Why should you consider shock absorber repair instead of replacement? We will discuss this topic in this article.
Automotive shock absorbers undergo a lot of rapid movements when you drive your car.
The movements cause gradual wear and even the best shock absorber will eventually wear out. Depending on the driving conditions and habits, the shocks in your car may show signs of failure at around 50 000 miles.
Generally, you would have two options to fix the problem of worn shocks: repair the broken part(s) or do a shock absorber reconditioning.
Contrary to what many people think, shock absorbers can be fixed. It is usually cheaper than having to buy new ones, especially when you have to replace four of them at a go.
Read on for information regarding the types of problems that can be taking care of by shock absorber refurbishment.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Shock Absorber Rebuilding
- Car shock absorber replacement cost is higher compared to shock absorber repair. When you have several of these devices to change, repairing may be a more cost-effective option.
- Replacing a shock absorber involves throwing away all the old parts. That would be harmful to the environment.
Repairing means you only discard a few pieces of the device. Sometimes, you may even choose to recycle the worn components.
Clearly, shock absorber rebuilding is a more environmentally-friendly option.
- Fixing the worn parts of an old shock does not provide a lasting solution. If the shock absorbers have neared the end of their life, it would still need to be replaced after some time.
- Repairing broken shock absorbers can be time-consuming and require knowledge about these auto parts.
- The shock absorber repair cost may be close to the purchase price.
Common Shock Absorber Problems that Can be Repaired
Not every shock absorber problems can be repaired. Parts that you can replace individually include mounts, shock absorber bushings, seals, piston, and compression oil.
As a rule of thumb, you should only consider shock absorber repair if the existing shocks have not done more than 35 000 miles or slightly more.
The driving conditions will also matter. If you have raced on extremely bumpy roads for a long time, your shock absorbers might be in a bad state.
Still, car shock absorber refurbishment would be an attractive option if you have several of them to replace.
To get an idea of when you need to carry out shock absorber repairs, here are the signs to look out for.
When you begin to feel every bump on the road, it is obvious that your shock absorbers are in bad condition and in dire need of repair.
Also, if the car bounces every time it hits a pothole or bump, making every ride tiring and uncomfortable.
Shock Absorber Leaking Fluid
Oil on the shock absorber body, nearby components, or on the ground indicates a leaking shock absorber.
The seals may be broken or the shock absorber body torn.
Worn seals can be repaired easily. You only need the right parts and the knowledge about the process to do it.
Uneven wearing of tire treads
This is one of the bad shock absorber symptoms. Loose shocks caused by worn pistons produce excessive bouncing of the chassis.
Driving with broken shock absorbers results in the tires wearing in patches.
Reduced braking efficiency
If the car takes longer to stop, faulty shock absorbers could be the cause. The tires need to hug the road closely for proper braking.
If the wheels are constantly moving up and down, it can be sometime before the car comes to a stop after applying the brakes.
Broken shock absorbers cannot prevent the movements of wheels.
Nose dives and rear squats
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.
Rear shock absorber symptoms Include the rear squatting when you accelerate.
Car swaying dangerously
If you feel like you are losing control of the vehicle when taking corners, you may be having worn shocks.
It is a dangerous situation that needs to be looked into quickly.
How to Repair a Shock Absorber
Sometimes it is not the entire shock that is damaged but one or a few components.
It could be the shock absorber mount, bushing, piston, seal, or any other part.
Most of these components can be fixed.
You may choose to do the repair yourself, or seek car shock absorber rebuild services.
If you are a DIY enthusiast and choose to repair your car’s shocks, ensure you have adequate knowledge about these devices.
You will also need to purchase a shock absorber rebuild kit.
Here is how to repair a shock absorber.
Start by finding a flat surface to park your car. Use a jack and jack stands to lift it up safely then remove the wheels. Next, follow these steps.
How to Repair a Shock Absorber Step by Steps
- Step 1: Disassembly
Remove the shock absorber. Take it apart to assess the extent of damage and wear. Check these components: bushings, seals, piston, and mounting. Drain also the compression oil.
- Step 2: Cleaning the Components
Cleaneverypartand set it apart to dry. They will be easier to inspect for damage as well as work with.
- Step 3: Replacing Faulty Components
Check for damaged components. Those are the parts you will be replacing. There is no need to change a part that shows no sign of wear or damage.
You want to save on costs, and that involves knowing what part to throw away and what to use again.
- Step 4: Shock Absorber Assembly
Thisis the shockabsorberrebuilding part. Assemble every part correctly, taking care not to damage some components.
You will need to add new oil.
- Step 5 Testing and Adjusting
After putting together the shock absorber, it is now time to test it.
Apply force to one end and observe the response. The shock absorber should spring back slowly.
If it rebounds quickly, you may need to reassemble it.
Fixing a shock absorber is not as complicated as one may think.
The device features a simple design with only a few parts to assemble.
Regardless of whether you choose to do the repair yourself or use shock absorber rebuilding services, shock repair is always cheaper than buying new ones.
However, some damages or wear cannot be repaired and require replacing the whole shock.