The shocks on your car help you to have a smooth ride, but they also help keep your wheels in contact with the road. When your shocks are working properly, your steering and braking are better. Worn shocks can significantly reduce the performance and safety of your vehicle. All cars have some sort of absorption mechanism, but in some cars they are shocks and others they are struts. Struts have different requirements for replacing them than shocks do.
Things You'll Need
- Tire iron
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Adjustable wrench
- Torque wrench
Loosen the lugnuts on the wheels at one end of the car with a tire iron. Lift that end of the car with a floor jack and support it by the frame with jack stands. Remove the lugnuts and the tires and set them aside. The part of the wheel left behind is called the wheel hub.
Locate the shocks. They are behind the wheel hub and run between the suspension and the frame of the car. They look like a skinny tube that slides into a slightly larger tube.
Remove the nuts holding the bottom of the shock in place. Unbolt the top of the shock as well. If the shock is mounted with a bracket to the frame, you may be able to access the top of it from under the car. If the shock is mounted through the frame, you may have to open the hood or the trunk and get to it that way. If it is through the trunk, there is usually an access panel you open between the trunk and the top of the wheel well.
Hold a new shock in place and bolt the top in. Use a torque wrench to torque the nuts mounting the top of the shock to the torque specifications for your car. Torque the bottom nuts to those specifications.
Mount the tires on the wheel hubs. Torque the lugnuts to the specifications for your car. Lower the end of the car. You may need to perform an alignment on the wheels at that end of the car.
Tips & Warnings
- Some cars may require you to remove suspension parts to access the shocks. This depends on the make, model and year of your car.
- Some cars may require you to mount the bottom of the rear replacement shock before you mount the top. This also depends on the make model and year.
- AutoMedia.com: How to Fix or Replace Shocks
- Popular Mechanics: Replacing Shock Absorbers
- AutoZone.com: Repair Guide Honda Prelude Accord Civic S2000 2001-2006
- AutoZone.com: Repair Guide Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Marauder, Lincoln Town Car 1999-2005
- AutoZone.com: Repair Guide DeVille, Eldorado, Seville 1999-2005
- Photo Credit Close up detail of a classic car at a car show image by Rob Hill from Fotolia.com
How to Change a Car's Battery
Changing a car battery is something that most people will be able to do themselves. The hardest part is usually to lift...
How to Change Front Shocks on a Ford Crown Victoria
They sound expensive and they look complicated to replace. After a while, a front-heavy vehicle like a Ford Crown Victoria is going...
How to Change Shocks
If your vehicle doesn't stop bouncing after hitting a bump you may need new shocks or struts. While strut replacement is a...
How Do I Change 4Runner Shocks?
A shock absorber on a vehicle absorbs the motion of the vehicle when you hit a bump. The "shock" of hitting the...
How to Test Shock Absorbers on a Car
Shock absorbers are installed on your car's suspension to dampen shock and stabilize the ride when going over bumps or rough roads....
How to Change the Shocks on a Jaguar XJS
There is no accurate mileage prediction for when you will need to replace the shocks on your Jaguar XJS. The manner in...
How to Change a Tire on a Lincoln Town Car
If you need to change a tire on your Lincoln Town Car, there's no need to call AAA to come to your...