longer properly supporting the load, and suspension parts are beginning to collide with each other.
  • Worn shocks cannot correctly keep the wheels on the road, leading to load redistribution and premature tire tread wear.

Periodically inspect the shocks and springs for mechanical damage, leakage signs, and corrosion. These defects may indicate the need for replacement.

Preparing for Replacement

If you decide to do the replacement yourself, it's important to prepare thoroughly. This ensures quality work and your safety.

An ideal place for replacing shocks and springs would be a spacious garage or a specially equipped area. A solid, flat surface and good lighting are mandatory conditions.

Necessary Tools and Materials

  • New shocks and springs, fully compatible with your car model (don't skimp on quality!)
  • A set of wrenches and socket heads of the necessary sizes
  • A jack and supports for safely lifting the car
  • Lubricants for easier assembly (lithium or copper grease)
  • Shock absorber fluid (if required)
  • Degreaser for cleaning threaded connections

Also, don't forget about personal protective equipment: work clothes, gloves, and safety glasses.

Studying the Instructions

Replacing shocks and springs requires precision and strict adherence to the manufacturer's instructions. Carefully study the repair manual for your model - this will help avoid mistakes and significantly facilitate the work.

Replacement Process

Once prepared, you can proceed directly to the replacement. Pay attention to the following points:

Order of Actions

It is recommended to start with the front suspension, then move to the rear. Sequentially dismantle the old shocks, springs, and all related parts.

Technological Tricks

  • Use special extractors and compression devices for safe removal of springs - this will protect you from injuries.
  • Be sure to clean all mounting points and lubricate new parts before installation. This ensures smooth suspension operation.
  • Adhere to the recommended torque for tightening threaded connections and use thread lockers where required by the instructions.
  • When replacing shocks, don't forget to fill them with the necessary amount of shock absorber fluid.

Take Your Time and Be Careful

Replacing shocks and springs is a labor-intensive process that requires concentration. Take your time, move step by step, and take breaks for rest periodically.

Final Check

After completing the work, be sure to make a control drive at a low speed on an uneven road. Ensure there are no extraneous knocks, impacts, and vibrations. If necessary, make additional adjustments to the wheel alignment angles.

Common Mistakes

Despite the seeming simplicity of the process, mistakes are often made during the replacement of shocks and springs, which can negate all efforts. Here are some of the most common ones:

Using Low-Quality Parts

Skimping on the cost of components leads to the rapid failure of new parts. Purchase shocks and springs strictly in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations for your car model and having all necessary quality certificates.

Improper Installation and Adjustment

Violating installation instructions, improper tightening of threaded connections, or incorrect wheel alignment angles can lead to premature wear of new components and worsen handling.

Ignoring Lubrication and Shock Absorber Fluids

Failing to use the required lubricants and not filling the shocks with shock absorber fluid will lead to increased friction and rapid failure of parts.

Lack of Final Testing

Inattentiveness during control testing may leave installation defects unnoticed, which can later turn into serious problems.



  • Regularly check the condition of shocks and springs, promptly replacing worn parts.
  • Quality components and careful adherence to instructions are the key to reliable and long-lasting suspension performance.
  • If in doubt about your abilities, it's better to turn to professionals at a service station.
  • Taking good care of your car will preserve its driving qualities and ensure safety on the road.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I just replace the shocks and keep the old springs?

It's not advisable, as it will disrupt the original suspension characteristics and lead to uneven wear. It is recommended to always change shocks and springs in pairs on one axle.

Do I need to replace all shocks and springs every time?

If there are clear signs of wear, it's better to replace all components related to one axle (front or rear) at once. This ensures even suspension performance.

Can I save money by installing shocks from a different model?

Strongly discouraged! Shocks are developed taking into account the specific characteristics of a particular model. Using non-matching parts can completely disrupt suspension operation.

How often should I "overhaul" the shocks?

Modern shocks, as a rule, are not subject to disassembly and repair. If malfunctions are detected, they should be replaced with new ones according to the manufacturer's recommendations.